Friday, February 27, 2009

Deciding from Biography

Watching the transition from President Bush to President Obama from 5,000 miles away gives one a very different perspective on what is really happening. From here it is clear that America's new president is making decisions from his personal biography. This is to be expected. We all make life's most important decisions from our personal biography. What worked for us and for those who have most influenced us for good shapes our biography and our policies.

President Obama's biography is impossible to understand apart from aggressive government intervention to correct wrongs and open doors for those who are trapped in seemingly impossible situations. Trying to convince President Obama that government is not the solution to society's greatest ills is like asking him to lead from Rush Limbaugh's biography instead of his.

We want to make governing or leading about ideas, but it is much more about biography than ideas. Our ideas were birthed in our biography by people who seemed to truly care about us.

None of can lead for long without referring back to what worked in our case. I know this as a fact from 58 years of my own decision making. Only a tremendous personal experience with some new biographical paradigm will cause a person to shift his policies away from his personal experience. Conversions do happen.

The power of biography is why we must be "born again" to enter the kingdom of God. That is why "poverty of Spirit" (coming without our own biography) is the place where true spiritual happiness begins. The biographical battles of Adam number one's children will never cease until we become children of Adam number two--Jesus.

Brazil's President has a 6th grade education and comes from decades of battles against the rich as a union activist. Trying to get him to see the owners, bankers and business leaders as the solution for Brazil's issues is truly a challenge. His biography of poverty and class struggle has shaped him. He is a good President for Brazil's poor because they can read his biography, but he definitely sees government as the answer to nearly everything. If it can be taxed, he will tax it. To him that is how fairness comes into a society--by taxing.

Brazil's President and President Obama will be great friends. Brazil is already in love with President Obama because they like his biography better than George Bush's biography. No one down here knows how to read anything Texan.

If you want to know how a man or woman will lead, read their biography and look for what they say made their life better.
That is what they will support. That is what they will believe works.

If you want to see how well a Christian will live the Christian life, get a good read on how deeply they have moved into Jesus' biography as their own. When His biography is theirs they will live his life as theirs. Jesus' personal biography is the key to our new life biography.

By the way, no matter what happens in Brazil or in the USA I have read Jesus biography and his policies work for all eternity. He believes in grace not taxes. He does, however, demand unconditional love from his countrymen.

Now, do I think big government is the answer? Read my biography and you will know that answer to that question. Even better, read my dad's biography and you will see the life of a man who was proud he never needed to lean on government to raise 7 kids in a two bedroom house. He also never missed a day of work in 30 years.

From 5,000 miles away I see President Obama leading from his biography and I would expect him to continue to do so.
I also pray he will take the time to read other biographies--especially the one about Jesus. We could certainly agree on that one!

The debate that is raging in the USA and here in Brazil is still not the big debate. The real debate is about Jesus' biography and everyone else who is offering hope and change. I, for one, have been born again and each day I am happier about that choice and the the eternal change in my biography.

1 comment:

Walter Swaim said...

In my seminary study on foundational shapers of secular psychology/psychiatry (Freud, Jung, etc.) my professor said this and I have never forgotten it - and it goes exactly with what you are saying here - the saying is this, "Know the man, you'll know the message."