Lifeway Senior Vice President contributes to a new series
Leadership is often very humbling, and leadership is most dangerous when it ceases to be. Here is what I mean: Leadership is humbling because it is extremely challenging. Being a leader can be deeply sanctifying because humbling opportunities abound.
The messiness of life gets in the way of the vision leaders articulate. Plans rarely go exactly as they are outlined. And the daily burden of responsibility for caring for others is enormous. When one signs up, or is drafted, to be a leader, the person engages in a very humbling endeavor.
Leadership is most dangerous when it ceases to be humbling, when success comes to the leader. When a leader starts to thrive, when the Lord grants success, or when things go better than planned, the leader can easily drift toward pride.
And pride always precedes a downfall.
David, Israel’s second king and the man after God’s own heart, walked humbly with the Lord. As David led with a pure heart and skillful hands, the Lord granted him success. But like the king before him (Saul) and the kings after him (Uzziah), pride corrupted David’s heart.
When David asked who the beautiful woman was—the woman who lived in the house he was able to see from his roof, the woman he wanted more than he wanted his own integrity—he discovered she was married. One of his servants sheepishly asked, “Isn’t this the wife of Uriah?” David’s response was to send for her anyway. After all, David was king, and the king got whatever he wanted (2 Sam. 11).
Earlier in his life, David humbly asked God to keep him in the shadow of his wings, as he was grateful for the Lord’s provision of a cave for his residence (Ps. 57). But on the roof of the palace, David trusted himself …