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Not for romantics

"Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires." Romans 8.5

'Thought of the Day' this morning made reference to the death of FW de Klerk, who used his presidency to break South Africa's apartheid regime, in which he had been nurtured himself. Not only did his move pave the way for multi-racial elections, it also sounded the death knell of his own grip on power. Remarkably, however, he continued to serve as deputy to his successor, Nelson Mandela.

de Klerk's leadership marks him out as one who saw beyond his own interests, indeed beyond the interests of those who had elected him, to high a higher cause, if not a higher power. Along the way he must have had to face formidable resistance and some violent backlashes, from those worried for their own future and incensed at their president's betrayal. He would have had to use every ounce of political cunning and moral courage. Hence the strapline above, borrowed from this morning's speaker.

This is consistent with Jesus' own teaching and example. Good leadership trumps our own interests and preferences. It is sacrificial. It is lonely. It is painful. It exposes our personal shortcomings and requires us to dig deeper and reach higher. It scorns popular opinion and, as such, cuts across contemporary culture, with its idolisation of personal fulfilment and the cult of celebrity. So whence the good leaders for today and tomorrow?



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