Posted in All Things American, Uncategorized

Protecting Our Liberty & Inalienable Rights: Part III

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There was a time when America looked to its houses of worship and preachers of righteousness for guidance. Today too many Christian leaders will not speak with a moral voice to political issues, condemn corrupt leaders, or endorse political candidates who espouse our values.  Our government has intimidated them into silence, denying our citizens a much needed moral compass. It has been replaced instead with a vacillating standard of morality that is based on whatever direction the prevailing political wind is blowing.  As a result, we elect enemies of our common virtue.

A moral government founded in religious principle is our heritage.

John Jay, the first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court said, “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers…” and he emphasized that we must exercise that choice by electing people who reflect our values and reflect our morality.  He was very specific…he said we should elect and choose Christians for our rulers.  That is what he believed true moral government was.

We are finding more and more that our government no longer reflects our values.

We are being told who we can do business with, what our labor is worth, how our children should be raised, what our children are taught, what we should believe, what we should think, what we should speak, and how we should defend ourselves and our families…and all contrary to our moral values and God-given rights.  Our government is increasingly more in conflict with our values.

We as moral society lament the lack of character and morality in our leaders; we lament the trampling of our self-evident, God-given freedoms by unscrupulous politicians, and we lament the lack of moral character and values in our leadership.

But we must come to realize that we put them in office, we voted for them, and we are reaping the consequences of our actions.  We have been fooled into believing that certain party platforms are moral and we should vote for all who belong to that party.

Speaking for myself, I have been fooled one too many times to believe that anymore, friends.  I find my values in the Holy Bible, not a party platform.  I will not vote for anyone who does not reflect them, even if that means leaving a ballot blank…and I will trust in God for the outcome.

Government should not be a personality contest.  It should not be about likeability.  It should not be about wealth.  It should not be about a political party.  It should be about values, it should be about morality, it should be about trust, it should be about integrity, it should be about faith. It should be about giving our nation back to the Providential Hand of Almighty God.  As Washington said:

“And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

It is these principles which made our country great and free…and it is these principles to which we must return.

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Posted in Bible Study, Theology, & Christian Living, Religion & Politics, Uncategorized

Taxes, Budgets, & Free Markets: The Bible Speaks

When it comes to fairness and ethics in the 21st century, people have different ideas about what is right and moral.  This disagreement–or difference in the application of morality–is the foundation, I believe, for engaging in the serious discussion of fiscal policy and the divide between government and Middle America.  In our post-modern world, where selfishness reigns supreme, there is seemingly scant interest in what is fair for you; what is fair for me is the primary motivation. Oftentimes me is government. Or me is those who depend on government for their income. Any hardship that falls on you after they are satisfied is your problem. I firmly believe any fruitful conversation about these issues needs to embrace a biblical framework.

In speaking to economics issues, I want to specifically address taxes, budgets, and free markets.  All get considerable treatment in the scriptures. Jesus spoke on monetary issues more often than he did heaven and hell.  Thus, I think we can see the importance of fiscal responsibility within a Judeo-Christian—or biblical—worldview.  We might be surprised to see that the Bible has much to say about taxes, budgeting, and free markets (financial freedom)–and these lessons are applicable to our political discussions.

Taxes

Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution gives the federal government power to levy and collect taxes.  Our government most certainly—legally speaking—was empowered to do so by those representatives elected by the people and individual states who ratified the Constitution.  Is there an obligation to pay?

When Jesus was asked if it was lawful to support a secular government via paying taxes, Jesus said it was: “And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him” (Mark 12:17, KJV).  The concept was repeated by Paul the Apostle in Romans 13:7a, “Render therefore to all their dues; tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom is due…(KJV).”  Yes. We are obligated to pay taxes.

However, the power of compulsory taxation is not a power to be abused simply because we are obligated. The question government must ask concerning taxes should be “We have the power to institute a tax for fill-in-the-blank purpose, but should we?”  Sound moral ethics must define the “should” portion of the question. Conflicts in ideology muddy the issue. Nearly all agree that taxes should be applied to national defense, infrastructure we all use, and common interests like community safety.

