Weekly Article Blog
Senior Pastor Dan Hawn publishes a weekly article which is also emailed to members and regular attenders. Let us know if you would like to receive this weekly article via email.
Questioning a War Hero's Toughness
Not unexpectedly, everyone has nice things to say about our 41st president, George HW Bush. That’s as it should be. Regardless of how one judges his presidency, this is a time to express our gratitude for his long service to our nation, which began when he enlisted in the Navy right out of high school.
Amazingly, throughout his political career, Bush was regularly accused of being too nice and “not tough enough” to be an effective leader. He was even called a “wimp” at one point. While running for president in 1979, Bush was asked point-blank about his perceived lack of toughness. Here was his reply:
“I equate toughness with moral fiber, with character, with principle, with demonstrated leadership in tough jobs where you emerge not bullying somebody, but with the respect of the people you led. That’s toughness. That’s fiber. That’s character. I believe I have that. And if I happen to be decent in the process, that should not be a liability.”
You see, Bush was a humble and modest man. He was kind to everyone and self-effacing, able to laugh at himself. He didn’t boast of his accomplishments or tear others down to make himself look strong. For this, he was called a “wimp.” Imagine that.
Historians will argue over this, but it’s possible that Bush’s humility spared the world much bloodshed.
It was the 3rd year of his presidency (1991) and the old Soviet Union, our long-standing enemy, was crumbling. Nevertheless, Bush refused to gloat, refused to poke a stick in the eye of the Soviet leadership. Had Bush been a brash & boastful man, that could well have provoked a violent response from a still-dangerous foe.
One of the Christian classics is Humility: The Beauty of Holiness by Andrew Murray (1828-1917). In this short book, Murray makes the case that humility is the distinguishing feature of the true follower of Christ. He says,
“Humility is not so much a grace or virtue along with others; it is the root of all, because it alone takes the right attitude before God, and allows him as God to do all.
Murray urges Christ-followers to pray for humility. How many of us do that? Here’s why we should:
“If humility be the first, the all-including grace of the life of Jesus – if humility be the secret of his atonement – then the health and strength of our spiritual life will entirely depend upon our putting this grace first too, and making humility the chief thing we admire in him, the chief thing we ask of him, the one thing for which we sacrifice all else.”