I have read lots and lots of books on leadership. It’s a hobby of mine. Currently I’m concerned about the criteria, or the lack of solid criteria, we often use to choose our leaders. With those thoughts in mind, I share one final installment of leadership lessons from Proverbs. All the books on leadership, all the gathered wisdom, doesn’t get any better than what we find in the Good Book…
God loves the pure-hearted and well-spoken; good leaders also delight in their friendship. 22:11
When a leader listens to malicious gossip, all the workers get infected with evil. 21:12
Leadership gains authority and respect when the voiceless poor are treated fairly. 21:14
Among leaders who lack insight, abuse abounds, but for one who hates corruption, the future is bright. 28:16
A leader of good judgment gives stability; an exploiting leader leaves a trail of waste. 29:5
Leaders can’t afford to make fools of themselves, gulping wine and swilling beer, lest, hung over, they don’t know right from wrong, and the people who depend on them are hurt. 31:4ff
Here’s more wisdom from the book of Proverbs on what makes for both excellent, and subpar, leaders. How do you, and the candidates your supporting, stack up?
Quick tempered leaders are like mad dogs- cross them and they bite your head off. 20:2
Leaders who know their business and care keep a sharp eye out for the shoddy and cheap, For who among us can be trusted to be always diligent and honest? 20:8-9
After careful scrutiny, a wise leader makes a clean sweep of rebels and dolts. 20:26
Love and truth form a good leader; sound leadership is founded on loving integrity. 20:28
Good leadership is a channel of water controlled by God; he directs it to whatever ends he chooses. 21:1
Everyone tries to get help from the leader, but only God will give us justice. 21:26
I want to follow-up on my last post about politics and voting. I encourage people to look at voting and choosing leaders through the lens of scripture. But what scripture applies? What does the Bible say about leadership? The next three weeks I will share some thoughts on leadership from the book of Proverbs, where leaders go for wisdom. All these verses are from The Message version of the Bible, a modern reading that I enjoy.
The mark of a good leader is loyal followers; leadership is nothing without a following. 14:28
A good leader motivates, doesn’t mislead, doesn’t exploit. 16:10
Good leaders abhor wrongdoing of all kinds; sound leadership has a moral foundation. 16:12
Good leaders cultivate honest speech; they love advisors who tell them the truth. 16:13
An intemperate leader wreaks havoc in lives; you’re smart to stay clear of someone like that. 16:14
Good tempered leaders invigorate lives; they’re like spring rain and sunshine. 16:15
These are meaningful words to ponder when you consider supporting any candidate and casting your vote, whether is be in national, state or local elections. Next week, I’ll share with you a few more nuggets of wisdom from Proverbs.
In the back of my book, GO – Following Jesus to the Ends of the Earth, I have a section that contains my “manifesto,” which is a fancy word for my guiding life principles. One of them goes like this – As a follower of Jesus, I run my political beliefs through a sieve of scripture and the teachings of Jesus. My politics are subservient to my faith in Jesus.
In the midst of this unbelievably crazy political season, how do you make your political decisions? Do you have a solid basis for casting your vote for national, state and local leaders and issues? The scriptures do not give direct answers to every issue, but they do give insight and wisdom for those who will make the effort to dig in and think and learn and grow.
Give it a try. Take the issues and candidates you care about (or don’t care about) and see how they pass through the grid of scripture. Keep an open mind and ask the Lord for wisdom. You might be surprised at what you discover.