Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9, NIV)
Today I heard one young Christian leader query as to how many people actually come to know their Savior by way of debating politics. With election season upon us, opinions are flying from all directions. There are those who believe that there is no place for churches or faith-based organizations in the public square or political arena. But we have a nation in distress, and people are sadly more often passionate about their politics than their faith. Those who are politically outspoken often lose sight of the big picture, thinking our only hope lays in a particular candidate or party. We know that, as believers, we have a hope greater than anything that takes place in this world. Yet, as the quote attributed to Edmund Burke states, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” The church is commanded to preach the gospel to all nations, calling all to repentance and lives that are set apart from typical human behavior. What is a leader to do?
I also saw another Christian leader share an article today on a young man with autism who is being denied a much-needed heart transplant. The inhumanity of it had me aghast and heartbroken imagining if the same had happened to my own son. I was equally disturbed by my own research for the day, coming across an article about an 11 year old Christian girl with Down Syndrome in Pakistan who has been beaten and arrested because it is believed that she burned pages containing Islamic religious text. If I focused on these types of stories, which painfully march across my desk every day, stories of abuse, abandonment, injustice and utter human depravity, I would have no hope. What is a leader to do?
We live in a time of extreme cultural incongruity. You get a far more severe punishment for abusing an animal than for killing a child. People proclaim, “What I do in my bedroom is none of your business,” but are then featured in a news release where they are announced as the first “pansexual” lawmaker. True, our political debates, already at ugly heights prior to the November election, win no one to Christ. And at the same time, our culture slides towards total destruction lest we decry the unjust, depraved things we witness going on around us.
It begs the question, what does God expect of us as leaders? There is a fine line we walk, respecting the rules agreed to when obtaining 501(c)(3) non-profit status. And yet, Christ calls us to be salt and light. In a self-destructive world, God knows that the price of complacency is too great for believers to remain silent.
My hope is to encourage each leader who reads this today to continue on in obedience to our Savior and Ultimate Boss, Jesus. The Lord calls us leaders to stand solid for what is right, no matter what the cost. We are His image-bearers to a hurting, messed-up world. And that world needs to see the difference in us as leaders. Even in a practical business sense, acclaimed business author, Patricik Lencioni recently taught at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, “A core value is something you’re willing to get punished for.” Lencioni further went on to announce that successful businesses and leaders remain unwilling to compromise those core values that define them. Rest assured that as successful Christian leaders, we make a difference in our world by recognizing sin, calling it out and encouraging others to turn from it. That difference also includes love, compassion, forgiveness and the fresh start that our God alone offers. And as we drive our stake in the ground, we can draw our own strength from these key reminders in God’s word:
- “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.” ~ John 3:20, NIV
- “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?” ~ 2 Corinthians 6:14, NLT
- “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” ~ John 15:18-19, NIV
Stand strong, my fellow leader. Don’t yield to complacency. And you will remain a strong beacon for Christ in a dark world.