Aired on May 3, 2010
Narration by Baben Lumapas
A person is competent when he or she is able to bring something to fruition. Competence comes from within, and it manifests in what that person says or does. Competent persons give their all in everything they do, be it time, money, talent, or blood, sweat, and tears. In evaluating candidates, we must look at how they are competent. We will examine different kinds of competence today.
First of all, candidates must be competent in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Indeed, health is crucial to how a person can handle the jobs they are chosen to do. A sickly person, or one with many vices such as smoking, drinking or eating in excess, will not be able to work well. The demands and stresses of public service require a healthy and disciplined body, mind and spirit.
Another form of competence is in how they think and process information. It does not merely mean learning and intellect. It means knowing how to put their knowledge to good use. We should scrutinize whether a candidate’s proposal is realistic, timely,sensitive to people’s needs and does not merely fashionable trends.
One other aspect is how they respond to issues and needs and their readiness to act on problems in a timely and fruitful way.
Though a candidate’s education may be valuable, what matters more is his or her “emotional intelligence.” This relates to a person’s capacity to handle their emotions in dealing with problems and crises. Indeed, we believe that emotional intelligence enables a candidate to make better choices without being swept away by an emotional flood.
Yet another form of competence is relational / interpersonal skills. A candidate must have the ability to work with people of differing backgrounds, displaying good manners and respect towards everyone, friend or foe, rich or poor, weak or powerful. In our culture this is important.
Finally, and most of all, being in office requires ethical competence, most notably the ability to keep a promise. A lot of criticisms have been leveled against politicians who fail to keep their word. We as a people have suffered as a result of promises left unfulfilled.
Perhaps an example of a competent leader from Scripture was Joseph, son of Jacob. He was strong in both mind and body; he bore good will towards others and kept his word. Most of all, he maintained his faith in God, which made him a great leader.