Monday, January 5, 2015

Advice for the Mighty

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The idea of being president of this (or any) country never entered my head.  It has always seemed a totally scary proposition.
And I’m right!
Yesterday the New York Times reported[1] that Guatemala’s ex-president, Efrain Rios Montt is again standing trial on charges of genocide in the 1980’s.  The man is over 80 years old; just about any sentence on a conviction is a life-sentence.
On Election Days there are smiles and accolades and great hopes – a sense that the elected leader is now “in charge”.  But that fades.  After his celebratory walk down Pennsylvania Avenue in 1993 newly-elected President Bill Clinton’s anecdotal remark upon entering the oval office, was something like, I’m the president; what do I do now?
Governing and being elected are vastly different undertakings.  King David had wise advice which is sufficient and timely for any leader:  keep humble and remember you’re not at the top of the food chain.
Presidents or kings serve at the pleasure of more than the people, or an electorate; they serve under the watchful eye of God.  Those rulers who submit to God are promised great joy, and the hand of Providence for protection; they store up personal blessing! Those who kick against this advice are brought down like a house of cards in a hurricane.
(Whether Clinton, or the embattled Guatemalan leader, or Sadaam Hussein, or assorted Bushes, Lincolns, Washingtons or Caesars ever followed the advice is for another day).
In recent years we have seen long-standing governments topple like punctured balloons.  We have seen leadership influence destroyed by silly Facebook posts and emails.  We have seen the self-aggrandizing “mighty” brought low.
Rather than gloat, or wail (depending on whether or not you voted for those who fail), it is always a good practice to reflect on our part in this process.  We are tempted to opt-out of responsibility quickly in one of many ways:
·        I’m just one person; what could I have done
·        I voted for the other guy
·        His problem – I’ve got enough to worry about
Now, those may all be true, but one thing remains for the Christian believer:  did I pray?  Did I honestly, fervently, consistently lift up the leaders who make governing choices in my name?

I may not be an elected official, but I have a part in the work of rulers with my vote, and my prayers.  If I want strong, effective (Godly) leaders, it is my responsibility to pray that way.

For You Today:

What is your part in helping the rulers who serve? 

Are you leader, follower?

Could your prayer be the difference between failure and Godly success?

[1] Read the report here

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