Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The truth and a leader's integrity

The Clinton campaign is insisting that her medical problems this past weekend is due to her having pneumonia. The video clearly showed that she would have fallen to the ground if the Secret Service men had not held her up. The way she was dragging her feet in the video indicated she may have even been unconscious when they put her in the car although she was able to communicate that she did not want to go to the hospital but to her daughter's home instead.

There has been a lot of speculation in recent weeks about her health. Some have suggested she might be dealing with Parkinson's Disease while others have speculated she may have other undisclosed medical problems. I've mostly ignored the speculations  simply because it's an election campaign and candidates on both sides long ago stopped discussing real issues and just look for ways to attack the other person. Still, this recent video does give one cause for concern.

Of course, social media was buzzing with speculation about the cause of Clinton's medical condition after this latest video went viral. Very troubling was the number of persons whose posts seemed to relish the possibility that Clinton has a serious medical condition, and this includes some Christians who posted about this event. I don't care how much one may dislike an individual, to wish poor health on them is far from Christlike.

Eventually, her campaign announced that she is being treated for pneumonia. Of course, her campaign was criticized for withholding this information from the public until they were forced to admit it. Some also question whether this is true or if she does have more serious medical issues.

The problem is that a majority of people do not trust her honesty. She lied about Benghazi. She lied about her emails. She lied about landing under fire overseas as Secretary of State when videos clearly showed her arrival was normal. She is the person who has cried wolf so many times that she cannot be trusted to tell the truth. Maybe her condition is no more serious than pneumonia, which is serious enough but treatable. But, how can anyone be sure?

This isn't a rant against Hillary Clinton. It is a demonstration about the negative impact being untruthful has on one's ability to lead. No leader can effectively lead a church, a business, or a nation if that person cannot be trusted to be truthful. Sometimes the truth hurts, but avoiding the truth eventually proves to be even more harmful to a leader.

As a judicatory leader I encountered a few situations where the church lost their ability to believe their pastor. He had been caught in too many lies and half-truths for the people to trust him. It was impossible for him to lead that church because he had no integrity with the people there.

Tell the truth. Do what you say you will do when you say you will do it. Be a person of integrity so that when you say something the people believe it. Only then will you be able to effectively lead your church.

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