Approaching election time, people are acutely concerned about the future of our nation. People I know can usually agree on the problems we face as a nation, such as the economy, but are polarized over policies and candidates. While it would be ideal to have a President who embraces all of the values I cherish, that is rare. I don’t underestimate the importance of leadership in critical times (Ex: Reagan, Churchill), but no man, save one, is our Messiah.
A fellow missionary recently talked about her experience in a missionary training school. The first day they walked into the classroom, the instructor had written on the board: “You are far worse off than you think you are.” And then: “The Gospel is far greater than you realize.” Understanding this is key. Yes, we need Jesus Christ to change our lives and then, to take personal responsibility to represent Him in changing the world.
To extrapolate, as Jim Collins stated in his book Good to Great, we have to confront the brutal facts first, while never losing faith. When we consider this critical juncture in our nation, and in the world, the facts are brutal. In the area of the economy alone, the mountain of personal and national debt is like Everest. We have to own the problem, meaning that we take personal responsibility to live within our means, get out of debt, and do what we can on a broader scale, even if it is at a grassroots level.
A compelling need to act comes from being informed about the true state of affairs, and then, when the well of false hope runs dry, to embrace a solid faith that leads to action. A friend recently commented about how it’s important to promote self-government over government expansion. Through teaching high school students Government, Economics and Worldviews at a school for missionary kids in Kiev, he is influencing the next generation of leaders because, as Lincoln said “the philosophy of the classroom today will be the philosophy of government tomorrow.”
What can you do?
“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”
“There is no worse mistake in public leadership than to hold out false hopes soon to be swept away.”