Picking a leader

December 11, 2019 · Print This Article

Have you decided yet? Who you want to be the next leader of our country.

Maybe like me, you think this election has been the most interesting of your lifetime. Certainly the most polarising. And maybe never has it been such a one-issue show. But I won’t mention the ‘B’ word!

So is there anything else you think about when picking a leader?

I happened to agree with one woman from Wolverhampton. Colleen Bernard is a carer for her brother, Stephen. It’s not easy; he is partially sighted, partially deaf and has autism. Colleen is one of these people who reflects the kind of values that a kind society is built on – one that looks out for the vulnerable and holds them above our own needs.

Now there’s an interesting thought.

And Colleen is already there with what she wants to see in a leader. What she thinks our next leader should do is “try and be a carer for a week”. I hear you echo the same sentiment for the particular job you’re in: ‘If only they knew what it was like’, the thought goes, ‘they would understand’.

And that’s what we want, isn’t it? An understanding leader, one who has trodden the same path we have. One who we can look square in the eyes and see something of our own experience; someone we can recognise. And more. Someone who knows what we feel, who would then make decisions in our best interests. These are the leaders we love and respect. This kind of leader we might vote for.

That’s why many at this time of year choose to think of another leader. One who looked out for the vulnerable and held their needs above his own. This month you may hear lots about the person of Jesus. Maybe this time it is worth taking a moment to think more of why people see him as a spiritual leader – the kind of leader who has walked down the same path as we.

One narrative about the story of Jesus puts it like this: “He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.”[1]

This leader did not act in distance from us but set up home with us; ate, slept and walked with us to know what it was to be one of us. And finally died on our behalf so we might have eternal life. After much careful thought and consideration many years ago, I decided to give my vote to Jesus. And following him has made all the difference.

If you want to reach out and ask me how it made a difference, I would love to hear from you.

Richard Fowler info@because.uk.com

Richard is editorial assistant at Because

[1] The Bible, Philippians 2:5-8 (The Message translation)
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