Sunday, March 11, 2018

Proverbs 31---Leadership Is Lonely At the Top

(This has been a tumultuous week in Nashville politics as former Mayor Megan Barry was forced to resign due to a two-year affair with her body guard, as well as due to the misallocations of tax payers' monies during the onging heat of this passion.  The following devotional is to remind us of God's way of leadership and how lonely it can be at the top for a truly righteous leader who is able to withstand the temptations inherent in leadership:)

“Oh, son of mine, what can you be thinking of!
    Child whom I bore! The son I dedicated to God!
Don’t dissipate your virility on fortune-hunting women,
    promiscuous women who shipwreck leaders.

4-7 “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.
Use wine and beer only as sedatives,
    to kill the pain and dull the ache
Of the terminally ill,
    for whom life is a living death.

Proverbs 31: 3-7

LEADERS ARE ALONE from God's Wisdom for Navigating Life with Tim and Kathy Keller)

This is the advice of a royal mother to her son, the young King Lemuel (31:1-2)
Proverbs is filled with  warnings against sexual immorality and abuse of alcohol, but leaders have even more need for self-control, because of their power to do good or ill.  When Lemuel's mother proposes that those without power drink till they are drunk, she is actually making a rhetoric point.  Others might have a drinking binge or wild affair,  but leaders must not do this, for it could destabilize a whole nation (or city!).

Leadership, then, is lonely.  Leaders cannot allow themselves many of the indulgences others have. Because of the peculiar stresses and sacrifices leaders make, they can be prone to self-pity, to engage in a secret affair or addiction, because they say to themselves, "After all I've done, I deserve this."

But they must not do this.  After all, the rights of the oppressed are on their shoulders. John the Baptist was unjustly executed by a sovereign whose pride and fears were out-of-control (Mark 6:21-29)  Don't be a leader, or in ministry, unless you accept the high standards for self-control and dependence on God.

Have you been in positions in which you sensed the loneliness of leadership? Can that help you imagine what it is like higher up?

PRAYER:  Lord, I have come to see that doing right, telling the truth, going against the evil tide----can be so lonely.  When I'm tempted to give in, help me to remember your loneliness.  In order to save me, you bore rejection not only of enemies and of friends, but of your Father----and all for me.  Amen.

-----page  325

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