BY REV. TIM NAPPE - REACHING THE UNREACHED — WEST AFRICA MISSIONS
I am going to try to avoid any hint of partisanship or political bias. My hope and intent is that this article would be a balanced, equal opportunity critique of politicians in general, regardless of party affiliation.
We had the recent opportunity to witness the first set of Democratic debates with over 20 participants. By the end of the month, there will be another round of debates. The number of participants is still up for grabs. Who knows when or how many participants there will be on the debate stage for the Republican side?
One of the things that has always rubbed me the wrong way about the prospective candidates, regardless of party, has been the degree of confidence they have as they announce their intentions for addressing the issues that face our country. It doesn’t seem to matter what the topic might be. Each of the nominee wannabes has the answer for the ills of society.
As far as they are each concerned, race relations, health care, education, economics, international relations, immigration, global warming, pollution, addiction, and a plethora of other issues, could all be solved if they could be elected to office. They are each supremely confident that they would be able to confront, address, and solve the problem, if not in the first term, then certainly in the second term of their presidency.
It is amazing to me that at this stage of the election process, they each have all the answers; and their answers are far superior to any of the other prospective candidates.
I know that it is all part of the process. The candidate needs to be able to exude confidence and self-assurance. They need to be able to convince the voters that they have the expertise and ability to deal with whatever issue might be on the table in front of them. And in those rare moments that they might be willing to admit that they are lacking in knowledge or expertise, they assure the voters that they will surround themselves with the experts, advisors, and consultants that will provide the necessary input to fill in any possible gaps.
Maybe I am the only one, but I would certainly be impressed by a candidate with a healthy measure of humility. I would like to hear someone who was willing to admit that they do not have all the answers and recognize that some of the problems that we face in the world do not have a quick fix or an easy solution.
I know it probably would not fly, but it would be refreshing to hear a candidate admit that they do not have the intellect, ability, or expertise to face the problems of the country, society, or the world.
We already know it. And we are just going along with the charade when we throw our support behind one candidate and cast our vote. We already know that they cannot live up to the promises that they have made. They are going to have to work with members of the other party, reach compromises, and modify their positions. We already know that the problems we face are not going to be quickly or easily solved, no matter who might win the election.
It would just be refreshing to hear someone honestly acknowledge their limitations rather than trying to point out their inflated abilities.
Let me give you an example from 2 Chronicles 20. The politician in office happens to be Jehoshaphat, the King of Judah. He is not in the midst of a campaign, and he is not worried about reelection. But he does have to lead his people in a moment of crisis.
There is pressing problem. The combined armies of the Moabites, the Ammonites, and the Meunites are advancing with the intention of making war with Judah. The aggressors have a formidable army and plenty of resources. They are a significant threat and the outcome is uncertain. There would certainly be great loss of life and substantial material costs to the war.
Jehoshaphat called a fast and gathered his people together in the temple. He rose to address the crowd. He directed the attention of the people to God and urged them to pray. Then in verse 12, the king had this surprising admission, "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you."
That is the humility that I am talking about. It is a willingness to admit that we do not have all the answers. The problems may not even have a human solution. The answer might lie in a supernatural intervention!
And Jehoshaphat was willing to concede to the power, authority, and will of God for the future of the nation. Later in the chapter, God did intervene on behalf of the people and the faith of the people was strengthened by the demonstration of God's hand.
I would be much more impressed by a leader to was willing to express their faith in God rather than their own ability. That would be a surprising admission!