What Does Proverbs Have To Say About Leadership?

Work’s been a strain, particularly with how to deal with people in spite of my studies in social dynamics. When I first got the supervisor position, I started a study on leadership in Proverbs and never finished. It was a good time to get back to it and study disciplining and rebuking. The next two weeks will have a definite leadership slant.

Proverbial Leadership Qualities

First, we’ll start with the qualities that are needed to see how we measure up. Proverbs 12:24 tells us that diligent hands will rule, whereas lazy hands will end up in slave labor. Diligence is a key quality, one I’m known for but can always improve.

Another quality is being a trustworthy messenger (Proverbs 13:17) where people can trust you to give all the necessary right information that you have. I’m pretty good with this since communication is a strength.

Dealing With Others

Proverbs 17:26 tells us good leaders don’t penalize people for integrity. Two things come to mind: the obvious don’t reprimand innocent people, and what Pastor Rod said his parents did. If he messed up and came forward before it was discovered, he wasn’t punished. The fine line I see is an honest mistake vs. getting out of trouble.

The next three go together, Proverbs 18: 13, 15, 17listen before answering, be able to judge correctly (discern), and listen to both sides. To listen before answering, seeking and acquiring knowledge, mostly by listening to both sides, much like a court case. Then the truth can be found, and a decision made. It works in situations with people or everyday decisions.

When The Pressure Rises

The thing about making decisions is the pressure and inevitability of making a decision they won’t like. Proverbs 24:10 says we need to be able to stand up under adversity because if we falter, it shows how little strength we have.

Proverbs also teaches to prioritize with long-term productive thinking versus short-term comfort in 24:27.

The last two can go together, Proverbs 27:18 and 27:21remember those that help you and be able to stand up under praise. First to share in the rewards of the work, and honor those who got you there. Second is a warning against pride and the big head. Both praise and adversity test us.

What Does Bad Leadership Look Like?

This leads to the question, what happens without good leadership? Proverbs isn’t as extensive about that, though it does cover four things.

For one, the wrong people are honored. Proverbs 26:8 says like tying a stone in a sling is the giving of honor to a fool. Useless and won’t go anywhere. A wicked ruler is dangerous like a roaring lion or a charging bear (Proverbs 28:15).

In turn, people despair, groaning under a wicked rule, where people rejoice when the righteous thrive (Proverbs 29:2). No small part of it is their wicked officials (Proverbs 29:12) who come into their ranks as the leader listens to lies. Soon there would be no one trustworthy.

I continually find it amazing how the Bible can continually speak into our lives on different things.

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