Letter to the President

This is a series that is focusing on the question, “Am I willing to take God fully at His Word, especially in what He has revealed in Scripture?” In 1 Peter 2:17 we read, “Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.” This is my best attempt in response.

 

Mr. President:

I write you this letter, knowing full well you will probably never read it, but that’s not important to me.  The words I have to write must be written whether you read them or not.

I am writing to honor you as the President of the United States of America.

As the President of this nation, your presence carries an air that no one can replicate. You represent a very powerful, very wealthy nation. The distance that separates you and I is vast, and I do not begrudge it at all. That distance simply demonstrates the honor that is due you. The distance between us makes it difficult to know how to honor you, and this may seem shallow because of it, but it is my best effort. You are a man who has been granted an extraordinary privilege, and I want to honor you as my President.

My honor begins with commitment. Your followers may be some of the most fickle critics, and their praise and devotion is almost impossible to keep. However, I want to be different. I want to the man who honors you regardless of your decisions, no matter of your successes or mistakes. I want to be the man who honors you, no matter how deep our disagreements run. I choose to honor you, because no matter what you do, you cannot escape who you are. The truth is that you are my President, and that truth is the driving force behind my honor.

Because I honor you, I choose not to devalue you. Your critics know your worst weaknesses, and I refuse to join them. Just as I cannot turn a blind eye to your weaknesses, I refuse to turn a blind eye to your strengths. I choose to remain completely honest about your strengths and weaknesses, but I refuse to allow them to define my honor for you. God raises up whom He chooses, and neither you nor I can change that.

I choose to honor you by expecting more of myself than of you. Your job as a leader is hard. I am only one of millions, but I choose today to do my part in contributing to society, carrying my share of the load, and encouraging others to do so as well. While I can honor you with my words, I believe the greatest honor is met with action. When I pay my taxes next spring, I choose to maintain a positive attitude, freely and willing giving the taxes that are due, just as Jesus taught. I choose to invest in those around me, helping them become better citizens. When I recognize the God-given potential within another person, I choose to step aside to encourage them in their potential, knowing that through their gifts they will make the biggest contribution. I cannot solve all issues–poverty and crime are prevalent, and the needs are staggering. Many others are doing more than I can every hope or imagine, and I wish at times I could do more. But I will not let the seeming insignificance of my contribution keep me from doing my part.

I have one more commitment I must make, but it is a greater commitment than I can honestly make. My desire is not merely to honor you, but to encourage others, especially those of my faith who dishonor you, to bestow on you the honor that is yours. This letter is the first step, but it is the cowardly first step. The true test will come in the unexpected conversations that will catch me off guard. I choose to make a commitment that I can keep–that no matter how often I fail, I will fail forward. No matter how often I shrink back, I will continue pressing on to becoming the man of courage who is willing to be unswayed by the opinions of the crowd.

I realize this letter is only meaningless words if it is not followed by action. I realize that this is a decision I must make, that no matter what course is easy, I must choose the course that is right. Though I’ve often said it with words, today I choose to learn to say it with my life: I honor you.

And according the power of Christ who lives within me, I will.

Regards,

Matthias Miller

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One comment

  1. Good words. When we dishonor leadership, we end up dishonoring our Master who told us to honor. You’re right it isn’t a blind eye to faults, but it is a choice to be respectful and to honor the position as well.

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