Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.” (1 Kings 3:9-10 KJV)
It has been statistically established that power makes leaders who are not self-aware less considerate, selfish, rude and unethical. The studies done in this field by researchers are conclusive. Even more worrisome is the discovery of Professor Dacher Keltner of University of California, Berkeley that neuroscience seems to find that power, if not managed well, structurally changes the brain, leaving leaders with a deficit of empathy and inability to put themselves in others’ shoes.
Solomon understood his vulnerabilities as a human being that he said, “…: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.” (1 Kings 3:7b) And worthy of note is his appreciation of the burden of leadership that it’s all about the well being of the people. No wonder, when God presented a very tempting open cheque to him, he decided to write it in favour of the people. And his burden for the people opened the floodgate of heaven’s bounties.
Jesus our Pattern Leader in His three and half years of earthly ministry showcased the real and ideal mind of a leader. He was sacrificial, compassionate and ever giving. His burden was to restore the dignity and divinity of man even at the risk of His life. At the twilight of His earthly ministry, He gave a summary of His stewardship which centred squarely on the people. And He didn’t stop there, He was mindful of their welfare even after His ascension. Here are the words of Jesus: “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, … I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” (John 17:12,15)
Leaders who make the people their burden are self-aware, self-accounting and self-giving. They know that ‘the people’ is their reward. Hear this: Make the people your reward and not your purse; and your purse will never come to a pause.
I’ve come to discover that God is mostly interested in the people He created. He had to sacrifice His Only Son to make us His sons and daughters.
Therefore, any leader that will actively pursue public value that helps create societies that are prosperous, sociable and just is bountifully rewarded by God. Solomon is an example.
I conclude with this refrain for your meditation:
Your heart for others determines what you get!
Your heart for others determines the order of your blessings!
Your heart for others reflects the God nature in you!
A heart for others will always prioritize the Covenant Obligation – Being blessed to be a blessing!
Remain ever beautified,