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Responsible leadership

A Christian Science perspective.

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Allegations of fraud in Afghanistan's recent elections. The public outcry over elections in Iran. Corruption charges against a former prime minister in Israel. A landslide win for an entirely new leadership in Japan. Entrenched political polarization in the United States. All of these situations, and many others, signal a deep human yearning for a high degree of responsible leadership throughout the world. This yearning extends to leadership in local governments, organizations, churches, and families.

Our initial response to leadership we are concerned about takes place in our thinking. There, feelings of anger, fear, judgment, misjudgment, and condemnation all vie for attention, acquiescence, and expression. Gaining control over such negative tendencies within our own consciousness before they take form in words and actions, may seem far removed from improving leadership in the world, or even our own locality. Actually, though, it has everything to do with what we experience in our own lives and the effect it has on everyone within our circle of thought – locally and worldwide. That's because responsible leadership begins with letting God lead the thoughts and actions of individuals.

We can learn a lot about effective leadership by considering Jesus' approach to promoting responsibility in others. Jesus lived his oneness with God as His Son, and in doing so he saw and treated every person as God's loved son or daughter – as man, God's spiritual image and likeness. Mary Baker Eddy noted that "[Jesus] did life's work aright not only in justice to himself, but in mercy to mortals, – to show them how to do theirs, but not to do it for them nor to relieve them of a single responsibility" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 18).

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