In the chaotic world we live in, most of us look to our leaders to set the pace. Whether governmental, religious, familial, pop-cultural, or academic, most of us look to others to be our standard. Even if we say, “Christ is our only standard!” the evidence shows that most of us lay hopes in a human leader to be the standard. We see this clearly in Exodus 20 when the Hebrews say to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!” It’s just typical for people to want to follow other people.
Leaders and Heroes
So often we lift up our leaders as heroes, hoping they uphold the standard by which we live. Yet do we realize that these heroes live under the same human conditions we’re all subject to? Each of them bears the weight of the laws that we all live under. It’s a farce to believe that they’re higher than these standards. Each of them bear the same marks of our humanity and frailty.
With this said, do we pray for our leaders? Do we pray for our pastors? Or do we just exalt them as an example, as if they were a super-human fabrication of our mental making? Do we expect more of them than we do of ourselves? And even if we’re rooting for their victory, do we hope that they will breach the barrier that we all face? Do we hope that they will do more than we each can do? Or worse, do we judge them for not being “more than human”?
Expecting from Leaders
Why am I saying this? Because it is easy to idealize a leader and then mock, scorn, spitball, judge, and complain against them when they fail to meet our expectations. And I don’t say this as if I haven’t done it. I’ve grumbled against many decisions and directions my leaders have taken. But am I praying for my leaders? Do I expect more from them than I’m willing to pray for? It’s so easy to judge another from an objective state. But throw us personally into the fray with responsibility and upon the scales that judge us all? Yikes!
God have mercy on each of us, both the leaders and followers alike. Please bless both the voice and the listener with Your wisdom. We each are accountable to the same standard. We will all answer to the same Judge. If we’re not praying for those who lead us and those who speak into our lives, woe unto us! These leaders each carry a burden, a weight upon their souls, to bring us to God whether they’re godly or not.
I can look to a leader and judge them. I can think they’re stupid and fallible, but woe unto me if I look to a mere human to be higher than the standard of God. Our leaders are frail, just as our own humanity.
Mercy! Mercy, Son of David, please have mercy on US!
First of all, I encourage you to make petitions, prayers, intercessions, and prayers of thanks for all people, for rulers, and for everyone who has authority over us. Pray for these people so that we can have a quiet and peaceful life always lived in a godly and reverent way. This is good and pleases God our Savior. He wants all people to be saved and to learn the truth.
1 Timothy 2:1-4 GW