Every person will face internal struggles. It is here that the battle is won or lost. Ultimately, we either succumb to Satan’s temptation or we overcome and win victory for Jesus.
If you lose, the terrible acts which follow are only symptoms of the problem.
Civic leaders have very unique challenges. Challenges in leadership, politicking, management, stewardship, and more.
And the battle rages on for governmental leaders, as well.
Let’s spend some time looking at the internal, spiritual battles which a civic leader will be sure to face. The point is that if we can identify them now, it can prepare us to overcome.
If we can win those battles, our cities, states, nations, will be better taken care of.
You vs. Greed
A politician has power. With power in government comes the ability to move resources around.
The battle of greed begins when you notice an opportunity to take more money than you need from taxpayers, either for personal gain or even for your own department.
If you lose this battle, your stewardship of the people’s money, which God has put in your hands and should be used to serve the community, will be wasted.
You vs. Corruption
There are all sorts of corruption which tempt the hearts of civic leaders. You’ll feel a pull toward the misuse of your influence and power in order to take something which is not yours. Here are some examples:
- Embezzling to lavish your own lifestyle
- Being paid to turn a blind eye to someone breaking the law
- Allowing people to stay in their position despite your knowledge of their serious misdeeds
You vs. Arrogance
There’s nothing more socially intoxicating than winning a popular vote. You literally won a contest where more people said they like you more than anyone else.
And if you let it, it will set pride into your heart.
You’ll stop listening to sound advice. You’ll create unnecessary conflict and enrage others. You will belittle people.
And you will forget who it is you serve – the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, much higher than our own petty throne in city/state/federal government.
You vs. Manipulating
Everyone knows the derogatory stereotype that all politicians are two-faced. And you will definitely be tempted to tell certain people what they want to hear so that you can gain something, even if you don’t believe in it in the first place.
But don’t do it. Don’t be a yes-man. Be honest, transparent, authentic.
Don’t be a jerk, but stand on your beliefs.
You vs. Discouragement
There are serious trials in any form of leadership. Especially so in civic leadership. And it can make you lose sight of hope.
You’ll face mobs of people who turn their back on you. Sooner or later, you’ll make a bad decision and have to face the consequences. It will feel like you’re hitting your head against a brick wall when your progressing much more slowly than you had thought. Maybe it’s just the amount of difficult work you face.
Disillusionment is a way of life, and you’ll be tempted to give up.Disillusionment is a way of life, and you'll be tempted to give up. #perseverace Click To Tweet
You vs. Cynicism
The citizens used to be proud and honorable. Now they’re whiny and they keep you from doing your job efficiently.
Your colleagues used to be admirable. But now, you see that they’re sneaky and will stab you in the back if given the chance.
The political system used to be ideal. Now you see that it’s bureaucratic, inflexible, and stops you from progress.
And you’ll be tempted to believe that your job is pointless. Burnout will creep closer and closer.
What To Do About It
Without being trite, the answer is the Gospel. Christ died for our sins and rose again, and we wait for Him patiently to return.
This means a few things for us in terms of winning the spiritual battle:
Obviously, pray. We’re already forgiven for our sins, but we have to walk in the Spirit now that we have been made new. We fight with the power of the Holy Spirit on our side now.
Secondly, the knowledge that we will be held accountable for our actions when He returns should cause us to work hard to overcome right now as we wait.
Third, since we’ve been adopted into God’s royal family, it is our duty to do every job well to honor our Father – especially our jobs in the literal royalty (which obviously takes the form of democracy in the U.S.).We fight with the power of the #HolySpirit on our side now. Click To Tweet
Fourth, since God is renewing all creation through Jesus, we ought to be a light to those who are perishing. When we overcome, we show how good Christ really is, and maybe… just maybe… God will save some.
Fifth, we gotta cling to our churches. They provide support for struggling individuals, and their job is to “encourage each other on toward love and good deeds as we see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
And when we do all these things, and we overcome our temptations as a political leader, our communities are the ones who will benefit. Money will be used to serve the people, not line the pockets of sneaky politicians. Misconduct will not overtake upstanding behavior. Our collective geist will be defined by optimism.
And these are all blessings from God to a people whose leaders honor Him.