The images and stories coming out of Ukraine are still hard to digest. I will leave the geopolitical pontification to people much smarter than me, but you don’t have to be an expert on the world stage to be moved by the contrasting leadership on display.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has inspired and united the free world with the way he has embraced his authority and responsibility in the face of the ruthless invasion of his country. To my knowledge, there is nothing to indicate that President Zelenskyy is a follower of Jesus. But to borrow a theological term from my Reformed friends, there seems to be a Common Grace to his leadership that reflects the Image of God we all have stamped on our lives. There is something that resonates deeply about his self-sacrificial commitment to stay in the capitol and fight alongside his fellow countrymen. It’s something we haven’t really seen from too many public leaders anywhere for quite some time.
I think his leadership resonates so viscerally with so many because – believer in Jesus or not – it is at least dimly reflecting attributes of Jesus into the world. God, in human form, left His place of authority and entered into our mess, ultimately sacrificing Himself for our freedom and redemption. Our God is not far off, peering down from the fortress of heaven informing us of what we need to do to save ourselves. No, our God is truly with us (Matt. 1:23). So when we see human leaders willfully sacrifice the privilege their position would naturally provide in order to suffer and struggle alongside those they lead, it triggers something eternal in us. It’s a small, if imperfect, taste of the real thing.
And while these moments may rightly cause us to question the character of the leaders we admire and elevate, it should lead us to introspection and self-evaluation as well. What kind of leaders do we aspire to be? Leadership that reflects Jesus is costly, it gets its hands dirty, and it lays its life down for those it leads. Let’s champion those kinds of leaders – let’s be those kinds of leaders – leaders that leave people looking to the one true leader and Savior, Jesus Christ.
This Week on the Website:
Accelerating the Great Commission Through the Marketplace,
Erik Cooper | The Stone Table
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