Whether it is politics, business, family, friendships or other relationships, we all have some kind of leaders that we trust and or are following. I realize that some people are Type A kind of personality, the take charge and I know what I am doing kind of people. But even they have people at different levels of life from whom they somewhat trust and will follow.
Last year we had a major political election when we voted for President and other major elected leaders of our country. While many people are satisfied with the choices of the country, many other people are very dissatisfied and are expressing their anger. So let’s take a look at a few different kinds of leadership styles through the eyes of this layman.
The man who won the election, Donald Trump, is unlike any other President that we have had. He made His way to the Oval Office not through politics, but through his business savvy and his knowledge of how to use the media. Being a real estate mogul, he took millions and turned it into billions. He has been able to come up with successful business concepts, talk other people into helping to finance them, and turn a tidy profit. Whereas we do not know his exact worth, we can see from the properties where he lives at that he has a lot of personal wealth. He is not been perfect in all of his investments, like in Atlantic City, where he and other investors lost a lot of money. Whereas he is interested in helping investors, he once dismissed being hurt by their losses because they knew what they were getting into and that they knew that they could lose money. Mr. Trump kind of sounded rather nonchalant about it.
Mr. Trump knows how to work the media. Most real estate tycoons are not widely known, but Donald Trump has been a well-known name for a few decades. He has found a way to keep his name in the media. Then he had his own television show, ‘The Apprentice’, in which his well-known line is ‘You’re Fired!’. This is not the kind and compassionate way of terminating an employee.
During last year’s Presidential Primary he again used his expertise in using the media and got a lot of free press. He is known to work in order to keep himself in the spotlight. But then, maybe this free press was because the press wanted to keep Donald Trump in the spotlight because he is a celebrity. Nonetheless, Mr. Trump found something in the immigration issue that took interest to a lot of people. The progressives probably gave him a lot of free press because they thought that it would hurt him. But Donald Trump rode that issue to help him win the Republican Primary.
Mr. Trump’s personality can be abrasive. He is not afraid to speak his mind, even though it is not politically correct. This has gotten him into quite a bit of trouble being the President because of the way he does this. This is something that arms his enemies so that they have things to say against him; this problem can also spark problems within his own political party.
Whereas he does seem to be trying to do some good, he does have a way of keeping himself in the spotlight and seems to be trying to get himself ahead.
Hillary Clinton, the Democratic rival whom he beat to become the President, came up a different way. She more rose up through a more traditional means. In college she was a major in Political Science and went on to become a successful lawyer. Because of her early activity in politics she has long been seen by someone who could become the first female President of the United States. Whereas some might say that she rode the coattails of her husband, who was governor in Arkansas and later became the 42nd U.S. President, she had always been quite active in politics and rose to become the first female partner of the Rose Law Firm. Early on in her career she was a member of the impeachment inquiry staff for the Watergate scandal. The work she helped to do culminated in President Richard Nixon resigning from office.
She has had political ambition from the beginning. Even though they lived together outside of marriage for a few years, she was hesitant to marry Mr. Clinton because she wasn’t sure if she wanted to tie his future to his. But they have had a long and successful marriage, something that Mr. Trump, who has been divorced a couple of times, has not had. Not a perfect marriage, as Mr. Clinton was found to be unfaithful to her. She blamed a “vast right-wing conspiracy” for the allegation. After the truth was proven, it is said that she was furious at her husband and questioned if she wanted to stay in the marriage. But she stayed by her man. She was accused of being an enabler and staying in the marriage to help her own political influence. Nonetheless, she did stay popular with the public. As First Lady, she kept her involvement in progressive politics. She kept trying to push her progressive political agenda on the American public. She is known for being one of the most politically active First Wives in our nation’s history. One thing was she was pushing for was a different health care system.
Mrs. Clinton carried on her Presidential ambition after her husband left the Presidential office. In her desire to become President she knew that she needed more credibility, so the next step she took was to move from Arkansas to New York where she became the U.S. Senator. She stayed in the media spotlight and this gave her greater ability to push her political agenda. Her agenda has always been different than the usual American ways.
In 2008 she ran for President, but lost the Democratic Primary to Barack Obama. But President Obama asked her to be the Secretary of State. Through this she was able to keep her political ambition alive. One thing that she did during this period that a lot of people questioned was that she did get her own server for her email, instead of using the more secure government servers, apparently putting herself above her fellow government employees.
After President Obama’s two terms, she again ran for President in 2016. This time she did win the Democratic Presidential primary, and was considered the front runner to become President during most of the general election period. But whereas she was not criminally indicted for using her own e-mail, it was probably this incident that lost her the 2016 Presidential election as one week before the election the FBI announced that they were re-opening up that case. She was selfish in wanting her own server. When she was questioned about her e-mails, thousands of them vanished, as she said they were personal. The public has no way of knowing if they were personal or if she had classified information destroyed so she wouldn’t be caught with classified information on a personal server.
