Do you have any horrible missteps in your past that you think disqualify you from being a leader? Do you know someone who you think would be a great leader – but you know they have done or said something in their past that might make someone else mad?
I don’t know if you have been following the elections, but it has been a nauseating show for me to watch. Modern politics no longer debate different philosophies for how to govern. Now they just line all the candidates up and watch them tear each other apart – until someone looks taller than everyone else but the only reason they stand taller is because they have just torn everyone else down.
So do you think that you know someone who could lead – in spite of their bad history and personal flaws?
Today, I got to thinking about the New Testament church, and I wondered “How in the heck did Peter get in charge?” After Jesus left, Peter is the unofficial spokesman of the Disciples of Jesus. He is bold and powerful with his words and deeds. With his first sermon, thousands upon thousands came to follow Jesus’ teachings.
BUT – Peter cut off a man’s ear, was notoriously prideful, denounced Christ at the crucifixion, and had even rejected the idea of Christ’s resurrection.
Yet, here he is in Acts – leading the church.
What do you think about all of this? Well – from my thinking – it seems to me that John whom scripture says Jesus loved – would have been an even greater candidate than Peter. He had followed Jesus from the beginning. He didn’t deny him at the crucifixion. He did have faith that Jesus rose from the dead. Why is it not John who leads the church – but Peter?
Honestly – I don’t know. It seems to me that Peter had more going against him for leading than anyone else did, but – at the same time – Peter was the one always willing to take Christ at His word. The guy walked on water – for crying out loud.
So I have said all this to make a simple statement: It seems that Jesus didn’t care about who was more qualified to lead – because from a historical perspective John would trump Peter. Peter was always willing to do what Jesus asked of him – when he had faith in what Jesus was telling him to do. Peter had faith in the power of God when he began to lead boldly, and I believe that this is why Peter ends up the unofficial spokesman of the church. His personality and faith caused him to step out – in spite of his history of flaws.
Do you think this applies to today’s political process?
I know. Jumping from the New Testament church to politics is kind of difficult, but this is my point. People can still lead effectively in spite of their past, but there is a catch. When Peter spoke out to lead people to Jesus, it is likely that the Jews who killed Jesus would kill anyone who followed Jesus.
So we know that when Peter spoke out for Jesus, he was ready to die for what he was claiming. He believed that greatly in it – even though he had a history of doubting it.
So his present actions and words illustrated his great repentance for his past actions and deeds. Peter knew his past actions and deeds were wrong. His present actions and words proved this point. Likewise, a person asking for the honor to lead in America can have past actions and statements that are wrong, but only those who can admit those actions and statements are wrong have their integrity when they run for office.
If you ever want to lead, don’t be afraid to fail. Just don’t be a hypocrite. In order to succeed past a failure, you have to admit what you did or said was wrong and move forward. You can’t defend a bad deed of the past and embrace its opposite in the present and future – without looking like a hypocrite.
So keep this in mind. John would trump Peter when it comes to their past flaws, but Peter could still lead in spite of his past flaws.
Don’t agree? Sound off in the comments!