Dangerous Leaders

The scripture has a lot to say about dangerous leaders and today we are going to look at one example of a dangerous leader and why he was dangerous.

Read 1 Kings 21:1-20

In this passage, Naboth had a vineyard in Jezreel, close to the king’ s palace. Ahab offered to buy it or give him another one in exchange. Naboth refused because it was his inheritance. Ahab went home sullen and angry. Jezebel promised to get it for him. She sent letters in the king’s name to the city officials and organized for Naboth to be framed by 2 witnesses. Naboth was accused of blasphemy and treason and stoned to death. The officials sent Jezebel a confirmation that Naboth was dead. When Ahab went to take possession of the vineyard, God sent Elijah to pronounce judgment on Ahab for what he had done.

Ahab’s failure was a failure to uphold the law and it was a failure of principle. The issue here is not even that he gave in to the temptation to use power to his personal advantage, but that he failed to stand for principle. Long before he faced the temptation to abuse the judicial system to acquire Naboth’s property, he married a foreigner in disregard for God’s law.

Not once but twice in the preceding chapter God delivered Ahab from the Syrians in battle. But when the king of Syria was handed over to Ahab, he chose to make a treaty with him in direct disregard of God’s deliverance and the law of Moses.

Ahab was one of the most dangerous king’s of Israel. His behavior was erratic and unpredictable, guided by his whims, ego and emotions.

My one point in this message is this: WHAT DISTINGUISHES GOOD LEADERS IS NOT THEIR PERSONALITY, BUT THEIR CHARACTER.

In other words, LEADERS ARE DEFINED BY THE ONGOING DECISIONS THAT THEY MAKE.

As the world becomes more uncertain and more chaotic and more out of control, what we need is leaders who are disciplined and principled. Naboth was a principled leader. His behavior was consistent with God’s law. His attitude was no matter what, I will live by God’s law. That is what enabled him to turn good intentions into consistent results. He refused to sell the future of his descendants regardless of the immediate benefits or dangers to himself. He exercised his right to hold on to his ancestral inheritance in accordance with God’s law. Naboth did not cause this situation, it could have gone either way, and he could not have known how things would turn out.

In Kenya, we have examples of leaders who have stuck to their principles despite external pressures or opportunities. I fear we don’t celebrate the good leaders enough. In contrast however, I can never tell what informs some of our MPs. When we see their actions, you cannot tell what it is they stand for. If leaders are defined by the ongoing decisions that they make, most of our leaders make decisions on the basis of what is most popular at the time.

I listened to an amazing editorial on hot 96 radio this week critiquing this inconsistency in our politicians. Let me quote sections of it:

It is opportunistic for Prime Minister Raila Odinga to claim that if elected president he can lobby for the cases to be brought back to Kenya. Isn’t it Odinga’s party ODM, that through its secretary general Anyang’ Nyong’o wrote to the UN security council to oppose the so called shuttle diplomacy that was led by VP Kalonzo Musyoka seeking to have the cases deferred? Why didn’t he call for the cases to be brought to Kenya then? It is therefore insincere for any politician to claim that if elected they can lobby to have the cases brought back to Kenya.

Listen to another section of the editorial: we would like to remind the politicians that the Kenyan cases did not end up at the Hague based court by accident, no it was by design. Just for the record, we would like to remind Mr. Ruto that in an extensive interview to the Sunday nation of February 22, 2009, Titled Ruto, why I prefer the hague route, the then minister for agriculture is quoted as urging the UN secretary general Koffi Annan, to speedily handover the envelope containing the names of the suspects to the ICC court so that the investigations can begin.

WHAT DISTINGUISHES GOOD LEADERS IS NOT THEIR PERSONALITY, BUT THEIR CHARACTER.

Jim Collins, the author of GOOD TO GREAT, says “the signature of mediocrity is not an unwillingness to change, but chronic inconsistency.”

The key then is what do each of us as well as our leaders need to do today and every day, to set the conditions to hit our mark with great consistency?

WHAT DISTINGUISHES GOOD LEADERS IS NOT THEIR PERSONALITY, BUT THEIR CHARACTER.

Before we talk about the leaders for our city, I want us to examine our own lives. In an Ahab and Naboth situation what would you have done? Are you the kind of leader who would have had the character to make and keep your commitments no matter the opportunity or are you the kind of leader who has to have what you have to have? The kind of person who will find away to manipulate the situation to your advantage even at other people’s expense? What kind of people are we in the good times? What kind of leaders are we in times of blessing?

What kind of leaders are we before we face temptation? Are you a man or woman of your word? Do you pay your bills on time? Or have you left several fellowships with a trail of debts in your wake?

You have to be a man or woman of your word!

What steps will you take to choose the right leader for our city this week? The key question is how do we inculcate a culture of consistent honesty, hard work and rejection of corruption in our elected leaders?

  1. Go and watch the movie “Nairobi Half Life” as a Life Group or as an investment group or as a family. Its showing at the Junction.
  2. Take a day of prayer and fasting as an LG. Ask God to expose unprincipled leaders; those who are wrong doers and who have enriched themselves illicitly. 

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4 Responses to “Dangerous Leaders”

  1. please explain the difference between character and personality?? thanks

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  2. Liking the series Says:

    Honestly i thought it would be one of those sermons .. usual vote good leaders..blah blah blah…but it was impactful felt feeling i have the need to educate my sphere of influence of the need to elect leaders of character.
    Got thinking what kind of Man am i to my siblings, workmates, girlfriend and authority
    May God ‘spoil’ me to be a child of the light and reflect His glory

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  3. marknduati Says:

    Reblogged this on Marknduati's Blog and commented:
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  4. […] second part in this series, delivered on the 11th November 2012, was titled Dangerous Leaders and we heard that WHAT DISTINGUISHES GOOD LEADERS IS NOT THEIR PERSONALITY, BUT THEIR CHARACTER. In […]

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