When she lost the election she mostly blamed other people. Even when she did admit she made some mistakes, she was quick to point out that other people caused more publicity about them.
Let’s look at one other political figure that was part of the last Presidential elections, Bernie Sanders. Here is an avowed Socialist who knew that he couldn’t run under the Socialist Party. So he chose to deceive some and ran for President as a Democrat. He actually gave Mrs. Clinton a run for her money. He is still popular in some circles, although his age would probably prevent him for running for President again.
As a Socialist he believes that government should take care of the people. I thought that Socialists would believe in equality among people. Mr. Sanders would say that he doesn’t own any property: however his wife owns 3 homes[i]. A mere technicality as he gets to enjoy the benefits of having them. The same article by Newsweek notes that he probably cleared $1 million in earnings in 2016. So while he was complaining about the top 1 percent people, he himself was one.
His wife was the President of Burlington College, a small college in New Hampshire. She is under Federal investigation for her part in purchasing some land along the waterfront of Burlington’s Lake Champlain. This was financed with $10 million in bonds and loans. It was a small college that they were hoping to grow. But the college didn’t grow as she hoped it would and Mrs. Sanders ended having to step down in 2011 as the President of the college. In 2016 the college had to close, citing this land deal as the reason.[ii]
So for people who say they are interested in equality, they don’t seem to put their financial beliefs into personal practice. They seem to want more material wealth and live above most other people themselves. This reminds me of Communist nations, in which the leaders live well above the means of the people under them.
As the fourth example, let me give to you Jesus. True, Jesus is not a modern political figure, so He doesn’t exactly fit the mold of the people whom I mentioned. We don’t see him ever getting involved in politics in the Bible. He never wrote a book. He didn’t write one word of the Bible, as everything attributed to Him is quoted. We don’t know of anything that He wrote Himself. But He had a strong following while He was alive, with 12 disciples and an uncounted number who followed Him. Then after His death a greater movement to follow Him was started, which is now called the Church. This movement has been around for about 2,000 years with many people around the world following Him. Most do it through their church, but Jesus is the one we are to be following, not the Pastor or the church.
Let’s look at Jesus Himself. Jesus was co-creator of all of creation, yet He left His glory with God the Father to be born an innocent, helpless baby who had to have his diapers changed like all others. While He was on the earth, Jesus gave his life as a sacrifice to benefit other people, not Himself. Jesus didn’t enjoy any riches while He was on the earth; He once told someone who wanted to follow Him “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Mt. 8:20). Jesus didn’t have a business or enter into politics. He spent His life as an itinerant preacher; He didn’t even have a home church that He led, but He spent His life traveling throughout Israel. This was a time when people either walked or rode burros, so His traveling was not in first class accommodations. Jesus didn’t take care of the money Himself, instead He entrusted the income to someone who later betrayed Him. Jesus gave the most productive years of His life to preaching, healing, and helping those around Him. He was focused on serving the people around Him. Jesus often referred to Himself as the Son of Man. Once He said “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” He showed in many ways while He lived on the earth that His purpose in life was to serve, not to be living a life of ease and comfort.
Jesus was patient with His disciples, dealing kindly with them even when they were unwise. Jesus never got angry even when people were trying to kill Him; the only incidence of His anger was because people were using the Temple of God to sell and trade to take advantage of other people who were just coming to make their offerings unto the Lord, (in those days offerings were an animal sacrifice).
And what was His reward for all this giving Himself to help other people? The Jewish people turned against Jesus and had Him crucified, which was the cruelest means of death in those days. Nowadays not too many people actually die on death row because the way they are killed is considered inhumane. Not so with Jesus, the Romans killed him in a slow and agonizing way. Yet while He was hanging on that cross he said “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Lu 23:34. He was pleading for God’s mercy for those who were killing Him.
You see, Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He said “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me — just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:11-15. But He didn’t just say this, He lived it out. He protected those in His care; He laid down His life for them, not demanding anything in return. Not only did He take do this for those He was with at that time, but His death pays the sin for everyone who trusts in Him. Jesus knew that the only way our sins can be forgiven is for Him to die on that cross, so He did it. He made the ultimate sacrifice, enduring the pain and agony of the cross. All we have to do is accept Him into our lives, confess Him as our Lord and Savior and turn away from our sins.
So when I look at our modern leaders and compare them to Jesus, I know who I am going to follow. The three modern leaders I mentioned are doing good things for the government as they see fit, but under it all they seem to be doing things to benefit themselves. I am going to follow Jesus. I am going to follow then One whom I know loves me and lived consistently what He believed. For He did not come to do His own will, but to follow the will of God the Father. He proved that He loved me and was willing to put my needs first.
This is not a call to disobey our leaders of government, because like them or not, God has given them that authority. As long as they do not call us to disobey the laws of God we are to obey them.
But whom I am living my life for is the Lord Jesus Christ. He set the pattern of unselfishness, love and kindness. I hope that you will follow Him also.
Wikipedia is a source for much information.