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Monday, July 29, 2013

Bottoming Out

In the workplace, what could be more noble than to be in public service?  As it turns out, if public service means being a politician, almost anything is nobler.

This from a recently released poll by the USA Today's Bipartisan Policy Center.  A bulk of Americans now believes the best way to make positive changes in society are through volunteer organizations and charities , not by government involvement. Those younger than 30 are particularly put off by politics.  (

The greatest interest for careers was business ownership. 46%. More than a third polled like the idea of working for a small business or nonprofit group.  One in five put strong interest in working for the government, a large corporation or the military. And at the bottom of the list? Being an elected official or working for one.

There is a significant consequence to this. It means that some of the best and brightest and, might I add, people of character are avoiding public service. Analysts say this downward cycle is unlikely to change as perceptions of dysfunctional and corrupt politicians get worse. How sad!

When the USA Today published their findings recently, a companion article in the business section had more troubling news. It told of how moral failings have had little impact on many politicians' careers!

Columnist Michael Wolff writes, "Scandal does not tank your career any more. Scandal is, in many instances, no more than a résumé item that needs to be explained and integrated into a life story. Scandal is, arguably, an advantage, filling out that life story, adding a human dimension to it, and best of all, providing a bit of drama and a leap of name recognition." His words ... not mine. (
Columnist Wolff should have added, "And all that failing and corruption has left us weakened as a nation, as a people ... and as a culture.” My words...not his.

Make no mistake here. Scandal is not new to this age. The Bible has many characters, men and women alike, who were leaders that missed the mark. Their behavior was never intended to be the model.

But in the Christian faith, we are called to not only higher standards, but the highest standards. Proverbs 2, verses 20 and 21, puts the call out this way:  Follow the example of good people and live an honest life. If you are honest and innocent, you will keep your land.” (CEV)

Thank God for those who serve in government with noble hearts and a life of integrity! Thank God for those who pursue public service in its best form! We should pray for a revival of political integrity. Maybe millennials will help lead the way.

A political class with solid Kingdom values will appear like knights in shining armor in this age. Especially if they can avoid that armor … getting tarnished.

That's the way WE work.

For Moody Radio, I'm Mark Elfstrand.  

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