Earlier this week, I was reading Proverbs 29. I made a note of a few verses because it talked about qualities that a true leader needs to possess. One of the things that my Co-Pastor always reminds us is that we are all leaders. There is always someone watching or following you. With that being said, what kind of leader are you? Webster defines a leader as a powerful person who controls or influences what other people do: a person who leads a group, organization, country, etc. I want to share some of the verses that stuck out to me and some notes that I jotted down. Take some time and reflect on what God is speaking to you as you read them.
Proverbs 29:2 says, “When good people run things, everyone is glad, but when the ruler is bad, everyone groans.” I liken a leader to a thermostat. In researching thermostats, I found that a car thermostat regulates the coolant flow through the engine and is an essential part of a vehicle’s engine operation. What happens if the thermostat in the car goes bad? Let’s put it this way other sensors in the car overall are dependent upon the thermostat working correctly. As a leader, you set the atmosphere on your job, in your home, in your community. Other people are affected by what you do or don’t do. What you emit will affect the people that are around you. Think about it. What kind of atmosphere do you want to create for the people in your home? In what type of work environment would you like to work?
Proverbs 29:4 says, “A leader of good judgment gives stability; an exploiting leader leaves a trail of waste.” What does it mean to have good judgment? When I read this, I noted that a worker could trust a good leader’s decisions. Trust has to be earned. How do you earn a person’s trust? By your actions. Words are good, but your actions are what count. The decisions that you make affect you now and your later. As leaders, we have to make sure that we don’t rush when making decisions. We have to be careful to weigh out all options. Most of all, we have to consult God to ensure we make the right decision. People will appreciate and trust your decisions when you show a pattern of being considerate of all things.
Proverbs 29:14 says, “Leadership gains authority and respect when the voiceless poor are treated fairly.” This verse made me think about a person getting promoted on a job and allowing the title to go to their head. They became puffed up in pride and began to see themselves as being better than everyone else. What happens to the morale when a leader walks in arrogance? It goes down. No one respects a person that tries to establish fear instead of trust. Remember, we are all leaders, and how we treat each other matters. No one respects a person that disrespects them. No one wants to work for or be around someone who tries to intimidate or lacks control of their emotions. As a leader, I believe we have to consider and treat people the way we want to be treated. What about as a parent. Do we have to respect our children? My thoughts, I think people tend to look at children as property instead of human beings. We don’t have to intimidate a child or threaten a child to make them respect us. Be consistent in your actions. Even if your child does something wrong, don’t lose control of your emotions. If you do, you lose the respect of your child. Our children do what they see. In a previous post, I stated children are born with blank slates, and we as parents determine what fills that slate.
Proverbs 29:19 says, “It takes more than talk to keep workers in line; mere words go in one ear and out the other.” Again, you can say it, but are you putting words into action. There is a saying, “Talk is cheap.” As a leader, we have to set the example. When my children were growing up, I remember telling them that I would not ask them to do something that I would not do. Sometimes leaders have to lead off. What are you demonstrating in action? Are you showing that you are willing to put your hands to work, or do you think you shouldn’t have to because of your position? People are watching you, and they will do what you do. If you are always calling out of work for no good reason, you will have a team of people that will call out of work all the time. If you keep a dirty room all the time, do you think you can correct your children because they are doing the same?
Proverbs 29:21 says, “If you let people treat you like a doormat, you’ll be quite forgotten in the end.” “Proverbs 29:25 says, The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.” I put these two together because I feel they go hand in hand. As a leader, you cannot be controlled by fear. As a leader, you must be confident and bold. You have to be willing to deal with situations that arise and not let things slide. You cannot let people walk over you. People will not respect you, and they will not listen to your guidance if you do. Leading in your home is not for the faint at heart. Leading in your community takes discipline and patience. Leaders have to pass the “people test.” As a leader, when you have to make a decision that concerns your home, job, community, or church, it may not make everyone happy. When you are doing what is in the people’s best interest, you can’t allow what is said to deter you from doing the right thing. Being in a leadership position means that you will have to make those tough decisions, and sometimes people will talk about you. Let them talk.
Being a leader does not mean that you are perfect. We are always in a state of learning. Self-examination is a great way to reflect on what area you need to grow in. Do you know what is even better? Ask someone who is under your leadership what they would critique about you. Pick a person you feel will be honest and tell you what they need from you. Have a sit-down talk with your children? Allow them the opportunity to talk, and you listen. People like to be heard. When a person is given a chance to express how they feel, it makes them feel valued and respected. As a leader, you want those who you lead to listen to you, so what makes you think they don’t want you to take time and listen to them. Again, I encourage you to take time to self-reflect and grow. Whatever place God has you in at this point and time, you have to trust that He is with you guiding your every step.