excerpted from Time To Lead: Steps To Transformation For Those and Those You Lead
Leaders are able to reroute their path to meet core vision and objective.
II Kings 18: 5: He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.
“Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” St. Francis of Assisi
Trust In God: Our speaking platforms and writings resound with lessons on leadership and change based on the lives and teachings of Genghis Khan, Rollo May, Marcus Aurelius, William James, Winston Churchill, Confucius, Sun Tzu, humanism, capitalism, IBM, Jack Welch, Lee Iacocca, and the Marriott’s. Here is a man, who in his youth established a testimony of trust in God greater than David, Solomon, and all the other recorded world rulers of the day. Here is a man, who with little resource, pulled off the greatest upset against the giant of his day. His strongest resource was trust of God.
Common Creation: Hezekiah is a man like us. Young, ambitious, and filled with a life of bad examples, he chose to set a different path. In his later years, when he waned in trust in God and began to lean on himself and his strengths, he revived himself to former levels. Through a commitment to God, greatness oozed from him beyond what he had experienced early in ruling. Again, he saw great action of God on his behalf.
Greatness Enjoined Willingly By Others: In his hard twenty-nine years of leading, he worked with God to change his world. He worked with God to change himself. He worked with God to upset the status quo culture that had become ingrained in everyday living. What we attempt to do through hard legalistic mandates, he saw accomplished through leadership first in example and second in commanding action that so impressed others they left their commonness and joined him in greatness.
Cultural Imperatives: Our nation of the United States is under testing. Other nations have similar challenges. There is nothing new about the tests before us. Trials come in waves over the centuries. Equality is always questioned by some group and requires a constant adjustment as a nation of ever new citizens grows. Racial barriers rise in differing manners, but they will never totally subside. Poverty will always be with us and require constant adjustment and compassion to address. Distribution of wealth through taxation and business legal edicts will never be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. Governance issues of when and how much to restrict use of common resources and contain greed through legislative restraint remain. Freedoms of speech, religion, and self-assertion need protecting.
How we act today as states and nations leaves the next generation a different set of symptoms of problems than ours. The issues are the same at the core. Leadership cannot rest once an issue is significantly addressed. Leadership is required for continuance of peace and community stability and economic prosperity. Hezekiah had been left with pain and bad example. He left a better line to follow.
Overcoming Bad Example: One of the strongest impacts in the last century in the United States came from Ronald Reagan. Through political and personal activity in California and as President of the United States, Reagan influenced the way people think and relate. His examples as a child were contradictory.
Reagan’s mother influenced him through personal example and involvement in the Disciples of Christ. Reagan’s father influenced him through continual failure in business and alcoholism. The unstable and irresponsible example could have been Reagan’s choice. It was not. He chose a higher road.
During times of change economically and in global duress, Reagan provided a leadership on which the nation depended. Dependability and responsibility in his life and example impacted those who agreed with him and those that did not.
Many leaders have bad example in their early life. It serves as an incentive and passion to live a different way. Every action we take is not always right. However, actions that bring hope and healing for others out of our own pain can make a big difference. Many of our leaders of all political parties and cultural heritage have acted out of their history and commonality with struggles to influence our nation.
Respond with Action: Take time to remember a good example left you from the last generation. Too often we focus on the bad and miss the good. There is blessing you can carry forward stronger than the last generation.
Pray with Faith: Father, pull from our heritage goodness. Yes, You placed goodness in our heritage from which we can grow. There is a path in our past meant to be stronger. Help us to sort through the bad and find the good. Help us to pass forward a world stronger and better than the one we inherited.
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