With his bold, tell it like it is style of leadership, President Donald Trump has proved to be a polarizing figure both at home and on the world stage.
Those traits were on full display this week when Trump kicked off his visit to the UK with blunt words for Prime Minister Theresa May regarding her approach to Brexit. He suggested her "soft" blueprint for the UK's future dealings with the European Union would likely put an end to any future trade deals with the US.
"If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal," Trump told The Sun.
Though Trump later made it clear no insult was intended, his words have nevertheless made waves – even bringing some of May's detractors to her defense.
"Trump's appalling behavior makes me sympathize with Theresa May," remarked Yvette Cooper, of the opposition Labor Party.
But despite what critics view as Trump's incendiary rhetoric, conservative author and radio show host Michael L. Brown suggests Christian leaders might do well to take notes on the president's unflinching communication style.
"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," Brown wrote in an op-ed for The Stream.
For one, Brown says, 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," Brown said, citing biblical figures like Nathan the prophet and Paul the Apostle.
"Nathan the prophet confronted King David (2 Samuel 12)," Brown noted. "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).
"I’m not implying that all of Trump’s confrontational tactics are called for, or that the way he confronts is always right," he added. "But it’s clear that he will speak up and speak out when he feels the need, no matter how uncomfortable things become."
Secondly, Brown admonishes believers to avoid becoming slaves to public opinion.
"It's becoming increasingly clear that Trump controls the media much more than the media controls Trump," he wrote. "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," Brown continued, "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."
Finally, Brown encourages Christians to stand on their convictions – or as he puts it, "Don't be afraid to ride out the storm."
"Some would call this stubbornness, others conviction, others foolishness," he wrote. "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."
"How many times do we waffle when the pressure builds?" Brown challenged. "How often do we cave in right before the breakthrough? How frequently are we marked by cowardice rather than courage?"
Quoting Proverbs 24:10, he wrote, "If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength!"
According to Brown, whether you love him or hate, Trump is an example of biblical strength.
"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," he concluded.