Picking Leaders


We look at people and make judgments based on their appearance.      Sometimes we judge by how well they are dressed; sometimes by their cleanliness; sometimes by their size, height, weight or combination of those.

This is not unusual; we purchase products based on the appearance of the packaging. .    We choose political candidates less by what they have done than on how thePOLITICIANy are marketed.    People get advanced college degrees in marketing to know how to package products (or candidates) to appeal to the targeted market … that’s you!

When I was a child I wanted my mom to buy that chocolate puff-ball cereal … not for the cereal (it tasted awful!), but for the secret decoder ring that came inside the box.     Today we pick our leaders for the goodies we think we will get from them after we open the ballot box.       The cereal box is colored to attract the children, not the parents.     The candidates are dressed and presented to reach their “customer”… the voter.     And the voter is as vulnerable as the child in the cereal row.

When God sent Samuel to find a King for Israel, he was warned by God to not look at the appearance of the potential king.      Do not be impressed because he is tall, or good looking.     God reminds Samuel that He knows the man from the INSIDE …   not from the outer wrapper.

When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and said, “Certainly the LORD’s anointed one is here before Him.”  But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the LORD sees, for man sees what is visible, but the LORD sees the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:6-7 (HCSB)

As God gives us the opportunity to choose our leaders … for public office or for the church or in the business world … we would do well to look as God would look.    Resumes tell a distorted story and personal appearance is like a cereal box cover.      Look at the INSIDE.     Pray for God’s wisdom before you choose.     God will help you choose if you, like Samuel, will listen to God’s direction.

Do you have choices to make?    Be careful which wrapper you choose or you might end up with those puff balls.    Seek wisdom …see James 1 on finding wisdom.

About Keith A. Rothra

Keith serves as pastor of Judson Community Baptist Church in Longview, Texas, and teaches political science at LeTourneau University and Kilgore College. He and his wife, Barbara, have two children and six grandchildren.

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