Hard truths and the leader

by Rev Lai Kai Ming

Readings: 1 Kings 22; Proverbs 18:9-10

READ (verse/s chosen for meditation)
1 Kings 22:15-17 (NKJV)
Then he came to the king; and the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against
15 Ramoth Gilead, or shall we refrain?” And he answered him, “Go and prosper, for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king!”
16 So the king said to him, “How many times shall I make you swear that you tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?”
17 Then he said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. And the Lord said, ‘These have no master. Let each return to his house in peace.’ ”

Do I only want to hear what I like to hear? Yes, it’s tough to hear the hard truth. That’s why the king never invited the real prophet, but depended on false ones to guide his decisions. It might seem laughable for a king to bluff himself in this way. But if we are aware, we might find ourselves doing the same thing e.g. listening only to preachers who agree with us, reading stuff that stroke our egos, and mixing with company that tells us sweet nothings.

It’s tough for a leader to hear criticisms, especially when he has put in so much heart and soul into his work. Most leaders have fragile souls, and understandably, because we are but human. Yet, one of the greatest need for leaders is to hear the hard truth about who we are and what we have done. Or we will be deluded and lead people into the ditch. Yes, leadership is a painful task … and the capacity to embrace and transform pain is what keeps the leader sane and sound.

Lord, remind me constantly that I am Your cherished son, before I am Your faithful servant.


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