Dear President Trump:
Several of today’s Daily Lectionary readings are about boasting. They offer timely words of wisdom for a political climate in which it has become far too common for leaders on all sides to overstate their own accomplishments while demonizing their opponents.
The prophet Jeremiah warns: “Do not let the wise boast in their wisdom, do not let the mighty boast in their might, do not let the wealthy boast in their wealth; but let those who boast boast in this, that they understand and know me, that I am the LORD; I act with steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the LORD.” (Jeremiah 9:23-24) And Paul writes: “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong…so that no one might boast in the presence of God.” (I Corinthians 1:27,29)
The late South African Leader Nelson Mandela wisely said: “It is necessary to heal the wounds of the past If you are going to build your country and to have unity. I am working with people who fought me very bitterly before the elections. It was my responsibility as the man who is leading the majority party, my responsibility to heal the wounds of the past and to work with people who were my opponents.”
Mahatma Gandhi once quipped: “President means chief servant.” Mr. President, I urge you to be a great leader by becoming a great servant – in the tone you set, in the compassion you show, and in the justice you pursue.
J. Daryl Byler