Britain will soon go to the polls choosing which political party holds power in Parliament. The choice made will determine the future of the country. By this time next year, America, too, decides what man and party take the lead.
I’ve not known a time in history when leaders have been under such a viperous attack or seen such evil discontent from opposing parties. There seems to be so much at stake in both countries—the leaders of the Western World.
As I was reading 1 Peter, I found a list of vital qualities for elders—leaders. Let’s take a look, but as we do, let’s not think only of the politicians, but of ourselves as we hold leadership positions as well. Whether we have the title of leader in our job or are leading our homes, these qualities still apply. And, I’d even say, if we strived to adopt them into our everyday lives, the world would be a better place!
The first quality listed in 1 Peter 5:2 is feeding others. Mature leaders look to the needs of those around them by creating opportunities and provisions for the company, workers, and families under their responsibility. John Maxwell said, “To add value to others, one must first value others.” Putting the needs of others first is a real sign of leadership.
Mature leaders lead willingly. They do not begrudge what leadership demands because they know leadership calls for personal sacrifice. The man who leads his home sacrifices his pleasures for the benefit of his family. The mother does the same. The leader in the factory sacrifices his time to make sure the plant runs properly, taking great pride in his work and willingly giving the extra time needed.
Mature leaders have pure motives. They are upright, honest, and trustworthy. Considering leadership as their ministry or calling, they avoid all that would be regarded as bribes or temptations to cut corners. They know the world (and their small family) is watching, and they strive to maintain integrity. They aren’t in it for the money, but for the people.
Mature leaders set the standard; they are the example people are watching. With this understanding, they lead with a servant‘s heart facing hard decisions with a view of what will be best for the greater good. They know the time restraints of leadership and seek to leave a good testimony.
1 Peter doesn’t finish without a promise for such leaders. “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” Mature leaders will have a good reward.
Now, all that said, as we go to the polls, let’s look out men of character, men who have the country in their hearts—men who have a measure of moral fiber. And before we stoop to condemning these politicians who are putting their lives in the public arena, let’s look at our own.
Are we feeding and caring for those in our family and sphere of influence in a mature manner? Are we serving willingly without withholding or begrudging our service? Are our motives pure, or do we serve looking for reward, praise, or power? Do we live a mature servant example before our families and workmates, or are we dictators, control-freaks, or cry-babies?
We reap what we sow, so let’s be examples of maturity and teach such to the next generation.