Why we let tyrannical people rule and will continue to do so. Here it is up front, then I will explain in detail below. It’s because we worship accomplishments over character.
I read an article from the Huffington Post today that really grabbed my attention. The Post did a retrospective look at one of America’s heroes, Christopher Columbus. I had heard that he wasn’t that great of a guy, but I had no idea it went this far.
“On his second trip to the New World, Columbus brought cannons and attack dogs. If a native resisted slavery, he would cut off a nose or an ear. If slaves tried to escape, Columbus had them burned alive. Other times, he sent attack dogs to hunt them down, and the dogs would tear off the arms and legs of the screaming natives while they were still alive. If the Spaniards ran short of meat to feed the dogs, Arawak babies were killed for dog food.”
I know the accuracy of this is controversial and the Post is known for exaggeration, but we also know from Columbus’s very own journals that he was no saint. The culture of Columbus’s day was characteristically crass and open to slavery, but Biblical instruction for bondservants was still very different than what Columbus was doing. In any given culture and age, he was absolutely mistreating people.
I guess what bothers me most is we really haven’t progressed out of the human tendency that allows for this to happen. We still worship accomplishments over character. Even in the Christian world today we all follow leaders who win our agenda, not necessarily those who have good character.
This is why I love Jesus. You don’t see him slaughtering those who opposed him on the battlefield. His whole approach was different. His goal was the heart, not forced obedience. How a leader accomplishes their goals matters as much as the goals they are trying to accomplish. Character matters! I plead with you! Please don’t follow people because of their accomplishments alone; pay attention to their character. We must choose to celebrate character over accomplishments, or these types of stories will continue to plague our history books.
Whom do you follow? Who do you admire? Do you stand with the ones who just win your agenda or do you pay attention to character?
This is just a section of a longer article. You are welcome to check it out at www.luke117.com along with reference links.