This is a decision-making week. Across the country, elections are taking place to appoint local councillors, and if the pollsters are right this is going to be a bad week for the Tory party. It could even lead to a vote of no confidence in their leader. It hasn’t helped the Tories that they’ve recently lost two MPs for sex-related activity, which won’t go down well with voters who are always quick to judge. Perhaps at the end of the day voters may be more concerned about local issues than national ones, which could ease the Tory party’s problems and probably favour independent candidates.

Selecting councillors is one thing but choosing a national leader is another matter entirely. Whoever is chosen as leader, they have significant power and influence, not just in their own country, but sometimes across the world. We don’t have to think too hard to identify leaders like Hitler who took the world into its last world war. Today, there are politicians like Duterte in the Philippines, Jinping in China, al-Assad in Syria, Lukashenku in Belarus, and of course, Putin in Russia. Each of them has shown a complete disregard for commonly accepted standards of morality and has acted ruthlessly to retain their power. The dignity of human life seems to mean nothing to them.

What qualities should we expect in a leader? We all have different opinions. Some are willing to ignore a person’s moral fibre but I believe it’s very important. When choosing church overseers the Bible says, “Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)” (1) That sounds like the type of person you’d want to lead a country, someone with real integrity who you can trust, who doesn’t lie or deceive or devalue human life.

My leader is Jesus and I trust him implicitly. He’s very wise. Even as a boy it was said of him that he “grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” (2) He prioritised the needs of others before his own. After his cousin, John the Baptist was killed he took himself off to a solitary place to spend time alone, but crowds followed him and their needs came first. He healed their sick, taught them and fed them, 5000 men plus women and children. He never had his time to grieve. He was firm and stood up for what was right. When he turned up in Jerusalem and went to the temple, he saw money changers and people selling animals for sacrifice. The temple was not the place for this kind of activity and an angry Jesus took no time in removing them. He said, “It is written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’” (3) When he heard that the Jewish king Herod wanted to kill him he showed no fear. Instead, he said, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’” (4)

However, there is a greater reason than this that made me choose Jesus to be my leader. The Bible says, “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (5) Sometimes we see great acts of sacrifice. Some people have left this country to fight with Ukrainians against Russia, knowing they may die but that’s a sacrifice they will make for what they believe is a just cause and good people. They wouldn’t do it for people who hated them, but that’s what Jesus did. While we were sinners, his enemies, he died for us. The only way we could avoid being punished by God for our sins was if someone else died for them instead. That’s what Jesus did. He died in my place, he died for me, and he died for you. I now acknowledge him as my leader, my Saviour and my Lord. I follow him. Why don’t you? Give him your vote. It will be the only time you can guarantee that your vote hasn’t been wasted.

 

Bible References:

  • 1 Timothy 2:2-5
  • Luke 2:52
  • Matthew 21:13
  • Luke 13:32
  • Romans 5:7,8