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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Strength and Humility

How could “competitive” giving misdirect the reason for giving gifts to God? What can you and your group do to avoid this problem among yourselves? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 226).

How do we define strength and what is humility? What is a strong president and will that president also embody humility? Must a strong president always suggest cavalier or aggressive employment of the police power of the state? To what extent do we want a president standing tall with his hand at gun--does carrying a gun always suggest strength rather than weakness? To what extent are the answers to these questions subject to paradox and the law of diminishing returns and the associated spectacle of unintended consequences?

From the current American race for the presidency one would think that strength is defined as bullying, spewing arrogant judgements, arbitrariness, and the “courage”to wallow in slime. This is not at all what I see as strength, and I certainly do not believe that an effective president is one that lacks humility. Let me explain.

Humility is an absence of false pride. False pride is pride based upon aggrandizement and show rather than contribution and service. I wish to see a president resplendent with contributory humility and filled with the calm and peaceful self-assurance that effective contributions bring. 

Strength is emotional and mental forcefulness.  Unlinked to humility, strength is subject to much blind stupidity due to the law of diminishing returns and the spectacle of unintended consequences. Mental forcefulness need be alloyed with wisdom and discernment.  Emotions need be alloyed by past training with patience (count to 10) and a bias towards ultimate ends (a strong feeling for the final results we would like to see).  We must not in the name of competition relinquish true strength and humility for the current counterfeits on display in American politics.

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