But what about other things? Should taxes be used to cover the fiscal mistakes of the irresponsible (Wall Street bailouts, Congressional overspending, etc.)?  Should taxes be used to support those unwilling to work?  Again, individual ethics will distinguish between ‘unable’ and ‘unwilling.’  Should taxes be used to fund issues which violate the moral conscience of a taxpayer, i.e. abortion, building casinos, or stem cell research?

Budgets

Budget is both a noun and a verb.  I think that’s an important concept to grasp.  Budget, the noun, is defined as “an itemized summary of probable expenditures for a given period” (American Heritage Dictionary).  Budget, the verb, is defined as “to plan in advance for the expenditure” (American Heritage). The Bible has much to say about this—but I am sure no politician wants to read it.

“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish” (Luke 14:28-30, KJV).

“Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever…” (Proverbs 27:23-24a, KJV).

These verses teach us that responsible budgeting means ensuring the money is there before you financially commit to a project.  The Bible looks down upon trusting in money you do not have (see also I Tim. 6:17).  Since Congress has the “power of the purse,” it also has the responsibility to budget accordingly.

Poor budgeting leads to debt (Proverbs 22:7) while good budgeting leads to surplus (Proverbs 13:11).  Sustained economic growth is the by-product of responsible budgeting.  If confiscatory compulsory taxation is the government’s answer to irresponsible budgeting, citizens seemingly have a right to charge the government with theft, do they not?

Free Markets

The Bible encourages ownership of property and goods.  Job owned property (Job 1:3), Abraham and Lot owned property (Gen. 13:1-11), and Jacob owned property (Gen. 31:18), along with many others.  So, the Bible does not condemn private ownership of land.  Thus, it can be implied that if I, as a private owner of property, wish to sell what I have to another, I may do so.  In fact, the Bible indicates this as well:

Leviticus—an Old Testament legal ethics book—reads “And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbour, or buyest ought of thy neighbour’s hand, ye shall not oppress one another” (25:15, KJV). There is no mention here of a government intermediary brokering the deal, or taking a piece of the “action.” There is only the divine reminder that God has an interest in us dealing with each other fairly. Let’s look further.

Deuteronomy—another Old Testament legal ethics book—reminds the Jews, “Meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a foot breadth; because I have given mount Seir unto Esau for a possession. Ye shall buy meat of them for money, that ye may eat; and ye shall also buy water of them for money, that ye may drink.”

There are a couple of solid principles here: 1) God recognizes the private ownership of land and  property and 2) expects the Jews to not only purchase from one another, but to do so honestly.  In other words, you do not overcharge a patron for something based on the urgency or importance of the item.  You do not charge a starving man twice as much for food because he is desperate; there is an expectation of responsible ownership and charity.  It peeves me that government places such high tax on gasoline because they know the citizens will pay it, or the taxation of food.  Government has no business making itself a 3rd person in what should be a two-person transaction.  Government did not produce the food and will not consume the food.  Thus, what is government’s interest in that free market exchange of goods between consenting parties?

Government Interest

Let us be cautious about believing what we are told, especially those things that are meant to play on our emotions.  Look at the following example:

“Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein” (John 12:6-7).

The ointment was Mary’s to give and the Lord’s to receive.  Judas, feigning concern for the greater good, demands to know why he was not given the ointment to sell and distribute as he saw fit.  His concern was not noble, it was theft.  That is a valuable example to follow when we listen to our elected officials.  Begin to ask yourselves if government’s interest in your earnings is more about what is “in their bag,” and how they can redistribute it to solidify their power,then it is about concern for their constituents. It will change the way you view government, I promise you.

(C) 2018. All rights reserved

Posted in Justice Studies, Leadership, Uncategorized

Law Enforcement Leadership: Lessons from Jesus

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There is an old adage that says, “Great leaders are born, not made.” While this may be a famous saying, in a cursory survey of the adage on Google, I found almost universally that no one with any experience in training leaders believes it. It is apparent that Jesus—messiah, servant, prophet, and sage from Nazareth—did not believe it either. I found that discovery refreshing. I also believe that becoming a leader is a process that involves many principles, with Jesus modeling that process in a way that provides us with our best example to follow.

