The Leaders We Deserve

Many of us know leaders who are far from being worthy of being called ‘leaders’! Many of us have been led by such leaders and suffered as a result. The thought for many of us is that this honor thing would make sense, if only the leaders we were honoring were honorable! Give me a great leader, a person of integrity, a person who is trustworthy, and who puts public interest before their own, and I will have no problem agreeing to be led by such a person.

But when most of our leaders are corrupt, unjust, selfish and sometimes downright evil, then isn’t honoring them in some way supporting what they are doing? This is not an easy question for me to answer because in many ways I identify with the person whose asking it. And that’s why we must turn to Scripture and see what it says.

1 Samuel 24: David was a young, ambitious man who had the misfortune of working for a terrible boss, King Saul! Nothing David did ever seemed to be good enough for him. Three times in rapid succession, Saul tried to kill him but each time David narrowly escaped.

On almost every score, David was a far better leader than Saul: braver, more successful in battle, and more popular. In this passage, he comes across Saul in a cave doing some big business and David has the chance with one thrust of a sword to end the harassment forever. His own men were whispering, ‘surely, this must be a God given opportunity! ’What would you have done?

Or let me ask the question differently: How many of you have been in a situation where you knew much more than your boss or your team leader at work? What would keep you from using your superior skill and intellect to show them up and undermine them? How many of you have parents who have made foolish decisions that have brought pain and shame to your family? What would cause you to treat them with respect even if those decisions have resulted in great hurt to ourselves. How many of you know wives who are far brighter than their husbands and earn a lot more money? What would keep her from cutting him down and instead to defer to him & support him as her leader?

Many of us would rather not show honor to such people. But there is an amazing lesson about honor that I believe God wants to teach us today… READ verses 5-13

Notice several things about David. First of all, he didn’t just choose not to kill Saul but he rebuked his men for urging him to do so! Second, even though he could have remained silent, he choose to make himself known to Saul – deliberately making himself vulnerable as a result. And lastly, he prostrated himself and honored Saul as the rightful king. In all these things, David moved beyond what was merely acceptable and went the extra mile to honor. He moved beyond sullen cooperation to active and full-hearted, obedience.

If David teaches us how to honor, then there’s another story that teaches us how not to honor. In Numbers 12:1-3, we are told ‘Miriam & Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. Numbers 12 tells us that Aaron & Miriam dishonored Moses, even though he was ‘a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth’. I hope you catch the contrast between the two stories; David honored, even when his leader was not honorable. Miriam & Aaron dishonored, even when they were led by the most humble leader the world had ever seen! You see, being a person of honor does not depend on who your leader is; it depends on who you are! Honor is not about your leaders; it’s about you! Failure to honor says much more about you than it does about your leaders.

The fact that we are hard to lead points to our deep insecurities; you see, insecure people cannot show honor. They are too busy fighting to prove to everyone their worth, proving that they are somebody. But you see if you have to prove that you are somebody, then it means that deep inside, you fear that you are not!

A person of honor is secure in their identity. This is because they realize that honor is a factor of role, not worth. Your role is temporary but your worth is eternal. If you knew your worth, then you would gladly fulfill your role.

Honor is not just something we do; it’s something that reveals who we are on the inside. This was not the only time David spared Saul’s life. After his deed of kindness, Saul left him alone, only to come hunting him again in 1 Samuel 26! This time, David crept into the camp at night with his general Abishai and they made their way up to where Saul is sleeping. Once more, David choose not to hit out against person God had appointed as king. And if you follow the story of David in 1st & 2nd Samuel, you will find that he consistently honored those in authority over him. Even as king, he treated Saul’s descendants with great respect, and he even allowed the prophet Nathan to rebuke him when he sinned. For David, honor was not just something he did; it revealed who he really was on the inside.

Honor is not about your leaders; it’s about you!

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21 Responses to “The Leaders We Deserve”

  1. Thanks for the message, made a lot of sense. Please also address the issue of leaders who have terrorists (rebels with qualifications) for juniors . For some of us going to work is preparing for unnecessary warfare. you do everything that they ask to make better work conditions only to find out that they still continue scheming.What do we do?

