Today: Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Choosing the boss    (10/7/2018 )

Bosses are bosses.  When I first started work as a teenager I was only aware of the boss as a very remote, unknown and all-powerful figure at the top of a big institution.  i was a tiny cog in the workings of a vast machine.  The boss was the indifferent figure at the top. I had certainly not chosen him, and no way I could change who was in charge.  He was a given, part of the world I had come into.

That’s no doubt that is how life is for most people.  The boss is the boss.  However, when it comes to politics, we do expect to be able to change the boss.  Whoever is the leader of our nation or community is there because we have put them there - or maybe because they have put themselves there…

There is a fascinating episode in the Old Testament, when the people are not sure who is going to be in charge when the elderly prophet Samuel dies.  They don’t want his sons who were dishonest, easily bribed and only interested in money.  Looking around, the people notice that all the neighbouring countries seem to have a king.  So they decide that’s the kind of boss they want too.  But Samuel tries to persuade them that that will be disastrous.  He warns them - if you get a king, do you realise what he will do?  He’ll conscript your sons into his army, he’ll force your sons to work in his fields and make his equipment.  He’ll have your daughters making perfumes and being cooks and bakers.  He will take over your best fields and crops, and turn you all into slaves.  When all that happens, you’ll complain bitterly, but you will be suffering the consequences of your own choice!  (Read the full story in 1 Samuel 8.)

They didn’t listen, and they got their kings, and that prophecy was fulfilled over and again in the years that followed.  They had chosen their boss, and his human weaknesses cost them dear.

Our own rulers today may be more restrained and answerable to the people  But there are many nations where the people have little influence over who governs them.

It seems that no human government is perfect, and some are worse than others.  But if we have any influence over who our bosses are, if we are able to elect our leaders, we need to ask what their motives are, what damage they might do as well as what good might they do, and perhaps above all, are they interested in serving God’s plans for the world and in caring for the good of all the people in their care?

We’ve mentioned before Jesus' words on this theme - You expect great people, leaders, dictators, bosses, to make demands, but that’s not how you should live.  If you want to be great, become a servant (see Matthew 20, verses 25-27).  Could we expect political leaders like that?

If you could choose your boss, what qualities would you look fo?


There is no one higher than you God; grant us leaders who honour you and care for their people; and make us willing citizens of heaven.

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