God’s view from the top

Simon Chen  

Australia seems to be having a leadership crisis. Or at least an outsider might think that. We go through leaders more quickly than catty contestants on the Bachelor. Take for instance, our national broadcaster. In almost a week, the ABC lost both chairman of the board and the managing director. Reasons include interference, bias, leadership style, communication issues, and not having a grip on how the media works. Prime Ministers here don’t do so well either.

We suppose this is just how these things work in a free economy. One has to be competent in their job or else it will be taken by someone more competent than you. Darwinian survival of the fittest and all that. In this country if one wants to get to the top (and stay there) one just has to perform well.

God however has an unnerving habit of not playing by the rules. When picking a leader for Israel, we are told that God didn’t really care for physical ability. God tells the prophet Samuel not to look for things like height or appearances. “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7).

We suppose this might not work so well in our world. Can you imagine what it would be like if we suddenly did an audit, not on competence, but on Godly-heartiness? We may not be left with many left by the end of the day!

It is great to want to be a leader but if one wants to be a leader approved by God, one should be working on character. God is less interested in how good you are at doing something than the motivation and attitude you have when doing it.

For followers of Jesus, thankfully we have the Holy Spirit who helps us grow in ways that please God. The fruit of the spirit, we are told, are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. We don’t really see these qualities much on CVs these days, but it is what will change the world.


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