We have all seen examples of good leaders and bad leaders. We can typically determine quickly with which kind we are dealing. People who are in leadership positions may or may not be qualified for their position of power and influence. In fact, for some, they are mostly motivated by power and position rather than a sincere desire to serve the people under their leadership. Leadership is about serving others as opposed to being served. Though God instructs us to honor and respect our duly elected or appointment leaders, righteous leadership is actually a humble position of service. We sometimes hear a leader say, “I am humbled by…….” but that is a misuse of the word humble. What they should say is “I am honored by whatever…” It may sound humble to say “I am humbled…”, but it is not accurate. In fact, most people who say it are the opposite.
Righteous leadership, first and foremost, requires a humble, servant’s heart that is more interested in serving than in being served. A qualified leader accepts the God-given responsibility of being the protector of the people entrusted to him or her. When it comes to decisions and choices, a leader makes the hard decisions and faithfully accepts responsibility for the consequences. He or she shares the credit with others on the leadership team but owns the blame. He or she is where the proverbial buck stops. Righteous leaders do not look for someone else to blame. If it happened on their watch and under their leadership, leaders accept responsibility.
- A righteous leader walks with God. Leaders must be able to humbly submit to leadership. The qualified leader understands the chain of command and willingly submits to God and others in authority.
- Righteous leaders seek God’s will. They understand their own strengths and weaknesses and spend much time in prayer seeking God's will and guidance. They do not attempt to lead in their own human strength. They depend upon the strength God provides. Solomon, who was considered to be the wisest man who ever lived, prayed in I Kings 3:9, “Give Your servant therefore an understanding mind, to govern Your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this Your great people?” (NASB)
- Righteous leaders are perpetual learners. They are students of God’s Word, continually seeking truth and knowledge. They make it a priority to be informed.
- Righteous leaders are truth-tellers who speak clearly and directly. They are not vague or cryptic. They are kind and thoughtful communicators.
- Righteous leaders are modest and not arrogant.
- Righteous leaders are safe people. They are calm, reasonable, and approachable. They are slow to anger. They trust the Lord and are not anxious.
- Righteous leaders are peacemakers. They are fair and just.
- Righteous leaders lead by example. The go first and lead the way and inspire others to willingly follow.
- Righteous leaders surround themselves with good counselors and listen to what they say.
- Righteous leaders are above reproach and exhibit the fruit of the Spirit.
Some people are natural leaders. Some have risen to positions of power and become leaders. Some pursue places of leadership and some are reluctant to lead. Some leaders are extroverts and some are introverts; either can lead well. Everyone is called to lead in some way. We all lead, and we all must submit to leadership. In all we do, may we please the Lord and humbly walk in righteousness.
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” (Psalm 37:23 KJV)