Holy Spirit leads you, but He never drives you.
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I am moreover averse to the communications of my religious tenets to the public; because it would countenance [“approve or encourage,” Webster’s 7th New Collegiate] the presumption [“audacity,” ditto] of those who have endeavored to draw them before that tribunal, and to seduce public opinion to erect itself into that inquisition over the rights of conscience, which the laws have so justly proscribed [prohibited].
Source: To Doctor Benjamin Rush, April 21, 1803
Koch & Peden’s Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson
P. 519 – 522
Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Leaders should keep personal views private.
Jefferson’s language can be hard to follow. Here’s a summary:
1. He does not make his religious views public.
2. Doing so encourages people with bad motives.
– They would make his private views a matter of public debate.
– That debate could lead to an investigation of his beliefs.
– His beliefs, “the rights of conscience,” are no one’s business but his.
3. The Constitution’s 1st Amendment rightly prohibits such meddling in an individual’s personal choices about religion.
This post is part of a series of five, all taken from the same letter:
1. Why I don’t talk about religion publicy
2. Why you shouldn’t talk about religion publicly
3. Although I don’t talk about religion publicly
4. Jesus did talk about religion publicly
5. What made Jesus different
The Moral Liberal Thomas Jefferson Editor, Patrick Lee, is a professional speaker, actor and writer. Since 1990, he has inspired, entertained and educated audiences from Maine to Hawaii with his authentic, first person leadership presentations as President Thomas Jefferson, Frontiersman Daniel Boone, and Lewis & Clark Co-Leader William Clark. He also appears as himself, The Hopeful Humorist™, with a program of motivational humor, patriotism and inspiration.
His business address is ThomasJeffersonLeadership.com.
“So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands,” Psalm 78:72.
This morning I read where a highly recruited high school football player was denied an invitation to a prominent NCAA team. He was not denied because the recruiters decided he did not have enough talent, nor was he denied because he had committed a serious crime. He was denied because of how he had mishandled a certain social media network. The university that was recruiting him determined that he would not be a benefit to its team—despite his extreme talent—because of his absence of character and integrity.
King David showed the opposite of this story. He did not have extreme leadership talent that had been tested in the arena of politics. The only experience he had was shepherding sheep; yet, God selected him to be the leader of His people. What was so great about David that made God choose Him? It was his character and integrity, developed by humbly watching sheep.
I am not sure what you or others might think of your own abilities, but history shows that God would rather have an unlearned peasant with integrity in His service, than a skilled workman who lacks character. God chooses the foolish things of the world to do His work so that no one will boast in anyone but God. (Read 1 Corinthians 1:26-31.)
JUST A THOUGHT
Will you pursue after God’s heart today?
“In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS,” Jeremiah 23:6.
Harry S. Truman said, “In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” There is something about the heart of man that longs for clear and decisive leadership. Without godly leadership, chaos and sinfulness reign. Unfortunately, when there have been lapses in godly leadership, history teaches us that society may desire the wrong person to lead them.
The ultimate answer to this problem of leadership is Christ. Yes, there is no authority except that which God grants (Rom. 13:1), but we must be clear: there is no leader like Jesus Christ. He is the promised Messiah and He has every human right to lead, coming from the line of David. When He returns and reigns in power, every knee will bow and every tongue will proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God (Phil. 2:9-11). When Jesus returns, we will not worry any longer about corruption in positions of authority, we will not argue about what is best for our nation, and we will not be concerned with making sure the oppressed receive justice. But one of the most amazing aspects of the rule of Christ is this. He can be your leader, your sovereign, right now.
JUST A THOUGHT
Will you serve Christ as king today?