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  2. fallen on my way up again Says:

    from the worship this was meant to be my sermon…….and when Astar sang public apology i knew God was indeed looking for me……..

    I am a manager in my company and in the morning before church i had just planned on getting even with my immediate boss who for a while i deemed wasnt good enough for the job.

    I had already strategised how on monday morning i would approach the M.D and show my boss that i mattered because he made i decision which i knew the MD would overule in my favor.

    Most of the times i would be in the opposition camp and i would always go round to the managing director to undermine my boss.

    The sermon stopped me right in my tracks and i now know better, it will be a journey but one that i am willing to partake…..

    I need to be back at the feet of Jesus as i have wandered away…….

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  3. OneAmongMany PK Says:

    Pastor M, so now this Syokimau story? This series just becomes harder and more difficult tot ake in

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    • wanguisummedup Says:

      My LG leader and her family are affected by the Syokimau demolitions. Everything was properly done, the search, the transfers, power connection..it is hard to understand

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  4. the mavuno experience is great. I never at one time would have thought that I would get
    saved but the way gospel is preached my day is around the corner. what I have learned has changed my life entirely, I thank God for your good work. may he bless you people to continue doing the good work even more. thanks

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  5. Thanks alot for the message..It was my first time and i enjoyed the sermon.It was a blessing

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  6. Convicted and Rebuked Says:

    AMAZING!! Dragged myself to church for Mavuno @ noon feeling quite out of it! (early morning altercation with the husband). I walked in to AStar being welcomed on stage and belting out Public Apology! 1st rebuke! Apology to God, apology to friends I have pushed far from God and forgiveness of those who will never apologise to me! Oh my. This spoke directly to me. I could have walked out feeling fully ‘nourished’ after the song.

    Then came the Sermon! Respect Authority! As a wife, I may be better educated, earn more and think I am ‘wiser’ than my husband, but I need to learn to follow. Submit myself to my husbands authority! Honour is not about worth, it’s about role; my role as his wife! My insecurities have fueled my character to a point I may be driving my husband away.

    Thank you for speaking candidly, Pastor M. It was a hard sermon to listen to, but very necessary. God give me the grace; this is going to be hard.

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  7. awesome! I am not a Mavunite, but we’ve made a decision with my wife to come for the “Haters No More” series because this is a word in season! May God use you as a pen of a ready writer to inscribe His word in the tablets of the hearts of His people…

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  8. Pastor M…that was one hard sermon. I must admit when you read the comments from last week’s blog, apart from identifying with the bloggers, i thought to myself, hmmmm, I wonder how he will answer that one! And when you said let’s turn to the Bible, I thought, the Bible has no place for kanjo and my super irritating boss and my pointing-gun-to-my-head boring job….the last two being things I grappled with last week, to the point where I was totally unable to go to work on Friday!
    Come Monday, I am at work, with a big smile on my face, and greater joy inside…having been reminded that I am not defined by my role! Neither is my worth defined by my role either… Yaani pastor M, my attitude has changed to…bring it on boss, whatever job, I will serve! Last week I was like God…with my masters and great ambition and shining grades, this is my job??? like really??? In deed pastor Oscar’s words to you, were Rhema word to me…If you do not learn how to serve, you will never be able to lead (paraphrased 🙂 ).

    To ASTAR: I thank God for A star…public apology… Someone I trusted disappointed me BIG TIME! I cried myself to sleep and even lacked sleep many nights, and everyday I would think of ways of bringing that person down!!! And when I turned to the bible looking for a verse to make that person feel guilty…actually DIE of guilt…I read in proverbs among the 7 things God hates: those who plan to do evil! Then Astar performed soon after that! And yes A star, I was taking poison DAILY and hoping that lady would die. But at the end of the service, I confessed that I had forgiven her. I don’t understand how, but God is giving me the grace to put it behind me…and apologise for holding on to the grudge so TIGHT!

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  9. Pastor M, wow that was great, awesome. Lakini i have one question what does one do when honor meets suspicion. Is there such a thing as going too far as far as honoring authority is concerned? I am not talking about psychofancy but i think our society has also not cultured our leaders to expect honor. Yaani if one starts to serve it is sometimes termed as ‘bootlicking'(for lack of a better word). Sometimes even the authorities may begin to see you as a schemer wanting something in return as opposed to a christian simply following the wisdom laid out in the bible. Waah hii ni ngumu…………..

