That seems to be the overwhelming sentiment of the day, and rightfully so. Our Nation is at risk. We are concerned, justifiably, about North Korea, Russia, Iran, ISIS, and many other external threats that are amplified hourly by the national media. In addition, we face the internal threats of domestic terrorists, divisive people trying to divide our nation, and sometimes shocking lack of respect for our nation’s first responders.
But none of that is what worries me most right now. What worries me most is the way our nation’s leaders are behaving in the face of all of these threats.
Every day we see examples of our nation’s leaders acting less than humble, and as a longtime leader myself, that is what worries me. I know from experience—bolstered by the great lessons of history, and of my faith—that great leaders, strong leaders, leaders who actually accomplish positive things in the face of challenges, are those who stay focused on being servant leaders, every day. That means they act according to one simple rule: “It is not about us; it is about the people that we are privileged to serve.”
Throughout my time in the military I was taught to ask three questions: Are we doing the right thing, are we doing things right (those are two very different questions), and what are we missing? Nowhere in the calculus for decision-making should we focus on what is best for us.
In other words: Our leaders need to put their egos aside and focus on doing the right things for our nation.
We need leaders to lead our nation through difficult times. Unfortunately, when our leaders worry about themselves and their reputations more than what our nation is dealing with we become even more at risk. Petty arguments and disagreements, personality conflicts, etc., become unnecessary distractions from the tasks at hand. And with so much going on, none of our leaders, at any level, should allow themselves to get wrapped up in silly squabbles. There’s an old saying that comes to mind lately: “When you wrestle with pigs two things happen: the pig enjoys it and you get dirty.”
Now is not the time for our leaders to get dirty. It’s time for all of us to demand humility from those in authority.
God’s word in the Bible talks to us about the importance of being humble. In fact, there are 33 passages in the Bible that talk directly to that issue. Two should be considered every day:
Proverbs 11:2 — when pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom
Proverbs 16:18 — Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
God embraces the humble. He supports those who, every day, try to do the right thing. And right now, with so much uncertainty in the world, we ought to be certain about one thing: that our leaders are acting in a way that God would support.
I often tell folks that I like both kinds of music: country and western. Tim McGraw captured the essence of humility it well in his hit song “Humble and Kind.” I enjoy the lyrics of that song, especially towards the end where Tim tells us to ensure that “when we get to where we are going we turn around and help the next person in line.”
It might do a few our nation’s leaders some good to go listen to those lyrics, right now.
The American people are worried. It’s time for our nation’s leaders to rise above the day-to-day, to put egos aside and quit worrying about what is best for them. Do the right things, for the right reasons.
Then, maybe rest of us won’t have to worry so much.