The Leader’s Promise
The Leader’s Promise
May 22, 2019 by Tom Deighan
(A repost from February 17, 2013)
Shortly after becoming king, the full weight of Israel’s needs began to rest on Solomon’s shoulders. His family had been deeply affected by his new position and several of the old guard challenged his authority in various ways, undermining him as he took over a bruised and battered organization. During this time, God asked him what he wanted (I Kings 3:5-9).
Solomon confessed that he felt inadequate for the task, like a “little child” and without a clue where to start. Comparing himself to his father David, Solomon invited despair and inadequacy. But we all know he did not stop there; Solomon asked for wisdom and God made him the most successful king in the history of Israel. He started his request by focusing on David’s greatness and his own shortcomings as a leader, but something truly amazing happens in the second part of his prayer: He shifts his focus to his people and their needs.
“8Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. 9 Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
Solomon’s motivation to make the greatest request a leader has ever made did not come from his overwhelming challenges or from his humility – it came from a sense of duty to his people. No fewer than 4 times does Solomon mention the “people” in verses 8 and 9; by focusing on his people’s needs, Solomon found the courage and strength to ask for wisdom.
Instead of a way out . . . instead of vengeance on his critics . . . instead of a stable budget, Solomon asked for Wisdom to serve his people’s needs. As he focused on the needs of the people who depended upon him for their livelihoods, their safety, and their futures, all else faded away, and Solomon asked for the one thing that his students, his staff, his parents, and his community needed from him as a leader: Wisdom.
The Bible is full of people of faith who faced difficult trials with very different outcomes. There is one thing, however, that appears to be an iron-clad promise no matter our challenges. If we ask for Wisdom, He will give it to us, no matter our situation, just as He did with Solomon: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5 NIV)”
We will never go wrong by focusing on our people’s needs. Solomon was blessed because he asked for wisdom to serve his people’s needs above all else. People often wonder that he did not ask for so much more, but if you are a school leader, you know that there is no greater gift God can give us than the wisdom to serve our people. You can be confident that God will give you wisdom to serve your schools if you simply ask for it. Think of it as the Leaders’ Promise.
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