As our nation is once again ravaged this year—first by COVID 19 and then by riots and unrest—leadership is lacking. Now before you get all riled up, think about it. The latest trend in political leadership is just to see who can out-smack talk the next person. Leadership plays the blame game, the label game, the investigation game. The only game in town that it doesn’t play, is the “do the right thing game.” Even President Trump carrying a Bible to church is criticized as if he has no right to carry a Bible. With all the problems we have as a nation, there is not a leader statesman—one who can cast a vision, unite the people behind it, and move it to reality. We are too divided.
It is no wonder that those who are earnestly protesting the senseless and tragic death of George Floyd are experiencing Antifa intermingled. One wants his voice to be heard about an unjust death, the guy next to him wants to burn down America because he thinks it’s a fascist nation. Both are wearing masks, one because of COVID 19 and the other from wanting to hide his face. This is just an example of how things are divided. The divisions are everywhere. It is as if there is no point of agreement in anything. It’s us against them, but that can even change based on the issue being discussed. Even when a leader tries to lead, his voice is drowned out by clanging cymbals of his opposition. No one listens. No one hears.
So where are the statesmen? Where are those who will rise above the political weaponization of words and cast a unifying vision that others can follow? It may be you. Each of us who are Christ followers, have at least part of the answer, at least part of the vision. We have the commandments of Christ that begin with love and showing love. As Christ told his disciples in John 13:34, “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” He said in Mark 12:30-31, “AND you shall love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength; this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”
If you follow these commandments, you are equipped to be a statesman. Ephesians 6 talks about putting on the full armor of God that you will be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Verse 17 says, “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” These assist you so that you may open your mouth “boldly, to make know the mystery of the gospel.” You are the ambassador of Christ here on earth. You are the statesman, not in judgment, but in love; not in anger, but in truth; not motivated by political bias, but by the Word of God, which is Christ and his teachings. Statesmen do not get tangled up in the politics of the moment, but rather speak wisdom to the need.