Words & leadership
Every year before school begins, teachers go through a legal session as we are reminded of our responsibilities and restrictions. Part of the training is to open our eyes to the influence we have over our students, influence we can use to encourage greatness or to bring students low.
The same holds true for all in leadership be it at a school, in the workplace, home or the church. Instead of letting the power go to our heads, we as leaders must be responsible for what has been entrusted to us. We must be careful of our words and actions.
David reminded me of this in the passage below. He and his men were safe in their stronghold while the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem, David’s hometown. David longed for home and said-
“‘Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!’ So the three broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David but he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the Lord. ‘God forbid that I should do this!’ he said. ‘Should I drink the blood of these men who went at the risk of their lives?’” 1 Chronicles 11: 17-20
David spoke his words of longing without thinking of his powerful influence. His words turned the 3 Mighty Men into action with a desire to carry out their leader’s every wish. When the water was given to him, David recognized the risk his men took and also realized the influence he had over others. I can almost see him take a step back as the responsibility sunk in. After that event, I believe David was more careful with the words he uttered.
As leaders, we hold sway over others. As teachers, supervisors, even as parents, we have influence and the responsibility to bear our influence with wisdom. We cannot let careless words drop from our lips for they can change lives and cause great hurt, or even risk as David reminds us.
Lord, thank you for where you have placed me in positions of leadership. Now, Lord, I am desperate for your wisdom and guidance that I might bear the responsibility with godliness, encouraging others forward not weighing them down. Most especially, I pray for wisdom as a parent that I might be the leader of influence you want me to be, showing them You in all I do! I also pray for those in leadership above me. Be their guide as well. Amen.