Want to Be a Good Leader? Start Here!

Do you want to be a leader after God’s heart? Do you have a passion for leading a healthy group, ministry, church, business, or family–or life? If your answer is yes, you are in for an exciting, dangerous, life-changing journey as you partner with God and allow him to pour himself into you so you may overflow his goodness into others.

Oh, by the way, did I mention there are high costs to you as you travel on this journey?

I have been slowly, methodically reading through the psalms, and right now I’m in Psalm 119. Each day I read one stanza from this great psalm and spend time digging into it, meditating on it, journaling my thoughts and feelings, and using this time to hear from God.

Today I read verses 65-72. This, as is this entire psalm, is a prayer. The theme of this section is God’s goodness. This is a great place for you and me to start as leaders: with a recognition that God is good and everything he does is good! Ask God to do good to you, his servant, today (v. 65).

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“Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands” (v. 66). This is a great prayer to pray every day! Note that knowledge itself isn’t enough. Good judgment or common sense is equally, if not more important. Your request for knowledge and wisdom is based on one vital Scriptural principle: trust. Do you thoroughly trust God’s commands? 

If you want to become a good leader, a leader after God’s heart, a leader whom God uses to transform lives, this is critical! It does not start with you, with your skills, with your plans, with your ideas. It starts with one very basic premise. GOD IS GOOD! He will pour his goodness into you and allow you to overflow his goodness into others, and this begins with a commitment to Him and His Word.

“Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word” (v. 67). The NLT renders this, “I used to wander off until you disciplined me.” The Message translates it, “Before I learned to answer you, I wandered all over the place, but now I’m in step with your Word.” Good stuff! In v. 66, the psalmist asked God to teach him knowledge and good judgment. Now we see one of the ways God teaches us this: through afflictions, troubles, pain, and discipline. I know this has been true for me!

“You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees” (v. 68). In the previous verse, the psalmist said he had been afflicted or possibly “disciplined” (NLT). But now he affirms that God is good and that everything he does is good. That includes the afflictions and pains God allows into our lives. Can you honestly say to God, even in the midst of pain and sorrow and heartbreak and God knows what else, even if you don’t understand it, “God, you are good, and what you do is good”?

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“It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees” (v. 71). This verse explains the preceding verses. Can you honestly say, “God it’s good for me to suffer so that I can learn and grow and become the leader you desire for me to be”? Can you say to your heavenly Father, “Thank you! Thank you for the pain. Thanks for the discipline. Thank you for the hard lessons in life that mold me into a person after your own heart”?

“The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold” (v. 72). Especially as leaders, this truth must become real to us. God’s Word is better than any earthly riches we can imagine. That’s why the psalmist asked God to teach him knowledge and good judgment (v. 66).

Want to be a good leader? Then start by affirming how good God is. Everything he does is good. That’s his nature. God is good, all the time!

NOTE: For those who follow my blog, I’m sorry I have not written much lately. My work as a freelance writer and editor as well as a small group ministry speaker, trainer, and consultant tends to come in waves and I’m in a busy season right now. I’ll try to post smaller items as much as I can.

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