Washington In Dependence

6237382175_3d700ae2db_o copy (2)Today my wife Kristy and I are in Washington DC for a 4th of July vacation.

Thursday we toured the U.S. Capital, the seat of the U.S. Congress.  Thanks to Carrie and Mary Elizabeth, interns with U.S. House Rep Robert Aderholt, we were treated to over two hours of guiding and storytelling.

What hit me most at the Capitol was a 12×18 foot painting of General George Washington surrendering his commission as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army to Congress on December 23, 1783.  What a great illustration of mastering leadership by submitting.

The man who won independence did not actually sign its declaration.  When the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted on July 4, 1776, Washington was in New York preparing to fight the British again – but this time, not just to defend the colonies, but also birth a new nation.

After winning the revolutionary war, there was a movement to make Washington a king.  Instead, one of the great leaders in American history submitted himself and his military might to a civilian political body representing the people.

Why surrender?

Perhaps he gave up his commission and power because there was a greater cause.

After spending a couple of hours today at Washington’s home – Mount Vernon – we came across what looked like a replica of Washington’s pew box in the museum.  I did a little more homework on George Washington and Religion, where I found the following…

  • An Anglian family headed by a mother who was devoted to personal spirituality raised George Washington, which may have had an influence on Washington’s own sense of religion.
  • Regarding direct church participation, Washington was a devoted member of the Anglican Church.
  • Washington is reported to have had regular private prayer sessions, and personal prayer was a large part of his life.
  • Notably, Washington did see God as guiding the creation of the United States.

I know I am on my own editorial page, but my personal opinion is that George Washington – who won the war for independence – was himself in dependence on God to win the war and lead our new country as its first president.

Lessons in Leadership

The mastery of leadership is being a servant who is dependent on God first and foremost.  Washington is a great example of why follow the leader.  For more about Washington, watch the video – Lessons in Leadership – from MountVernon.org.

Who is your favorite leader and why?


Comments 4

  1. Brian. He is viewpoint was “it isn’t about me folks, it’s about the Nation”
    All that I’ve read about President Washington has clarified he was
    concerned about all that made up the Nation and what was best for ALL.
    That is real leadership in action!!


    1. Post

      Absolutely agree… I love this quote from a letter Washington wrote to Benedict Arnold on Sept 14, 1775…

      “While we are contending for our own liberty, we should be very cautious not to violate the rights of conscience in others, ever considering that God alone is the judge of the hearts of men, and to him only in this case they are answerable.”

  2. Enjoyed your post, Brian. It’s too easy to get wrapped up in political correctness and diminish the profound Christian beliefs of our founding fathers. Textbooks will downplay the facts, but the truth is unchanged. In God we must trust!

    1. Amen Dave! On the flip side of George Washington’s picture on a one dollar bill are the words – In God We Trust. It’s too easy to give “right answers” instead of “speaking the truth.”

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