Posted Jul 13, 2018 by Michael L. Brown

There are plenty of things followers of Jesus cannot learn from Donald Trump. That is self-evident. But there are things he can teach us, especially those of us in leadership.

First, though, let me list some things that the president cannot teach us, including: 1) how to cultivate humility; 2) developing effective tools for personal Bible study 3) treating your opponents with civility and respect; 4) how to avoid divorce; 5) keys to sexual purity; 6) how to deny yourself; 7) developing a distinctive hairstyle for TV preachers. (Wait. That one might work!)

Yet there are many things the president can teach us – again, speaking of leaders in particular – even if we don’t like the specific way he has modeled some of these things.

Here’s a short list.

1) Don’t avoid confrontation. We often try so hard to be “nice.” At all costs, we do not want to offend. But sometimes confrontation is necessary and important, and there are scores of biblical examples for this.

Nathan the prophet confronted King David (2 Samuel 12). Paul confronted Peter (Galatians 2). Proverbs even says, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love” (27:5). And the New Testament calls us to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).

Again, I’m not implying that all of Trump’s confrontational tactics are called for or that the way he confronts is always right. But it’s clear that he will speak up and speak out when he feels the need, no matter how uncomfortable things become. Mixed with grace and wisdom, this is something we must learn to do as well. Don’t be so afraid of uncomfortable confrontations.

2) Don’t be a slave of public opinion. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Trump controls the media much more than the media controls Trump. This is not to say that he doesn’t care about polling and negative reports. Nor is this to say that we should turn a deaf ear to the voices of others. Shepherds need to be attentive to their sheep.

But all too often, as Christian leaders, we are more concerned with human opinion than divine opinion, more wanting to please other people than to please the Lord. And all too often, we tell people what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear.

And how many pastors and leaders are slaves to congregational numbers, to budgetary constraints, to the sensitivities of the community?

“I dare not speak out on this, lest I lose long-term members. I dare not take this stand, lest our donor base evaporates. I dare not get involved in this controversy, lest the community view me negatively.”

This is slavery, not freedom. Trump can teach us a lesson here too. Do what’s right because it’s right, not because it’s convenient.

In the oft-quoted words of Dr. King, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

3) Don’t be afraid to ride out the storm. Some would call this stubbornness, others conviction, others foolishness. But it’s clear that Trump is not afraid to take a stand, take some hits (as in day and night media bombardment), and hold to his guns, believing that, over time, he will be proven right.

Again, he has done this at times when I wish he would not. He has appeared to be tone deaf. He has alienated people he might have won over. He has seemed to be more pigheaded than pragmatic, hence my caveats.

But he has also proven that if you stand for a particular principle, then refuse to move from that principle regardless of how much flack you receive, you can ride out almost any storm.

How many times do we waffle when the pressure builds? How often do we cave in right before the breakthrough? How frequently are we marked by cowardice rather than courage?

Proverbs states, “If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength!” (24:10)

President Trump sets an example of strength, whether you love him or loathe him, and that’s why so many have rallied around him.

We can learn a thing or two from him in the midst of his flaws and imperfections. And if we can merge courage and forthrightness and tenacity with Christlikeness, we will be unstoppable. (The truth be told, true Christlikeness requires courage and forthrightness and tenacity, does it not?)

And perhaps, as we stand strong and tall and unashamed, we’ll be able to teach our president a thing or two as well.


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Liberty Belle posted a comment · Jul 15, 2018
Our nation needs to align with God's blessings for our children to have hope and a future. Without God's protection, our children face a bleak future. Our nation was being looted from inside and outside, our Judeo Christian heritage was being silenced, and our constitution was being replaced with international mandates based on total corruption! President Trump sees the tentacles of destruction trying to choke the life out of our nation, and he focuses on trimming away graft and corruption to restore our nation's vitality and help us to stand strong. He cheers us on to encourage us to stand together and rebuild and do good work. His work ethic is exemplary. We who love God can pray for every good way to thrive in this season of grace, especially to equip our nation's children will skills and blessings essential for each generation to survive. Scripture promises are being answered every day when we dare to obey God and ask Him to help us! And Psalm 103 reminds us that God has angels always listening to fulfill His word. Jesus really was born King of angels. As we realize His awesomeness, we stop doubting and blocking the flow of His blessings, and instead start claiming His promises!
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A._catholic posted a comment · Jul 13, 2018
And why do you not mention the overriding thing Christians should not learn from Donald Trump- the service of wealth/love of money? Why do you overlook what he has given his life to? That is overwhelmingly condemned by Jesus and the NT (Mt 6:24; 1 Tm 6:10; Lk 12:13-21; Acts 2:44-45)?
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texasaggie posted a comment · Jul 13, 2018
Thanks for pointing out Trump's unique good leadership qualities. I get tired of "I like him, but..." as some people say. I feel like saying, "I like you too, but...". Dick Morris has said his style is typical of New York business people who argue and call each other names while negotiating and then when the deal is made, they are best of friends and go have lunch together. Trump's political opponents, Morris argued, often pretend they like you and then talk bad about you later, kind of like gossipers might do. I think Trump is a perfect fit for the job and God is using him greatly to turn the country around. Thanks to God!
Donald Johnston posted a comment · Jul 13, 2018
Very well put. The example of the Lord Messiah Yeshua is that he is full of grace and truth. Many talk about grace without truth while others talk about truth without grace. The saving message of Yeshua still has grace and truth in words and deeds. We are saved by grace through faith in the Lord Messiah Yeshua and we are kept by grace through faith in the Lord Messiah Yeshua.
Deancooper posted a comment · Jul 13, 2018
Learn from Trump? Why yes, like how Not to hold your finger up testing which way the political wind is blowing, as every other politician inevitably does. Like how to go out on your own where no other politician would dare to go (who else would move the embassy to Jerusalem or criticize NATO?) Like how to be bold telling everybody exactly what you think, what you want, and what you intend to do. Like being moved by more than party agendas but rather by what will make America great. Like being a man in an age when men are sniveling cowards trying to act feminized. Like Not being afraid what the elites think of you. Like fighting back instead of caving in. Like Not being so gosh darn politically correct. You're right. We could all learn a thing or two from our president. Thank God for Trump. And thank God for the return of masculinity. Now you were saying there are a few things we shouldn't learn from the man? Give me a break.