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  10. i came to work with a new outlook and insight and throughout the day these words kept echoing in my head…ITS NOT ABOUT THE LEADERS ,ITS ABOUT YOU…so most of my colleagues wondered why i was more accommodating and suprise suprise even the tone of my voice was level….never raised it…didnt have the scorn…..they wondered what i had for breakfast!!!!!I i KNOW ITS GOING TO BE A TOUGH JOURNEY…BIT A JOURNEY THAT I AM WILLING TO TAKE…..

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  11. Great Service overall ! A Star was on Point! ( As Usual)

    But the second sermon made the first sermon in the series make sense. After the first sermon I was baffled and had more questions than answers, but the story of David and how he honoured Saul despite all that was wrong with him literally made the other shoe drop in my head! It was an AHA! Moment! Thanks Pastor M for breaking down this counter intuitive message! Bless

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  12. Hi Pst M. the message was powerful I wil try to give it a short. Will it b possible for you to come in our office and minister this Friday 8am-9am we normally have devotion? (0789 444 883)

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  13. Isn’t it a sin to be lazy/irresponsible? Isnt it a sin to standby and accommodate sin as well? Isn’t it a sin not to rebuke wrong? How do you rebuke while honoring? How did Samuel do it and who was the superior between Samuel and Saul?

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    • You cannot rebuke an elder/father/a senior person…read…Timothy 5:1…However you can approach them in a respectable way e.g when Samuel got a message from God regarding Eli. Eli was senior in authority than Samuel at that time but Samuel NEVER rebuked Eli even though what Eli was doing was wrong

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  14. Hi,pastor twas good listening the sermon very theological and contextual, and contemporary- spot on.As a trained theologian and pastor of one of the mainstream churches i attended the church on a fact finding benchmarking mission.God bless.

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  15. When I think about it, there is a message permeating culture that tells us achieving the good life is achieving comfort. Comfort in this case is somewhere things work well and need little of our effort.
    We’re striving towards that and pulling back from doing good and making a change. I believe God created us to work, human nature is evil and there will be evil around us for as long as we’re here. But, God wants us to change what we can, God is concerned about suffering. But as you always say we have to partner with God in deed and prayer. Our generation and culture has taught us that responsibility is personal when indeed it is communal.
    I think that’s why the fabric of society is broken, we’re all trying to live our lives and be accountable to no one, in the end no one solves the problems we face.

    Being responsible means realizing that we are accountable to others and submitting to those others. A leader who submits himself to the people, does right. A society that submits itself to God and to alleviating the suffering in society. The problems we face do not belong to our leaders alone but to all of us. Two things to remember that I think we forget- Nothing is impossible for God even with our politics & leaders. Then we all see the negative and not the positive or the direction/ vision for our country. We are mucking around in the mud because we don’t have a vision/dream for our future. Abraham had one even if he didn’t see it, but he lived as if he had it and did everything he could for that dream…

    I’m not sure if that helps but that’s the way I see it. However there’s a major problem that I see and don’t know whether you can help with this. To become leaders we need discipleship and servants. How do we get this? How do we ensure that we are training future & current generations for the right leadership?

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  16. Pastor M the sermon was awesome i will honor my boss but it will take time coz my current partner its had to deal with him even though i studied engineering he cant let me touch anything kwa site because he wants to prove me wrong but i thank God i always bend low even though he never went to school i will try and respect him.and if your in my shoes what would u have done.

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  17. fallen on my way up again Says:

    With an uplifted eyebrow i let the sermon sink in. With a rebuke i take it in. Changing and following was the new mission i carried, knowing my redeemer was beckoning me. Timing seemed to be the test, and each day my promise i intended to keep. Out of nowhere a boulder was thrown my way, my leader one more time not deserving. To slip up or to honor once more beckoned. The journey becoming treacherous and harder, challenging my intended promise. its not about the leader but about you ,are the words that echo. Lord help me each step of the way as on my own , the reality is too deep to take in.

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