Jesus understood that great leaders are not born, they are raised. We need only look at some of the men that Jesus called and trained to be leaders to recognize this: Peter, a brash fisherman with a coward’s streak; Matthew, a puppet of imperial Rome who swindled his own people out of their substance to pay Roman taxes; Thomas, a doubter; Nathanael, a dreamer under the fig tree, or any of the others. They all had their shortcomings.

In truth, all of the apostles (except the beloved John) forsook Jesus out of fear the night before His passion. Certainly, when we consider any of the great leaders in history in comparison, we can say that these followers of Jesus did not exactly inspire the confidence that they would become leaders at all, let alone great leaders. But Jesus was not looking for leaders necessarily, He was looking for potential, men who were moldable and teachable and could be taught to be leaders. If they were willing to be pliable bricks of clay, Jesus would do the rest.

Having had the benefit of being a trainer for a sheriff’s department, I know from experience that training staff—either leaders or foot-soldiers—requires orientation to the mission of the sheriff’s office, classroom instruction as to how that mission is accomplished, field training in the use of that knowledge in the company of a senior officer, and a probationary period of observation while the new officer applies the skills he has learned on his own.

But even before someone is placed into the position of being trained, there is a process in place that helps the department identify those individuals who have the greatest potential to succeed in helping the department accomplish its mission. Normally the most desirable of candidates are the raw material, those willing to be shaped according to the dictates of the department, and have no agenda or ideas of their own.

Law enforcement organizations want team players, not rogue warriors. To evaluate the potential of an applicant requires interviewing them and asking them questions about their goals, their judgment, and their character. The entire process is meant to weed out the undesirables, leaving only those who have the best chance for success and, more importantly, will perform the best under the most difficult of circumstances for the department, and in the way that department policy requires it to be done.

When those individuals are identified, the training process can be intense. Classroom instruction can be anywhere from one week to eighteen weeks. The head knowledge is then put to the test in field training, normally from two to four weeks, under the supervision of a senior officer, until certain tasks and basic competencies are demonstrated. Once this is completed, the officer is put to work on his own, under intense supervision for a six month probation period.

The goal at the end of training and probation is to have an officer who looks, talks, and acts in a manner that reflects positively upon the department, the profession, and the community he represents. To be a credible trainer or mentor in the sheriff’s department, you must yourself exemplify those things you are trying to teach if your efforts and teachings are going to be heeded. The mentor must have an impeccable reputation and a willingness to invest his time and experience into other officers. Departmental leaders must embrace and apply this truth as well.

Jesus also applied a process to developing the apostles into leaders. Being omniscient, Jesus obviously had no need for a lengthy application and evaluation process; He knew the nature of all men (John 2:24-25). But Jesus recognized potential. The qualities Jesus sought in the twelve apostles may have surprised some people; He did not select charismatic or physically striking men, but He knew what He needed to accomplish the mission of his ministry to the world. He knew these men thoroughly—the good and the bad—and chose those who could accomplish the work, weaving together the good and bad traits to accomplish what He would ask them to do.

When Jesus called Matthew (Lk. 5:27-32), He called a man who consorted with sinners; someone who understood too well the destructiveness of sin. When he called Simon Peter, He told him He would make him a fisher of men; Simon Peter would know that fishing was work and it would not be an easy job. But fishing for men was so much more important and Peter possessed the drive and understanding to apply the hard labor. Simon the Zealot was a fighter, but Jesus called him; the Kingdom of God would need to overthrow this present world, perhaps not with carnal weapons, but with the same zeal and determination as a revolutionary.

Jesus invested significant time in those men He selected to lead; molding men into leaders takes considerable time and energy. The strong leader needs to be a committed teacher, a motivator, and an effective communicator. Jesus may have been all of these things but without injecting His personal touch into their individual lives, the men He chose would not have been successful.

This personal touch, however, required some honesty. Jesus was not vague or deceptive about His expectations of them, what He wanted to accomplish, or what the cost would be. Walking with Him was going to mean sacrifices (Luke 9:23). But Jesus led by His example; He was not asking of them anything He was not prepared to do Himself (John 10:11). Once Jesus identified His protégés, and exhibited commitment to their growth by investing His time and energy into their lives, He provided many opportunities to teach and instruct them.

