With the technology landscape ever changing, it’s becoming more difficult to find closets to hide our skeletons. Case in point: Facebook recently made a controversial change mandating users switch to the “Timeline” layout which is perfectly tailored for those who want see what their new crush was doing on New Years of 2007 or dig up dirt on their old high school nemesis.
(I’d like to emphasize I’ve only heard of people using it for these purposes…)
I figured it might be fun to thumb back through the pages of my virtual book of status updates and mobile uploads so I perused over the past few years. As much as it was enjoyable to bring back some memories and remind myself how much I’ve grown, a long series of updates from 2008 also brought conviction.
Someone unfamiliar with the political divide in this country would have assumed one of the presidential candidates was the direct spawn of Satan himself based on my comments during that time. I spewed disrespect and disdain for a fellow countryman who was a candidate to lead our nation.
Whether it’s in the case of the current president or the man that served before him, Christians of all political convictions lack any reputation for maintaining respect for political leaders. Speaking from experience, we often excuse ourselves for speaking hatefully by claiming some higher moral authority that God never granted.
I’ve spent some time examining myself and my penchant for sharing political opinions as if they’re Biblical truth and I’ve realized it is only the fruit of the problem.
The root of the problem is disrespect for leadership. Do I serve a sovereign God? Do I believe He is really in control? If He is, then making personal attacks against political leaders, telling our friends how much we wish our boss would get sick for two weeks, or speaking out against our pastors suddenly becomes completely contrary to everything we claim to believe.
For instance, I realize now that for years I have felt that it’s my boss’s job to demonstrate to me that he deserves my respect. “Prove to me, Boss Man, that you’re smarter than me.” If you’re female, chances are I’ve already decided that your emotions keep you from effectively managing me. I’ve been rooted in ungratefulness, disrespect, and chauvinism and I didn’t even realize it. I’m constantly looking for ways I would handle situations differently or reasons my intellect qualifies me for the position that my superiors hold – not just at work but in all aspects of my life.
If I believe in a sovereign God, then the fact that I’m not the boss should serve as a clue to me that despite any qualifications I may think I possess, there is a reason that the Lord has me where I am. The mantle of “leader” is just a shortened way to say “lead servant.” If we can’t master just simply being servants and humbling ourselves through respect, then how do we expect to pass the test to be entrusted with being lead servant?
There is nothing wrong with having convictions, beliefs, and political leanings. Personally, it has often been said of me that I march to the beat of a different drummer and I like that about myself. Accordingly, I have convictions and methods that a lot of others don’t share. When I am given an opportunity to lead, I do so in my own unique way. However, before I can ever expect to gain titles or positions, I have to change the way I think. That equates to obedience and not always doing things my way.
I must dispose of the “prove it to me” attitude and begin by saying, “Allow me to prove myself.” We are called to pray for anyone in a position over us. As long as it’s not contrary to the Word, we are to comply and support those in authority, even if we do not agree.
God is looking for future leaders amongst shepherds in the fields of obedience, not amongst self-appointed kings in castles of pride.
*Photo credit: Herval