Sustain God’s Conquest – Lamentations 1:7, 8
Great conquest must be supported by great character. “Nothing is so hard to gain, and so easy to lose, as a good reputation.”
|We usually recognize . . .||We should equally recognize . . .|
|1. Talents and gifts.||1. Solid character and integrity.|
|2. The superb product.||2. The process that develops on the way.|
|3 Excellence in performance.||3. Excellence in discipline.|
|4 External appearances.||4. Internal stability and obedience.|
Daniel Had What It Took – Daniel 2:48 (positive)
The private life of a leader will impact their public life. Ponder the character Daniel displayed under the Kings of Babylon:
- His Diet: He wouldn’t compromise on ritually unclean foods, but ate only vegetables.
- His Motives: He didn’t take credit for interpreting dreams, but glorified God instead.
- His Honesty: He spoke the truth to authorities, regardless of its unpopularity.
- His Disciplines: He continued praying daily, even though it might cost him his life.
- His Integrity: He had no interest in bribes or payoffs.
- His Convictions: He stayed committed to his friends and beliefs even as he rose through the ranks.
Because leadership operates on the basis of trust, people will follow a leader only so far as they trust him or her. Character communicates credibility, harnesses respect, creates consistency, and earns trust.
Every leader must know the following about character:
- Character is more than talk.
- Talent is a gift, but character is a choice.
- Character brings lasting success with people.
- Leaders cannot rise above the limitations of their character.
Efficiency – Ethics = Emptiness – Amos 1:1-2:16
Leaders who fail morally do not lead anyone to a better place. The higher the leader goes, the deeper his character must develop. The larger the outward privilege, the larger the inward character must be. Character represents the inner life of a leader.
Jonah Runs from Commitment – Jonah 1:1-10
Spot someone who runs from commitment, and you’ll find a person who lacks character. Jonah teaches us the consequences of avoiding God’s call to commitment:
- We miss the privilege of partnership with God.
- Our choice damages more people than we know.
- We become more hardened and desensitized to the tragedies we cause.
- We lose both integrity and trust.
Can’t Give What They Don’t Have – Micah 2:1-13
Wicked leaders lead out of convenience and expediency. They do what is right for them.
To better understand character, take a look at some common misconceptions about it:
- Character is not merely how a person acts; some can masquerade poor character.
- Character isn’t just what a person will ideally be in the future; that’s called hope.
- Character is not only what others see on the outside; it begins on the inside.
- Character isn’t limited to wisdom in evaluating other’s behavior; that’s judgment.
- Character isn’t only about discipline; I may be disciplined in one area and not in another.
Join me next time for part 4 of Leadership Quality: Character.