Therefore be imitators of God as beloved children
— Ephesians 5:1
It has been said that we live in a time when there is a dearth of real heroes. A recent survey showed that the heroes for American youth included many sleazy celebrities. Surely, there is a need for some godly heroes in our day, and I think that George Washington fills the bill in a remarkable way. He led our troops to victory in the Revolutionary War; he superintended the writing of the Constitution; he was unanimously elected first President of the United States.
But what made him so great? It was his Christian character.
George Washington said to the Delaware Indian chiefs, “You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ.”
In 1783 Washington sent out a letter to the governors of the states saying that we can never hope to be a happy nation unless we imitate Jesus Christ: “I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection … that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all, to do Justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility and pacific temper of mind, which were the Characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation.”