Christianity 201

March 23, 2021

More Than Leadership Ability, Character Counts

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:32 pm
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This our third time highlighting the work of Rev. Tonia Slimm who has been writing very faithfully at blog Growing with God since September, 2015.

Recently neighbors in a nearby country had to wrestle with the question, ‘Can we overlook some character flaws if the person is a great leader?’ Let’s see what today’s reading has to say about that. Click the header below to read at source.

The Character of a Leader Matters- Ecclesiastes 10:16-17

Ecclesiastes 10:16-17 (NIV)
Woe to the land whose king was a servant and whose princes feast in the morning. Blessed is the land whose king is of noble birth and whose princes eat at a proper time—for strength and not for drunkenness.

Ecclesiastes 10:16-17 (MSG)
Unlucky the land whose king is a young pup, and whose princes party all night.
Lucky the land whose king is mature, where the princes behave themselves and don’t drink themselves silly.

Ecclesiastes 10:16-17 (AMP)
“Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child and when your [incompetent] officials and princes feast in the morning. Blessed [prosperous and admired] are you, O land, when your king is a man of noble birth, and your princes and officials feast at the proper time—for strength and not for drunkenness.” 

“According to Scripture, virtually everything that truly qualifies a person for leadership is directly related to character.” ~John MacArthur

We need good leaders, those men and women who know how to motivate and inspire others. Good leaders lead by example and know how to make a difference. The Teacher gives to us two very distinctive examples of leaders to consider.

“The happiness of a land depends on the character of its rulers.” ~Matthew Henry


[same verse – The Voice] “Woe to the land whose king is a child and whose princes start their feast in the morning. Blessed is the land whose king is of noble heritage and whose princes know when to feast, who discipline themselves with strength and avoid drunkenness.”

The Teacher gives us these two examples to compare:

The first is a land whose king is young and inexperienced. This king cares only for glory, honor and riches; and he party’s hearty with his with his young noblemen. He cares nothing for the people that he is supposed to be leading.

The second land is a land lead by a benevolent king of noble birth. This king not only works hard for his people, but has his noblemen work hard for them as well. You will notice, the needs of the people are put before their own.

Which leader would you wish to have leading your country?

[same verse TLB]Woe to the land whose king is a child and whose leaders are already drunk in the morning. Happy the land whose king is a nobleman and whose leaders work hard before they feast and drink, and then only to strengthen themselves for the tasks ahead!” 

“Foolish rulers, by their weakness, self-indulgence and sloth, bring decay upon the state: nobleness and temperance insure prosperity: yet the subject must not rebel in word or thought against his king.” ~Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

The idea the Teacher is trying to convey is that the young, inexperienced king is unprepared for his duties and is therefore irresponsible. We are told that the princes that work with the young king “eat in the morning”. This conveys the idea that they are given toe gluttony and overindulgence; a lack of self-control.

“He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.” ~Aristotle

It is bad for a land to be led by foolish and self-indulgent rulers. Let us look to the example of Rehoboam who was a young and inexperienced king. Instead of listening to the voice of experience, Rehoboam chose to listen to his young, untried friends; and it brought him a whole lot of trouble. Take note:

“Rehoboam traveled to Shechem where all Israel had gathered to inaugurate him as king. Jeroboam had been in Egypt, where he had taken asylum from King Solomon; when he got the report of Solomon’s death he had come back. Rehoboam assembled Jeroboam and all the people. They said to Rehoboam, “Your father made life hard for us—worked our fingers to the bone. Give us a break; lighten up on us and we’ll willingly serve you.” “Give me three days to think it over, then come back,” Rehoboam said. King Rehoboam talked it over with the elders who had advised his father when he was alive: “What’s your counsel? How do you suggest that I answer the people?” They said, “If you will be a servant to this people, be considerate of their needs and respond with compassion, work things out with them, they’ll end up doing anything for you.” But he rejected the counsel of the elders and asked the young men he’d grown up with who were now currying his favor, “What do you think? What should I say to these people who are saying, ‘Give us a break from your father’s harsh ways—lighten up on us’?” The young turks he’d grown up with said, “These people who complain, ‘Your father was too hard on us; lighten up’—well, tell them this: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. If you think life under my father was hard, you haven’t seen the half of it. My father thrashed you with whips; I’ll beat you bloody with chains!’” -1 Kings 12:1-11 (MSG)

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” ~John C. Maxwell

“Love and truth form a good leader; sound leadership is founded on loving integrity.” -Proverbs 20:28 (MSG)

It would be better to have experienced rulers who are ready for the job. We need rulers who are self-controlled and balanced; men and women of good character.

Here are 10 characteristics of a good leader:

1.) A person of integrity.
2.) A person of wisdom.
3.) A person who seeks good counsel from others.
4.) A person who listens when others speak.
5.) A person who exhibits self-control.
6.) A person who is fair.
7.) A person who is not easily influenced by others.
8.) A person who is kind.
9.) A person who shows compassion.
10.) A person who thinks of others more highly than themselves.

Paul, writing to the Colossians wrote a passage that gives us many good pointers about the characteristics of a good leader. Take note:

“Since you have been chosen by God who has given you this new kind of life, and because of his deep love and concern for you, you should practice tenderhearted mercy and kindness to others. Don’t worry about making a good impression on them, but be ready to suffer quietly and patiently. Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Most of all, let love guide your life, for then the whole church will stay together in perfect harmony. Let the peace of heart that comes from Christ be always present in your hearts and lives, for this is your responsibility and privilege as members of his body. And always be thankful. Remember what Christ taught, and let his words enrich your lives and make you wise; teach them to each other and sing them out in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing to the Lord with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, and come with him into the presence of God the Father to give him your thanks.” -Colossians 3:12-17 (TLB)

“Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve.” ~John Stott

My friend, if you are in a place of leadership you need to be practicing good leadership characteristics. God has set you in that place of leadership to be a light for Him. Whether you are leading a group of children or running a large business; whatever you are doing do it unto the Lord and lead with honesty and integrity.

“The true mark of a Christian leader is trying to build up other people. Raise up other leaders!” ~Charles Colson

My Prayer:
Heavenly Father, help me to be the person you have intended me to be. Let my life be a light for you in this World; especially when it comes to being a leader of others. Develop my character into what it needs to be, so that I will be a good leader. Give me wisdom, your godly wisdom. Help me to see the hurt and need of others; let my listening ears be in tune as well. Even more Lord, give me the heart of Christ, that I may not only lead others, but cares not only for their needs but their eternal destiny as well. Thank you, Lord.

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