Leading from Strength

President Theodore Roosevelt

President Theodore Roosevelt’s policy for leading the United States was described in his famous line, “Speak softly, but carry a big stick.” That’s a far cry from current President Joe Biden’s promise that the United States would lead “not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.”

These two vastly different views of leadership spring from vastly different worldviews. A biblical worldview maintains that a nation has the God-given duty to use its strength to protect and defend its citizens so that they may have the freedom to live, work and worship without the threat of harm being perpetrated against them from any enemy, foreign or domestic. Romans 13:1-7 points out that God has established the ruling authorities and that “rulers do not bear the sword for no reason.” (v.4). This viewpoint holds to the fact that the citizens of a nation are better served if their leaders choose to lead from a position of strength. A non-biblical worldview rejects the notion that it is best for a nation to lead from strength, and therefore searches in vain for other ways to protect its citizens.

The result of our current administration’s disdain for any kind of a “Big Stick” policy has resulted in a rash of huge problems for the United States.

The surge of illegal immigrants at our southern border is finally being described as a crisis even by some of the liberals in media. This blatant disdain for our immigration laws has emboldened drug cartels and human trafficking networks, has created immense problems for homeland security and will put a huge strain on our economy as many of these illegal immigrants will no doubt take advantage of all the benefits that are offered them at the expense of the American taxpayers.

A major oil pipeline was recently hacked, causing a fuel shortage in some parts of the country and an increase in gasoline prices all across the nation.

One of our valued allies, the nation of Israel, has been under attack, and the ensuing violence has caused a number of casualties on both sides.

COVID-19 has killed nearly 600,000 Americans, and many survivors have serious on-going effects from the disease. In addition to this, the pandemic has taken a terrible toll on the U.S. economy. Yet in spite of all of this, the United States has been remarkably reluctant to hold China responsible for any part they may have played in allowing this disease to spread and then covering up their culpability.

These are just a few anecdotal examples of how a nation can suffer from a lack of strong leadership. When those who wish harm to the U.S. and our allies sense weakness in the leadership, they are emboldened to take action, and the citizens of the country pay the price. It is critically important that we heed this biblical principle of leading through strength.

Church leaders and parents could learn from this principle as well. Congregations with weak leadership see a rise in unholy behavior from their members. Children who are not disciplined do not learn that there are consequences for bad behavior. We all would benefit from strong, godly leadership at all levels of society.

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