by Dave Gustavsen

This content is part of a series.

Leading Like Jesus (5 of 11)
Series: 1 Timothy - Vintage Church
Dave Gustavsen
1 Timothy 3:1-16

Some of you sports fans will remember back in 1993, there was a Nike commercial starring Charles Barkley. Charles Barkley was a great basketball player. And in the commercial, the famous line by Charles Barkley was ''I am not a…'' can you finish it? ''I am not a role model.'' And his point was, ''I'm a basketball player! Stop looking at me as some kind of a role model for your kids! I'm paid to play basketball; now leave me alone and let me do what I'm good at.'' And that commercial sparked this big debate about whether professional athletes should view themselves as role models.

This past week, the debate was re-ignited, right? Unless you live under a rock somewhere, you know that Tiger Woods was in the news…and it wasn't for his golf playing. And again the question came up: should we look to someone who's an incredible athlete, and expect him to be more than an incredible athlete? Should we expect him to have strong character, and set a good example? Does character matter for an athlete? Or should we just lower our expectations and allow them to play their sports?

And if that's a heated debate with athletes, it's even a hotter debate when it comes to politicians, right? You remember when the Bill Clinton ethical scandal broke out? And lots of Americans saw his dishonesty and his marital unfaithfulness, and they said, ''That should disqualify him for serving as president.'' Right? And a lot of other Americans said, ''That stuff has nothing to do with him being president! And we should stop prying into his private life, and allow him to do what he was hired to do, which is lead the country!'' So Americans were divided (surprise, surprise!).

And of course, most Europeans think we're crazy if we say that personal ethics has anything to do with political leadership. And so, back in the 90's, at the funeral of Francois Mitterrand, who was the former Prime M ...

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