This is one of the great strengths of His ministry and it is also a great strength for any law enforcement leader. Of course, there are those well-known moments in the scriptures where Jesus teaches: the Sermon on the Mount, the Olivet Discourse, or sharing His many parables. Setting those aside, however, does not leave us without examples of Jesus teaching on other, quieter occasions–those less obvious moments when Jesus also taught the disciples important life lessons, moments when seemingly ordinary circumstances just “happened.”

I call these “teaching moments.” They are very powerful. The two that I am most drawn to are the widow and her two mites in Luke 21:1-4 and the anointing of Jesus feet in Matt 26:6-13. With the widow, a seemingly insignificant event, observing attendees to the temple leaving their offerings, turned into the teaching of a great truth about sacrificial giving. With the anointing of Jesus’ feet, that which was considered a nuisance and a waste of money was used by Jesus to teach on the depths of forgiveness, gratitude, and faith. Jesus’ mentoring did not stop in the “classroom.” He expected the apostles to apply the truths He had taught them in the “lab” of the real world.

Jesus provided the apostles supervised opportunities to grow as leaders, delegating to them responsibilities that they would then be accountable for. Knowing that leaders learn best by experience—positive or negative, success and failure—Jesus ensured the apostles had opportunities to apply what He had taught them. When He sent them out by twos in Luke 9:1-5, He prepared them for success and failure and how to respond to both. There is a difference between “book smarts” and “technical smarts.” Knowledge gained takes on new importance and relevance when applied technically to real life situations. Jesus knew the apostles would need this if they were going to advance His mission after He was gone.

After the ascension, the apostles realized the culmination of this mentoring process, that of the “letting go” of those who have been taught, receiving from Jesus the trust He placed in them to advance His gospel once He was gone. This goes hand in hand with supervised training. As a leader, Jesus may have given the apostles the “book smarts” and some “technical smarts” in the safety of a structured setting, but real experience only comes from doing it yourself. Jesus was now entrusting them to carry on without Him

Reproducing in our law enforcement leadership roles the mentoring model of Jesus requires us to assume the same priorities that He did. We must identify those with potential for leadership and, just as important, possess the unique qualities fitted to the task. Equipping individuals for leadership requires a time investment and personal commitment to their growth. This requires a clear communication and demonstration of the mission they will be asked to aid and carry on. If they are to be successful, they have to be taught and given the opportunity to apply that knowledge to real world situations with the necessary guidance.

Finally, they must be given the opportunity to be leaders themselves, so that they may add to their knowledge base what they have experienced and learned on their own, so that they may pass these to the next generation of leaders. Jesus exemplified these principles and it is the only logical model for developing leaders. Jesus, that great and humble servant, left a good example for a servant’s profession. Leaders are made, not born; it just takes a little effort.

Posted in Bible Study, Theology, & Christian Living, Uncategorized

Defending YOUR faith: Why It’s Important–Part II

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Christians need to pick their battles. In part one of this series I mentioned minutia, and how we shouldn’t get caught up in it. Where did Cain get his wife? Why are there differences in Bible versions? How come Christians are such hypocrites? Or other trivialities. Critics of the faith will find something to dispute, no matter how strong your defense. It’s in their heart.  They don’t want to believe, don’t want to be accountable to God, and will mount any argument–no matter how simple or ridiculous–to defend that position. In my Christian experience I have found these three things to be the most important points of contention. This is where most critics pitch their tents.

Jesus is merely a great teacher or prophet: I find this to be “hedge-betting.” I can “honor” Jesus without accepting His claims. I suppose the hope is that somehow this may earn them “consideration” before the throne of God on Judgment Day. C.S. Lewis aptly responded to this position. Jesus did not give us the option of accepting Him as a great prophet or teacher. His claims are well beyond anything “great” if He was not exactly who He says He was, the Son of God. He claimed to be God, He proved He was God with the demonstration of miracles among witnesses, even His critics, and proved His claims by rising from the dead. A teacher or prophet who claimed what Jesus claimed–and was not–is either lying or crazy.

