Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fit for leadership?

Happy Father's Day to all the dads.  :)

"When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required."  Luke 12:48 NLT

A few days ago, I over heard a debate on television as to whether Rep. Anthony Weiner should have resigned.  The argument against his resignation was that his personal life had nothing to do with how he did his job.  This is not the first time I've heard this argument.  The thinking seems to be that one's personal life and professional life are separate, and that it is possible to function like they are.

I'm not sure that's the case.  The apostle Paul didn't think so.  When describing what characteristics to look for in church leaders he says that their lives should be blameless  (Titus 1:7).  In other words a leader's lifestyle should inspire respect.  A church leader should be well thought of in his/her community.  The bible does not make the requirement of a moral life for religious leaders only.  Whoever was made king was also to live a life above reproach.

I'm not trying to be preachy or to condemn Weiner, but how he has behaved in his personal life has caused me to question how he handled his responsibilities as a Congressman.

First let's consider his response when the news of his tweets broke.  He lied, and continued to lie for a week.  Was he honest in his dealings as a Congressman?  Is he trustworthy?

Then let's consider what he tweeted.  Has he not been paying attention?  The Internet and the media are full of stories of people whose careers have been damaged or ended because of what they tweeted or posted.  Consider Gilbert Gottfried. He was fired as the voice of the AFLAC Duck because of inappropriate tweets about Japan after the earthquake.  Did he think about his colleague, Christopher Lee who resigned in light of shirtless postings on Craigslist?  Did Weiner think he was safe?  That such a thing would not happen to him?

Thirdly, Weiner is a married man.  This scandal shows that he has not been faithful to his wife.  He has not been faithful to his marriage vows.  At the beginning of each new congress, the House of Representatives and one third of the Senate are sworn into office. (click here for ref.)  Was Weiner able to keep his oath?

Finally, Weiner's actions show a lack of concern for his wife.  Bad enough to have to deal with his infidelity but to do so publicly...  And she is pregnant with his child.  Did Weiner care for his constituents or was he just as unconcerned about them?

I believe that how you live your personal life is a reflection of your values, beliefs, and character.  You bring yourself wherever you go so your values, beliefs, and character are going to affect your professional life.  I have to say that the personal life and the professional life really can't be separated.  This is especially true if you are a leader.  I don't believe the bible requires leaders to be perfect.  But I think leaders are required to be mature people with good character.  This goes for civic leaders as well as church leaders.


  1. You make some excellent points. I was taught, while growing up, that if you lie once, it's easier to tell another lie, and then another one. I believe it's the same in your private/professional life. If you start telling lies in your private life, then it's easier to tell lies in your professional life.
    We need to be able to trust our congressmen and women and other leaders.


  2. Thank-you for your comment. I appreciate it.