By Ron Wood / guest columnist
The Meridian Star
The Bible says when good leaders reign, the people are blessed. To be blessed in the Bible means to have peace, wellness and prosperity. The Bible also says that by righteousness “a throne is established.” Righteousness means justice: the fair and impartial exercise of power by leaders. Think of Abraham Lincoln or of King David.
Imagine that you lived in Syria right now. Their leader is named Assad. I remember when his father murdered 10,000 people for resisting his rule. He gassed them to death – all the men, women, and children in a whole village, all fellow Muslims. In those days, there were no video phones to broadcast the pictures of this atrocity to the world. So the son is now ruling from a throne not established in righteousness but by brutality. Little wonder that the oppressed of his nation now rise up in armed revolt.
In America, we can overthrow our own government every four years by voting. Having lived overseas, I wanted to kiss the soil when I returned home. With all our troubles, there is still no nation on earth like the USA. Thank God for our founding fathers who gave us our Constitutional government. Abraham Lincoln reminded us at Gettysburg on Nov. 18, 1863, that it is “…of the people, by the people, and for the people…”
Good leaders are essential. Since we elect our leaders in America, we get what we deserve. Elect a bad person and he’ll use his power to serve himself or cause corruption. Elect a good person and he’ll use his or her office for the people’s welfare.
Meridian has some good leaders, folks who are motivated to do right. Without being political and without analyzing particular issues, let me just say that I appreciate two of our leaders whom I know: Police Chief James Reed and Mayor Cheri Barry.
I saw the Mayor show up and pray in the street with some Meridian pastors who were interceding at the site where a youth was shot. I saw the chief of police offer to get an elderly woman a soft drink, seeing she had been waiting outside for a long time. These were sincere acts of concern. (It will embarrass them that I tell this.) My point is this: good people will do good things even when they think no one is watching.
I am a conservative. I value the truth above all else. President Nixon was a liar and a schemer … and a Republican. The truth is not political — it is of a higher order. Gov. Lawton Childs (D-Fla.) was a friend of mine, notable for being incorruptible. He handled the people’s business in the U.S. Senate and as Florida’s governor with integrity.
Whether Democrat, Republican or Independent, we should appreciate leaders whose moral character is upright, regardless of their politics. We can differ on particulars, but we’re way ahead as a people if the person in leadership has integrity and a good heart.
Now that the U.S. election is over, we have a duty to “pray for those in authority…” Ask the Lord to keep our leaders safe, to give them wisdom, and to keep them free of deception or corruption. Good leaders are a gift from the Lord. They often serve with little thanks in very difficult situations. I wouldn’t want their job, would you?
Ron Wood is pastor of Trinity Assembly of God, located on Chandler Rd at State Blvd in Meridian. Website: www.trinitymeridian.com. Phone: (601) 483-8189.