Servant Leaders: A Challenge
Our country sits divided over recent Supreme Court decisions on the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), gay marriage, and abortion. We are struggling with race, and we are confused by all the religions. It is a time in which we need great leadership. That's what we talked about in worship Sunday. Abraham Lincoln’s leadership, the Apostle Paul’s leadership, Jesus’ leadership.
We need leaders like Lincoln who work to lower anxiety in our country rather than prey on fears;
leaders who breathe and pray and think before they respond;
leaders who do not gloat over their side winning but instead reach a hand across an aisle or serve at the feet of someone with whom they disagree;
leaders who take to listening more than talking and empathizing more than strategizing;
leaders who look at the facts and then decide what they believe, rather than those who seek facts to prove what they already believe;
leaders who when angry can be self-reflective enough to see that it might be something inside themselves causing the anger rather than what is going on out in the world;
leaders who do not operate by yes/no votes with winner take all mentalities, but who find creative solutions that account for all people involved;
leaders who speak the truth as they know it and speak it clearly, but will not demonize the other side. And this means even behind closed doors;
leaders who are self-differentiated enough to do the right thing as they see it, not what is right according to the opinions of others or based on threats from others;
leaders, who like Jesus, keep the main thing, the main thing;
leaders who doggedly and persistently focus on the needs of the poor, and the outcast, and the vulnerable of our society.
Lincoln said it this way in 1865 at his Second Inaugural Address: "With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan."
Paul said it this way to the church at Philippi: "Do nothing from selfish ambition, regard others as better than yourselves, look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others."
The world needs you to be this kind of servant leader. The world needs me to be this kind of servant leader.
Are we up for the challenge?