This election year is the most critical one in recent history. The next president will likely appoint 3-5 Supreme Court Justices who will profoundly impact the future direction of our nation and whether we hold to a strict or loose interpretation of the Constitution. In other words, whether we will be a nation governed by law or man! What is at stake is whether we will maintain or forfeit the rights that our founding father’s sacrificed their reputations, their homes, careers, and even their very lives to ensure that we as American citizens would have. We must take the privilege and responsibility we have to vote very seriously.
No person in their own wisdom can fix the problems of our nation; they are spiritual in nature and they stem from our nation turning our back on God and His commands. Our only hope as a nation is to be found in our turning to God. It is imperative that we elect a leader who knows God; who realizes that we must turn to Him for guidance and direction; and who is willing to humble himself/herself and seek God’s direction as he/she leads our country. Scripture and history reveal that, ‘as the leader goes, so goes the nation’. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln– who many consider to be our nation’s two greatest presidents– were men who met the above criteria. Washington shaped the destiny of our nation during our nation’s crucial formative years, and Lincoln’s pivotal leadership preserved the unity of our nation when the forces behind the Civil War would have divided us. We are desperate for leadership like theirs during this critical juncture in our country’s history. It was their character and their choosing to lean upon the Character of God that made them great leaders; God granted them the wisdom to lead as they sought His guidance and direction.
What characteristics should a Christian look for in a leader? No person has had a greater impact on our world than Jesus so it makes sense that we should look to his life to help us determine the most important leadership qualities. Keep in mind that there is no perfect person or leader– other than Jesus– but we in America have the privilege and the responsibility as citizens to vote for the candidate who most closely aligns with God’s leadership standards. Below are some of the character qualities of Jesus, which also constitute a great leader:
1) Humble and Servant leader: Jesus was a servant, as was clearly displayed when He washed His disciples’ feet at the Last Supper. He did not seek power for Himself; He always sought to serve others and to bring glory to His Heavenly Father. We all have been called to emulate His example, as Paul charged us to do in his letter to the Philippians.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. Philippians 2:3-7
Which of the candidates exhibits the greatest humility? Which candidate most closely appears to be a ‘servant leader’ whose primary purpose is to serve others and God rather than to achieve a position of power to further his/her own agenda and achieve a name and power for himself/herself? Are there any candidate(s) who are arrogant, conceited, and appear to be primarily interested in elevating themselves out of selfish ambition?
2) Knowledgeable of and subservient to the will of God: Jesus always sought to know the will of God, His Heavenly Father, and he always obeyed Him– even when that meant his death on a cross (Philippians 2:8) He would go off to pray early in the mornings to meet with His Heavenly Father. After hearing from God the Father, Jesus would go to the places His Heavenly Father led him to go; interact with the people with whom His Heavenly Father told him to interact; and he would speak the words His Heavenly Father gave him to speak. Jesus knew he could nothing apart from his Heavenly Father and he made it clear that he was dependent upon Him.
Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me.” John 7:16
“For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.” John 12:49
Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” John 5:19
Which of the candidates by their words and their lives acknowledge that they look to God and rely upon Him for direction and strength? That they trust in and seek always to obey God’s commands? Which candidate do you think will consider God’s commandments and godly principles in their decision-making? Is there any candidate who you doubt has a personal relationship with God? A candidate(s) who you are concerned whether he/she knows the truth of God’s word and whether he/she would seek guidance from Him?
3) Truthful and full of integrity: Jesus is the truth! (John 14:6)
Jesus always spoke the truth, and all of his actions lined up with the truth that he spoke.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Which candidate appears to be the most trust worthy based upon what he/she says and does? Do the candidate’s actions line up with his/her words or do they prove his/her words to be false? Is there any candidate whose integrity you question? Does he/ she speak falsely against others (Exodus 20:16)?
4) Faithful and steadfast, even in the face of trials: Jesus’ life on earth epitomized faithfulness. He was faithful to His Heavenly Father as well as faithful to the people He came to ‘seek and save’. When tempted by Satan, Jesus didn’t succumb to the temptation to satisfy his own desires or to seek glory for himself; he remained faithful to the will of His Heavenly Father. In the Garden of Eden when Satan again came to tempt him to disobey God, Jesus made the decision to remain faithful even though he knew it meant great humiliation, excruciating pain, and a horrific death. He was faithful to the end out of obedience to His Heavenly Father, and he also remained faithful for the sake of all who would receive the gift of salvation that his death purchased. As he sits at the right hand of the Father in Heaven, Jesus is still faithful to his own as he lives to intercede on their behalf.
Which of the candidates do you believe would remain most faithful to their oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States? Which candidate do you believe will be most resolute in standing up for, and if necessary, defending the rights of the American people as guaranteed by the Constitution, such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and the right to bear arms? Which candidate do you think will be able to remain strong and prevail when there is the temptation to compromise or make unwise ‘deals with the devil’, whether concerning domestic or international policies? And which candidate will remain faithful not only to the American people but also will stand with Israel, our only democratic ally in the Middle East, and more importantly God’s chosen people, for whom it was prophesied, “Blessed are those who bless you, and cursed are those who curse you.”? (Number 24: 9) Is there any candidate(s) whose stance on issues has wavered and/or you are concerned if they would be faithful to uphold the rights guaranteed to people under the Constitution? Do you question any of the candidate’s allegiance to Israel?
5) Righteous: Jesus always is fair, just, and does what is right and in ways that are right. In other words, Jesus would never ascribe to the belief that, ‘the end justifies the means’ because ALL that he does is good and moral. He would not take part in activities that were unrighteous– or immoral– in nature.
Which candidate demonstrates that he/she is the most righteous one? Are there any candidate(s) that cause concern because of unrighteous activity or behavior?
6) Compassionate and caring: The essence of Jesus’ nature is love. He is completely selfless and always seeks to meet others’ needs.
Which candidate demonstrates the most sincere selfless love, respect, and concern for the welfare of others? Is there any candidate(s) that causes concern because he/she demonstrates a lack of love and respect for others?
Although this is not an exhaustive list, hopefully it will provide guidance to you as you prepare to cast your vote. Most importantly, make sure to pray and ask God to give you discernment and wisdom regarding not only for whom to vote, but also please pray for all elected and appointed leaders as we have been commanded to do (1st Timothy 2:1-4) as well as for our nation to repent and turn to Jesus—the Way, the Truth, the Life, and our only Hope!
written by Julie Van Gorp