Weekly Thought – February 16, 2016
Fred advocated for leaders who wisely considered the impact of cultural pressure. He understood the target which is permanently painted on the backs of leaders. “Going along to get along” was never his mantra. These thoughts from Fred were written decades ago, but hit the bull’s eye today.
BWFLI is committed to hope. Hunter Baker in an essay on higher education and civility remarked: “…Christians are not free to live without hope.” Teams are ambassadors of God in Christ. And teams receive the encouragement of seeing men and women growing in Christ, preparing to lead the world.
Swimming Up Stream
The integrity of a leader often is shown in the stand he or she takes for right against mistaken, but popular, concepts. They do this not to just be different or difficult, but daring enough to be right, avoiding the temptation to join in the swim downstream by challenging the direction of the flow.
I heard writer Chaim Potok say, “A true leader is never absorbed in the stream in which he swims.” Scripture calls this being transformed rather than being conformed.
Our society is facing many positions that need challenge and clarification. For example, relativism, situational ethics, personal responsibility versus rights, acquisition and distribution of wealth, equality, political expediency, self-love as expressed in image and significance, and the power of peer pressure.
While these issues rage, values and ethics have become a hot subject – almost to the point of becoming a cultural fad. Big philanthropic dollars are pouring into think tanks to study the subject; colleges are opening up departments to investigate their impact; and writers are prolifically cranking out page after page for best seller lists.
I once spoke to a conference built around “values-based leadership.” Everything that was said was well and good, but I felt I needed to point out we need to root our human values in divine virtues or we end up being controlled by our human desires and vacillating according to our human interests.
True authenticity requires the foundation of virtue (which is scriptural!) not just manufactured in convenience and social exigency. We need values based on virtues given by God.
Just as Newton did not create gravity, but discovered it, so we cannot create true virtues, but discover them, making them the bedrock of our values. We must be careful we don’t sacrifice truth on the altar of popular acceptance. Values without virtues are barren.
This week think about: 1) What is the bedrock of my values system? 2) When am I tempted to “go along to get along?” 3) How can I be a person of hope this week?
Words of Wisdom: “Values without virtues are barren.”
Wisdom from the Word: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9 NET Bible)