Neither trait is worthy of “greatness” or “honor.” I will conclude and paraphrase what Lewis concluded: if Jesus was not lying or crazy, He must be the Son of God. If we allow Jesus to be framed a “great prophet or teacher,” we have allowed Him to be relegated to the level of any other religious sage, with a message no more or less important than that of Buddha, Mohammed, Confucious, or numerous others–famous or obscure. The “truth” becomes simply a matter of personal pragmatism, if it works for you, then it is good for you. While this may work if we are only concerned with people governing themselves according to some moral guidelines, it cares nothing for the souls of men or their eternal future. This is not acceptable in the Christian faith.

The Bible is a human book, a product of the religious experiences of one people: The Bible is, indeed, a human book and the product of the religious experiences of one people. But that is only half of the explanation. The Bible has universal application for all mankind–and says so. Though it is human in the sense that humans penned it, its revelation is divine, transmitted via the Holy Spirit to the human scribe, to be disseminated throughout the world.

The Bible does not claim to be a human book; it claims to be the Word of God. It claims to be universal truth, not just applicable to one group of people. If it is not the Word of God while claiming to be so, we have no more business reading it than we do following Jesus if He is not really the Son of God.

The issue at stake here is authority. If the critical claim is valid, and the Bible is only a human record of religious evolution, then let’s read it alongside the Book of Mormon, the Koran, or any other religious text and glean what we can from it. The rest is the personal pragmatism I noted above…but it is not salvation. No Christian can pretend it is. If men are to heed what the Bible says, it must be shown to be supernatural and authoritative.

It doesn’t matter what your religion is as long as you’re sincere, God understands: It is tempting to accept this, even as a believer. When we evaluate someone who is not a Christian–especially someone we love–on the “good-o-meter,” our rebellious nature wants to believe that God will somehow find a way for that person to get to heaven. Our earthly and carnal sense of justice just does not want to accept that good, moral, and religious people are not getting to heaven if they are not Christians.

Faithful Bible-believing Christians know this is not the case, but the thought sometimes pulls at us just the same. If that is true for the Christian, how much more so does this thought pull at the unbeliever? How alluring this idea can be. But it has been my experience that this argument is only raised by people who have no religion at all.

The Muslim, Buddhist, Mormon, or Hindu knows this is not the case. There is a path to “heaven” and they are on it, whatever it may be, and any other path is wrong. Jesus made the exclusive claim to being the way in John 10 and very directly in John 14:6. Why should I believe Jesus over all the others? Because the resurrection validated His claim and separated Him from all the others. There is no allowance for sincerity.

In part three of this series, I will offer some simple refutations to help the Christian solidify their faith and, hopefully, give the critic something to think about. The message of Christianity is empowered by the testimony of Jesus Christ, moved by the Holy Spirit. We all still have doubts, yes. Partly our own, partly because we don’t work as hard as we should to shore up our faith. But those doubts can be overcome.

Posted in Leadership, Uncategorized

Want to Manage Well? Mind the Small Things

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Quiet Commitment

David’s example of leadership is found exemplified in Luke 6:10a, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much….” David’s ascent from shepherd to king of Israel begins with him caring for the least of creatures to caring for God’s chosen people. His rise to leadership was gradual but increased in responsibility after he successfully overcame each challenge he faced. There is no indication in the scriptures that David ever aspired to leadership, but there is a sense that David modeled a “bloom where you are planted” mentality; whatever David was in a position to do, he wanted to do it well. In choosing David, God explained to Samuel the prophet that even though his outward appearance was not that of a great leader—as had been the appearance of King Saul—his heart was pure (I Sam 16:7).

As a shepherd boy, David did most of his work in secret and out of view. God, however, knew the integrity of David and the great dedication he brought to fulfilling uninspiring duties. We are allowed a glimpse of how seriously David took his responsibilities as a shepherd in I Samuel 17:34-37 when he described to Saul how he had saved one sheep by killing both a lion and a bear. This may seem insignificant to some but David could have allowed this sheep to be killed. Who would have noticed, or even cared, for one sheep missing from the flock? Saving it seemed a reckless thing to do at the risk of your own life, certainly no one would have judged David poorly for choosing his safety over this one sheep, but David placed high value on it out of his strong sense of responsibility to protect it. God knew there was no better person to shepherd his chosen people than a man who was willing to risk his life for something seemingly so insignificant. David’s character was not completely unnoticed among his peers, which led to his first opportunity serve (I Sam. 16:18-19).

