Archive for July, 2012

The Penalty of a King’s Pride

Every one of us who has been on the journey of leadership desires to be successful and have growing influence. None of us ever wants to be known or remembered for being mundane or useless and as such, our natural tendency is to embrace the vision of our hearts and run with it with all that we have.

However, while on the pursuit of God and we prosper, we must then be very careful. Why? Because success can often times open the door to  pride which in turn can cause us to fix our eyes on our accomplishments, and not on the God who allowed us to carry out anything to begin with. This in turn will compromise the greatness that God has called us to.

In 2 Chronicles 26, we read about King Uzziah’s successes but sadly his tragic fall.  The root of his transgression (2 Chronicles 26:16) was a heart of pride, and we are warned that pride is a lust that ruins more that any other. And surely pride comes before a fall.

With the help of God, this leader of God’s people grew  strong, grew in wealth, in interest, and in power. But just like the prosperity of fools, that puffs them up with pride and destroys them, so was it with this king. Instead of lifting up the name of God in gratitude to Him who had done so much for him, his heart became lifted up to his own doom and destruction.

Out the many lessons that we can learn from this story,  I want to share one with all you leaders.  And it is this; Power can ignite pride, which eventually does lead to problems. When we boast in our achievements, pride checks in. And God resists the proud. With King Uzziah God gave a classic instance of His resisting the proud. If we become proud and presumptuous and cannot be made to see our error by the judgments of God’s mouth (through the warnings of those He has appointed to that duty in our lives) or God’s word (as we read in the scriptures), we shall be made to see it by the judgments of His hand. We must guard our hearts and lives from this crippling disease.

Remember, when pride builds up in our hearts, everything we are will eventually be torn down. King Uzziah strove with the priests, but he could not strive with God his Maker. Neither can we.

Finishing well as a Leader

King Solomon began his leadership over Israel well but somewhere down the road deviated from the ways of God and eventually he failed and was not able to finish well. At the beginning of his leadership, he enjoyed great success and fame but the good times got into his head and his heart. Some of the things I see in his leadership :

  • His perspective got fuzzy
  • He began to overestimate his own importance
  • He grew blind to his weaknesses and refused to be held accountable
  • He started to trust in human ingenuity rather than in God

As Solomon drifted away from His calling, his worship of God grew cold and sterile and in the course of time, it became a ritual rather than a relationship with Him who had given him the responsibility of leading Israel. Solomon grew emotionally detached from God and eventually God’s presence and blessings began to reduce over his public leadership and private life.

May this be a sobering example to warn us who are tasked as leaders from drifting from our passion. When we start to engage with our leadership activities as mere routine, letting them become nothing more than items we check off our to-do-lists then we may be wondering from our original call to lead as God’s leaders.

When we become distracted by side shows and petty issues that are peripheral  to what our mandate is, and deviate from the purpose or call that first led us to serve, we  may be wondering from our original call to lead as God’s leaders. If we start to overestimate our self importance  and excuse our  failings and even become exceptions to the rules, we may be wondering from our original call to lead as God would have us lead.

Let us understand that as leaders, we cannot separate our spiritual condition from our successes or failures for that matter. Our leadership must begin at the place of relationship with our heavenly Father. Let us remain connected to him in intimacy and we shall avoid pride, blindness, presumption, hardness of heart, and many of the sins we see in the life of Solomon.