These are Alice in Wonderland kind of days. Our culture, communities, and even government have gone down the rabbit hole. The result: a distort reality that disorients us. Getting out of the rabbit hole by ourselves is almost impossible. This is another reason why leadership matters.
It is my belief that God is wanting to raise up a new generation of leaders equipped to meet the challenges created by the rabbit hole adventures of our world. This breed of leader will require more than just on-the-job training; this leader will need the steadiness and clarity that comes from having been fathered in a trusted relationship. The accountability required in those fathering relationship will immunize them for the hypocrisy that is tearing our world apart and empower them to pull our rabbit out of the hat (or us out of the hole we have gotten ourselves in).
Leaders who have been successful sons & daughters have been connected to other leaders with proven character and integrity. `They can smell hypocrisy a mile away and will not lend their voices to it for any price. They have been taught to do the hard work of processing the layers of an event or issue so they do not risk cheapening their own voice with reactionary rhetoric or hypocritical inconsistencies. They have learned to value and protect the influence of their own voice.
The religious and governmental leaders of Jesus’ day held positions without having real influence because they had traded their integrity for hypocrisy. This self-serving transaction openly displayed their intellectual dishonesty and made them untrustworthy voices in their day. They forfeited the ability to to shape the culture around them because they effectively lost their voice.
Jesus was not a hypocrite. He stayed true to righteousness on every issue. He taught as one who had authority because He did not manipulate the truth to suit His own agenda. He affirmed Peter when he spoke truth and corrected him when he spoke out of the wrong spirit (Matthew 16).
Hypocrites may have volume but they no voice. They cry “wolf” in a circumstance that meets their criteria while ignoring the same “wolf” in another circumstance because it does not fit the narrative they are emotionally connected to and trying to champion. The moral authority necessary to lead is lost when their morals are demonstrably fickle, easily set aside when the “ends justify their means”.
To be clear in what I am trying to say, let me illustrate. When someone tries to condemn racism but uses racism in their condemnation, the volume of their speech becomes irrelevant since they forfeit any influence outside of those who already agree with them. When someone condemns a one-day protest at the US Capital because a small percentage violently breached the Capital building BUT did not condemn the seven months of BLM protests that often got hijacked by a small violent fringe, they become hypocrites and lose their voice. Equally, if someone is distraught over the perceived injustice of voter fraud that might have swung an election but cannot understand the emotionally charged protest over the real and perceived injustice of racism, they too have become hypocrites and have lost their voice.
Honesty is having integrity toward the truth. Honesty is the currency and collateral that we need in our leaders today so that we can trust their voices and follow them out of the rabbit hole. Leaders who are courageous enough to call a “spade” a “spade” regardless of whose side it shows up on can speak into our culture and lead us back to the safety of a reality where right is still right and wrong is still wrong.
God, raise up a new generation of leaders who love the truth more than themselves.
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