A Christian leader’s only hope is in the character and promises of God. Read Lamentations 3:22-26.
With the horrors of the complete destruction of Jerusalem still in his mind, Jeremiah wrote the book of Lamentations. Almost right in the middle of Lamentation’s five chapters Jeremiah wrote words of hope not despair. In his words he reminded the remnant of Jews left in the land as well as today’s leaders that our only real hope is in the character and promises of God.
To be effective, wise leaders must find the real truth even when they receive contradictory counsel from multiple advisors. Read Jeremiah 38:14-28.
The Babylonian army had surrounded Jerusalem and built siege ramps to take the city when Egypt made a military flanking maneuver that demanded Babylon divert its entire force to solve that problem. When the Babylonian troops left Judah to battle the Egyptians some of King Zedekiah’s counselors used the temporary retreat to validate for the king that God was protecting His city and that Babylon would never capture Jerusalem. When Zedekiah put this question to Jeremiah, Jeremiah gave him the truthful answer that God had judged Jerusalem and Babylon would return and this time capture the city. Zedekiah had conflicting information and which he chose as truth would hold in the balance his life, the life of his family and the lives of most living in the city.
Tags: Babylonian army's attack on Jerusalem, Counselors giving conflicting advice, Counselors with a heart match, Finding truth when there is conflicting counsel, Truthful answers, Utilizing multiple advisors
Effective leaders lead based on the situation at hand. Read Proverbs 25:21-22.
Wise leaders see what others need and respond accordingly, even to the needs of their enemies. In the situation described by Solomon, shaming an enemy into repentance honored God and helped the enemy grow. Situational Christian leadership means a leader determines what is needed, determines what action will honor God and supplies it at the right time and in an appropriate way.
A leader’s life is filled with unexpected circumstances and situational twists. Any leader that does not consider a plan “B” as they develop and implement plan “A” is lacking leadership experience or, at a minimum leadership wisdom. Situational leadership is not the easy road. It demands the leader’s careful attention to the current situation and an eye to the potential negative or positive changes to that situation in the near and distant future. Read 1 Chronicles 19:1-20:3
David was a well established king in Israel and had peace or at least non-aggression arrangements with most of the neighboring nations. This situation changed with one neighbor when Nahash, king of the Ammonites, died and his son Hanun succeeded him. David read the new situation and quickly sent a delegation to meet with Hanun to insure his intentions for relations with Israel were the same as his fathers.
James 4:13-17 states “Now listen, you who say, ‘today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it sins.”
James is not against planning. He is not putting down trends, charts, graphs or planning meetings. He is not making an argument against commitments. James is simply warning us that our freedom to make plans is not a license to live free from God. Using plans to live free from God is arrogance. Every Christian leader should allow the phrase “if it is the Lord’s will” to infect their thinking and become a standard part of their vocabulary.