THE ABSOLUTE NECESSITY OF UNSELFISHNESS IN LEADERSHIP

June 02, 2018

All the people were quarreling throughout all the tribes of Israel ... Thus he turned the hearts of all the men of Judah as one man. (2 Samuel 19:9,14)

There is a price to leadership. A leader cannot do whatever they want, for others are following, and their actions and emotions lead just as strongly as their decisions.

David, the King of Israel, and his men had won a great battle. The problem was that the enemy was none other than Absalom, David's own son. In the process, Absalom was killed. Instead of rejoicing over the victory and the men's bravery, David retreats into mourning.

This brought confusion to the troops. And the confusion led to quarreling. ""Is the King glad or sad? Have we done the right thing or the wrong thing?"" You can imagine their difficulty.

A WISE LEADER ACCEPTS REPROOF

David's wise general, Joab, recognized the situation, rebuked David and encouraged him to respond rightly to value his men and what they had done. They had risked their lives for David and for Israel, yet David was mourning. Their leader was sending a very mixed message. Clarity was gone.

David received this rebuke in humility (as he usually did) and realized that his role as leader was more important than his personal grief.

In one self-sacrificing move, he laid aside his personal emotions and ""turned the hearts of all the men of Judah as one man"" (Vs. 14).

A WISE LEADER CONSIDERS THE WHOLE MORE IMPORTANT THAN HIMSELF

Leaders affect everyone more than they can imagine. How they respond affects whole groups—even whole nations. It is a role that demands unselfishness. It calls for us to lay aside our personal needs and desires for the greater good.

Leaders must realize that what they do—even in their personal lives and emotions—can defeat or encourage those they lead. Leaders never function in a vacuum. Their followers are watching and are affected by their actions—both public and private.

David exhibited both humility (to receive his general's wise, but strong rebuke) and unselfishness (to lay aside his personal grief and rejoice in the victory of the whole). A man who is not willing to exhibit these two vital attributes should never be put in a position to lead at all.

A WISE LEADER BRINGS CLARITY

Leaders must realize that their responses—even personally—can bring clarity or confusion.

A leader is one who sees ahead. His actions define for others what must be done. David’s example was watched by his men. He finally realized that if he was confused and sending a mixed message, they would be confused. A leader cannot sound an uncertain sound, even in his personal responses.

There is always much at stake. If you accept the mantle of leadership, you must accept the personal restrictions of leadership as well. You must embrace the responsibility of your actions in that role.

In the end, with some help, David led with unselfish humility and stunning clarity. And, so must we.





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