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Recent Pew research says most Americans prefer leaders who have religious convictions. Americans think religious leaders are more likely to have moral character–despite some with notable failures. The same survey shows Americans believe religion is losing influence in our country. Be that is it may, the Bible is quite clear on character traits that can sustain us in the long run. Here is how James describes character that pleases God and ultimately results in good outcomes. In chapter 3, he first lists traits that do not come from God—jealousy, selfish ambition, boasting, and lying. James describes these as earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. He says wherever you find this kind of behavior you will find disorder and all kinds of evil. On the other hand, James says, “wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.” So as we evaluate our own leadership style, or choose others for leadership roles, we ought to keep God’s righteous standards in view. They stand the test of time.

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