Mel Lawrenz, 2012
To our leaders in government:
We will perish in foolishness if we do not grow in wisdom.
We elected you to office to do near-impossible tasks: to defend us in an unsafe world, to structure the basic services of an ordered society, to protect those who are vulnerable. We ask you to govern, but with our consent. We plead with you to address major social and economic problems, but we know that our culture often works against solutions.
In short, we ask you to do those things that do not come naturally to human beings. But we need you to try.
We all must grow past the foolishness of naivety, irresponsibility, and cynicism. And we need leaders who will lead the way. We call on you to seek a higher wisdom in your leadership.
You have power, but the corruptions of pride and arrogance will ruin your integrity.
You have authority, but you need to develop moral authority to have an enduring and honorable influence.
You have responsibility to speak truth, but there are powerful forces compelling you to spin, obfuscate, and lie.
We need you to be intelligent and learned, but with wisdom. We need strong leadership that comes not from force of personality and will, but from the strength of truth. We do not need you to dictate what we should do, we need streams of wisdom so that we will all understand what we may do and should choose to do.
Above all we need respect. We need you to respect all people in every part of the world regardless of their station in life because the dignity of human beings bestowed by God the Creator is the foundation of a civilized society. (1)
The “unalienable rights” of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness need to be balanced with the responsibilities of justice, equity, and generosity.
We need you to come up with good ideas that are based on great ideals. We, the public, understand that disagreement, debate, and tension are all part of the process of governing. But we implore you to find consensus for the vexing problems of our times.
We have elected you to do near-impossible tasks. That is why you need “the wisdom from above” which is “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” (2) If your work is infused with that quality of wisdom, there is no telling how much you might accomplish.
Carry out your tasks by modeling what is required of all people: “to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.” (3)
Winning is not enough. Dominance is empty. Common sense is not at all common. We pray that you will have the the courage and selflessness of Solomon who said to God on the day he became a leader: “give me wisdom… to govern this great people.” (4)
1 Genesis 1:27
2 James 3:17
3 Micah 6:8
4 2 Chronicles 1:10
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