Successful in Service

The failure of Saul in his duties as king (I Sam.15:23) had brought the judgment of God upon him and his reign. Removing His spirit from Saul, God allowed an evil spirit to torment him. Seeking relief, at the recommendation of his servants, Saul enlists David to comfort him. When David is called before King Saul to play his harp, we are given some understanding of why David is growing in esteem. While David is noted for being a talented harp player, mighty and valiant, a man of war, and prudent in matters, he is more importantly recognized as a man close to the Lord (I Sam. 16:18). King Saul experiences this in a personal way when David is able to ward off the evil spirits that torment the king by playing his harp. David’s presence so soothed King Saul that he co-opts David for service in the palace. The scriptures are quiet concerning this service but it is clear that his spiritual strength was recognized as something that set him apart.

David’s success in this test, and the leadership abilities that he developed through this event, afforded him more opportunities of increasing importance and difficulty. Each future trial met successfully by David strengthened his credibility and reputation among his peers as a strong, dedicated, and committed leader. It is perhaps this reason, coupled with the demonstration of David’s spiritual strength, which compels Saul to take a risk on the young warrior and allow him to confront Goliath. It was indeed a great risk. Having only experience as an armor-bearer (I Sam. 17:21), David was untested in warfare.

In the account of the Israelites confrontation with the Philistines in I Samuel 17, after serving in the palace, David had returned to his father’s home to tend his sheep while King Saul encamped by the battlefield. When he is instructed by his father, Jesse, to take provisions to his brothers serving in the army, after arriving at the sight of the conflict, David hears the bold challenge of the champion of Gath. Seeing the fear in the men of Israel, David is perplexed by their unwillingness to confront the “uncircumcised Philistine,” reminding Israel that they are the army “of the living God.” David’s boldness to publicly express his thoughts may have angered his brothers (I Sam. 17:28) but the report of his courage gained him an audience with the king (I Sam.17:31).

Recognized His Obligation

Before King Saul David expressed his willingness—and his responsibility—to defend his nation and his God, bravely offering his skills in answering the challenge of Goliath. Saul was understandably apprehensive at first, but it is David’s strength of faith in God, illustrated by the killing of the bear and lion, a faith that has also been witnessed by Saul, which prevails upon him to send David forth into battle as the representative of the armies of God. David’s victory over Goliath becomes renowned and serves as the catalyst to greater responsibility in the service of Israel (I Sam. 18:5). Further successes in battle only cemented the following he had already earned with his people (I Sam. 18:6-7). But these successes were realized because of David’s willingness to act responsibly in those opportunities as they were presented to him. His sense of duty was great but, peculiarly, there is no indication in the scriptures that David sought these positions of great responsibility and influence; he simply responded to the need before him. This ongoing cycle in David’s life would prepare him for the trials he would face as Israel’s king, both as a leader in exile of a kingdom in turmoil and as a leader who finally unites the kingdom.

Leadership Under Fire

The notoriety gained from his success, however, alienated him from Saul, who became consumed by his jealousy of David, placing his life in danger. At the hand of Saul, David endured many attempts on his life—driving him into exile. David adapted to these predicaments by organizing and leading a ragged band of malcontents through the wilderness, men of arguably questionable character, because they seemed to be his only supporters (I Sam. 22:2). Though he dealt with many disgruntled personalities, David still was able to unify this group—even increasing their size and loyalty (I Sam 23:13). This served as good experience for a man who would soon have to mend a divided kingdom after the death of Saul. David’s capacity to rally troops to his cause was learned from the experience of his past opportunities and the reliability that brought with it. They were willing to stand with him because he had shown himself a capable and faithful leader.

Eventually, David defeated the forces of Saul, and those loyal to him, and was crowned king in Judah. It would take seven years, however, before David could unite the kingdom of Israel, time David took to increase his position and influence. David’s respectability as a leader positioned him to unite the kingdom of Israel and, with the blessing of God, set it on a course of great prosperity. Because he had been faithful in little, God had entrusted him with much.

It is not always managing well the big things that set great leaders apart. Sometimes it is managing well the least of things that makes a leader truly great.

(C) 2018. All rights reserved