Lord, through Your Holy Word, may I find the wisdom to be a good leader and the humility to be led.
Read Proverbs 28:1-28
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us… if it is to lead, do it diligently” (Rom. 12:6a,8b).
Chapters 28 and 29 belong to a second collection of Solomon sayings, and should be read within the ongoing search to understand how “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (1:7). A close look at the apparently random sayings shows two key themes: treatment of the poor and the conduct of rulers. This reminds us that leadership is judged by its response to the disadvantaged—a good reminder for politicians as for all leaders! The lives of leaders illustrate why it is better to be poor and blameless than rich and perverse (6). Tyranny contains its own ironic punishments: a loss of perspective (16), a perpetual insecurity (17), the inevitability of seeing one’s wealth used by others (8), and a failure of relationship (12).
But if we are feeling complacent, verse 3 is a wake-up call. The Hebrew speaks of “a poor man who oppresses the poor.” The urge to tyranny lurks at the door for each of us, even those who have known oppression ourselves. When power falls into our hands, we are as likely as the next person to become like the rain which, instead of watering the crops, destroys them (3). We too can oppress others.
However, leadership does not have to be like that. “Order” can come from insight and knowledge (2), and the righteous thrive under godly leadership (28). Since Christians in leadership are not immune from the urge to tyranny, we do well to ponder the call to wisdom in some of the words in this chapter: to blamelessness, discernment, a listening ear, confession, hard work, faithfulness, understanding, generosity and a properly placed trust in God. In such is found the true art of the leader.
We all lead somebody. Considering the call to wisdom for leadership listed above, how would you rate your practice of leadership? Pray to be a godly leader and resolve to pray for those in leadership over you.
Lead me, Lord, in Your way. Fill me with Your divine wisdom and love to lead someone in the right direction—to You.
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