Tag Archives: president obama

Haters gonna Hate and Leaders gonna Lead

032715_tswiftHaters gonna hate, but Forbes says Taylor Swift has it and President Obama lost it. Maybe California State never had it, but their students want it. And an Alabama Mom wins my vote for best example of showing it this week. What is it? Leadership.

Now, if you are confused about what all these things have to do with each other, take a look at a few of the headlines over recent days.

  1. Fortune Magazine’s list of the top 50 Greatest World Leaders had Taylor Swift at number 6, but President Obama didn’t make the list. Magazine editors cited the massive changes that Swift has brought to the music industry, while excusing the absence of the “Leader of the Free World” by saying that he failed to lead on issues he promised during his campaigns.
  2. Meanwhile, California State disbanded a Christian Student Group because their charter states that the President of the chapter needs to be a Christian. In an example of lackluster leadership, Cal State officials reasoned that faith-based requirements are discriminatory…even for faith-based organizations!
  3. Finally, when an Alabama Mom learned that her daughters had been rude in a movie theater, ruining the experience of another family, she dropped the hammer. She went to Facebook and found out who that family was, made her children send apologies, and made them pay for a new movie and snacks out of their allowance!

Leadership can be hard to define. We don’t always recognize it at the time, but it is obvious when absent.

So, yes, leadership can mean shaking up a music industry; standing on religious principles, or disciplining children. But what it absolutely is not, is failing to take a stand, abusing loopholes, or turning a blind eye to error…especially in your own family.

In the Bible, there are many examples of God-pleasing leadership, but none so important as the ones Jesus gave us.

  1. He shook off the ways of worldliness and reminded those who want to be first that it is better to serve than to be served (Mark 10:44-45).
  2. He despised a tyranny of blind religious dogma, warning that God will “bring about justice for” those who “who cry to Him day and night” (Luke 18:7-8).
  3. He taught discipline, even as the greatest extension of love. In Matthew 18:6, He teaches that the punishment will be harsh for those who cause others to stumble, but He does so in order to teach them to be kind and loving.

Being a true leader isn’t easy. It often means making decisions that are unpopular or painful at the time. Jesus showed true leadership by dying for us: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

What kind of leadership do you honor? Do you lead others to Christ? Following Jesus is the only way to heaven (Matthew 16:24), and that’s leadership worth honoring!

A Mind Changing “Walk & Talk”

If you are following the news on Syria, you are probably aware that the President had a significant “change of mind” on Friday. Until Friday, President Obama seemed to be on an unchangeable path toward military conflict in Syria. Then, after a stroll on the South Lawn with his Chief of Staff, Denis McDonough, the President changed his mind. He reversed his previous statements about going into Syria without congressional backing and decided to put the decision to a vote.

No matter where your political loyalties reside, his decision may have left you scratching your head and wondering, “What did this adviser say that made the leader of the free world change, his mind? Perhaps their conversation will be made public one day. Perhaps, by the time I write this, it already has. Nevertheless, I can’t help but wonder if most of us would be willing to change our firm positions based on the counsel of a trusted adviser.

Often times, leaders are too stubborn to listen to trusted advisers. I imagine that Pilate wishes he had listened to his wife’s words of wisdom when she told him not to have anything to do with punishing Jesus  (Matthew 27:19). I imagine that Felix, Festus, and Agrippa wish that they had listened to the wise counsel that Paul gave about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come (Acts 24-26). David was wise to follow Nathan’s sound counsel about his abuse of power (2 Samuel 12:6-8).

I can’t say whether the President was right to change his mind or not. But I am interested to know, what would an adviser have to say to you to get you to correct your course? What about “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38)? Each of us has received wise counsel from the only adviser who is never wrong. Will you consider the evidence given in scripture? Won’t you be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2)? Perhaps a walk and talk with Jesus is in order. Just a thought…hopefully, a mind-changing one!