The Savior of the World

The world is the midst of a very dangerous leadership vacuum. At this very moment one of the world’s most notorious leaders, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, is desperately seeking to extricate himself from his ill-conceived and poorly executed grasp for power and is threatening his nearest neighbors and the world with both conventional and nuclear destruction. At the same time, another of the world’s most prominent leaders, China’s Xi Jinping, is gathering to himself the final few levers of power he did not already possess. Xi is also threatening the whole world by threatening to invade the globally important island nation of Taiwan. These are dangerous times.

Gratefully, ancient scriptures are not silent on the trials we have in this day and age.

As just one example, Jesus of Nazareth taught many things during his ministry on this earth a few thousand years ago. Many focus on his teachings regarding the promise of life eternal, of our personal eternal salvation. But Jesus of Nazareth also taught many things regarding how we should govern ourselves in this life, our mutual worldly salvation. One of my favorite scriptures in this regard is in the New Testament in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 20.

Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Matthew 20:25-28.

Many if not most of the world’s leaders give lip service to the notion that they are servants of the people. Too many leaders are not. And when I say leaders, I don’t just mean leaders of nations. The Savior’s admonition applies equally to the leaders of states, cities, non-governmental organizations, religious groupings, and even families. Any grouping of people of any size at any level. Unfortunately, the role of leader readily attracts those who crave worldly acclaim and attention, and often the riches that such things can bring. From the word’s of Jesus of Nazareth from the New Testament in the Book of Luke, Chapter 20:

Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; Which devour widows’ houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation. Luke 20:46-47.

The degree to which the leaders of the world are held and hold themselves accountable as servants of the people is the degree to which we can avoid the destruction wrought by self-serving leaders throughout the world at every level. When the leaders are the most privileged amongst us and their primary concern other similarly privileged, or more privileged, then true leadership is absent. A leader who seeks his own is not a leader.

We need to choose our leaders wisely and be the leaders of our own lives seeking not only our own.