A Call for Wisdom in Washington

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)

Notes

1 Genesis 1:27
2 James 3:17
3 Micah 6:8
4 2 Chronicles 1:10

Mel Lawrenz

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17 thoughts on “A Call for Wisdom in Washington”

  1. Finally a voice of reason.
    So many politicians – even those with whom I agree on many policy matters – no longer have constructive discussions about differing perspectives. Instead, most seem to have resorted to name-calling, character assassination, and denigration. The goal seems to be gaining a bigger bully pulpit than the next guy & inciting further name-calling from constituents. I’ve heard many of these diatribes delivered in conjunction with the name of the Lord God, which disturbs me greatly. Many of us were taught a simple test in childhood, before we spoke about someone else: is it TRUE? is it KIND? is it NECESSARY? If these can’t ALL be answered in the affirmative, then the words should remain unspoken. Are we too far gone?

    1. So very true. All of our politicians need a copy of this on the wall of their office. It should be mandatory for them to read each day.

    2. Dr Mel

      I have never seen a time of such division

      Many in power say to conquer

      One must divide

      Jesus said love your enemy

      Only love will keep the peace

      I am the enemy blame me

      That is what he did for you

      To follow him you must be willing to

      A Christian is called to love the other

      We must love one another the only gospel I know

      Your article is thought provoking

      Nine

  2. Thank you, Mel Lawrence, for putting on paper my heart’s cry for our nation dedicated to God by the Pilgrims. He and His Word can truly help and heal our country. Send forth Your Spirit and renew the face of the Earth, Lord God of Hosts~!

  3. This will not cut it with our lazy do-nothing Congress. There needs to be a ground swell of indignation and force from the citizens of this country, indeed, a march to Capitol Hill. If there could be a citizen sit-in that would tie up all of Washington for days if need be, perhaps they’d get our attention. If not, blood is going to run in our streets because we find ourselves in a classic catch-22 mess, damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    The march in Selma worked many years ago. We need something similar in Washington.

  4. Eloquently and truthfully said. I will forward to my congressman and senators (I’m not in WI). I can only hope their associates who read their mail will forward on to them. Otherwise we are just preaching to the choir.

    1. John: I was thinking the same thing. Anarchy may be the only way to convince our politicians who are in the back pockets of big companies that we, the voters voted them into office, and they work for we the people not their special interest groups.

  5. The request is acceptable and has great wisdom and advice. Indeed, it reveals that we are a nation under God…the one true God. Therein lies the problem. We no longer respect that element and to compromise and be politically correct takes precedence.

    We the people, might keep in mind the very things we expect our leaders to do should be our calling, too. Unless you are plugged into an organization that promotes prayer and fasting, little is done on the home front. One can’t even get the local church to acknowledge prayer for our personal misguided conduct. I still hold to coming before the Lord with a humble heart based on
    2 Chronicles 7:14. THEN I am in a position to ask my government to do likewise.

  6. Cleveland Feemster

    If only this prayer could be put on the hearts of our national leaders (those currently elected and those seeking election) and their hearts turned to performing the duty they swore to God to perform. With one or two exceptions, they all claim to be Believers in God. What has happened to their moral courage and integrity. It is unfortunate that staying in office is more important and compelling than standing for principals and morality and the people. But that’s what happens when we have career politicians. They have lost sight of the people who put them in office and now only look to the office. I have never heard so many excuses for inaction, injustice, intolerance and just plain obstructionism from any other organized body. We (the PEOPLE) are insane. We keep sending the same people to congress, election after election, and expecting to see change. I’m no baker, but I know that I’ll never get a white cake with chocolate mix. No matter how many times I mix it and wish it to happen. If we expect change, we must change. Elect true Persons of God, not follow some party affiliation. I’m printing this prayer and putting it where when I come into my prayer closet, I will see it and be reminded to pray for our leaders just like my family, friends and the Household of Faith.

  7. There is such wisdom & “common sense” in what you’ve written. When you’re a true believer, these truths are absolute & makes perfect sense. We need strong, transparent leadership in Canada & the US & praying for our leaders at all levels of government has never been more imperative for the Body of Christ if we expect to see positive change. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  8. We need a modern day Jonah for the Nineveh of the present times !
    Read the Book of Jonah, only 4 short chapters but very interesting and informative.
    Leo Paul

  9. Mike Sellenheim

    Great article Mel. This needs to be read by every congressman and senator in office today. They need wisdom, but their pride and selfish desires are preventing the Lord’s wisdom to penetrate their minds! God Bless -Mike.

  10. Very well written! I hope I may have your permission to send copies to my legislators. It has been my deep concern that voters no longer seek true men and women of God for these positions, but it is of such who are the ones who will choose to be led by the Spirit of God.

  11. The dissertation on what we request from our leaders in government was well stated, however, it would have to be received by those leaders who know and accept the authority of the God we worship. One cannot adhere to the rules as stated unless you believe that there only one true God.

    Secondly, the request of our leaders to be upright, honest and God fearing is also in line. However, how can we expect our leaders to be upright citizens if we ourselves don’t first make sure that we are living a lifestyle that is equally in order.

    Unless you belong to an organization that promotes prayer which includes time for self examination; or time of confession, there is little call for common man to even address that maybe the cry to our government leaders should be the very cry to ourselves. One readers comment said that the request should be hanging in each office in government. How about a copy posted to the bathroom mirror in every believer’s home! AND next to that, 2 Chron. 7:14.

    I can’t recall the last time my church spend time in such prayer time and my requests as to why that is true have yet to have an answer.

  12. Julius A. Oluwagbeyi

    Great memo to elected political lead. It sounded the most appropriate missive to all Nigerian politicians particularly the leadership of the National Assembly.

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