Friday, August 20, 2010

Leadership Sessions: Righteousness, Wisdom, and Integrity

Prayer: "God cover us with Your Righteousness, give us Your Wisdom, and help us to walk in integrity. We ask this in the name of Jesus, who is our righteousness, who is the Wisdom of God, and who empowers us to walk in integrity by His Holy Spirit. Amen!"

Recently I sought God for help with my leadership. I was caught off guard when God spoke. I know that we should not be surprised that God speaks when we seek Him, but often we are indeed surprised, and I was. God’s word promises us that if we lack wisdom that we should ask God to give us His wisdom and God will give it to us (James 1:5). So with this scripture promise in mind, I prayed that God would give me His wisdom on leadership, and God led me to Proverbs 10. I read it and three things stood out to me: righteousness, wisdom, and integrity. A leader seeks out and walks in God’s Righteousness, a leader seeks out and walks in God’s Wisdom, and a leader walks in integrity by God's Holy Spirit.

A leader seeks out and walks in God’s Righteousness.

“Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, but righteousness delivers from death. The Lord will not allow the righteous soul to famish, but He casts away the desire of the wicked.” – Proverbs 10:2-3

“The mouth of the righteous is a well of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked.” – Proverbs 10:11

“The labor of the righteous leads to life, the wages of the wicked to sin.” – Proverbs 10:16

“The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.” – Proverbs 10:21

When reading Proverbs 10, it became clear that righteousness is important and it comes up over and over again. The more I thought and reflected on what it means to be righteous, the more evident it became of just how unrighteous and sinful I am. The verse from Romans 3:10 came to mind, “There is none righteous, no, not one.” If a leader is to be righteous, and there is no one with righteousness of their own, then how does a leader walk in righteousness? The next prayer I prayed was “Help me lord to be righteous.” Then this verse came to mind from Romans 5:19: “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” I continued, “Lord, give me your righteousness and help me to walk in it.” We do not have any righteousness of our own, but we are called to be righteous. If we are going to live and lead in righteousness we must yield to Christ as it says in Philippians 3:9, “And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.”

A leader seeks out and walks in God’s Wisdom.

“A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is the grief of his mother.” – Proverbs 10:1

“The wise in heart will receive commands, but a prating fool will fall.” – Proverbs 10:8

“The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of wisdom.” – Proverbs 10:21

Proverbs 10 speaks volumes of the importance of wisdom. A good leader is a wise leader and wisdom is found in God and His word. When I was at my wit’s end and needed a fresh word from God on leadership, He met me there. I needed wisdom, and God gave it to me, when I sought Him out. I love what Dallas Willard says about finding God. He says, “I have found the address of God, it is at the end of my rope.” We do not have all we need on our own, but with God and His word, we have His knowledge and His wisdom. Again, scripture says that if we ask it will be given unto us, if we seek, we shall find, and if we knock, the door is opened to us (Matthew 7:7-11). God’s word encourages us to seek wisdom and promises it will be given to us (James 1:5). Scripture says, “A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel (Proverbs 1:5).” I cannot think of a better source for wise counsel than God, the author of wisdom Himself. If we are going to be good leaders, we must seek out and walk in God’s wisdom.

A leader is empowered to walk in Integrity by God’s Holy Spirit.

“He who walks with integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will become known.” – Proverbs 10:9

“The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.” Proverbs 11:3

Integrity is important in leadership. Good leaders have excellent integrity, and there is integrity in being who you know God has called you to be. When we walk in God’s righteousness and seek his wisdom we are able to see more clearly how we are to walk in Him for God’s glory, and to God’s glory. Integrity is honesty and truth. Integrity speaks to being complete and whole and it speaks to walking in firm adherence to your values, standards, and beliefs, which should align with God’s word. When we are following Jesus in our leadership, we can be confident that we are walking in God’s integrity. Again, this is nothing that we can do on our own. We must rely on God’s Holy Spirit to give us the fruits of His Spirit (see Galatians 5:15-26). Paul tells us in Galatians that if we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). Paul also says in Philippians 4:13 that we “can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.” If we are to be leaders of integrity we must be empowered by God’s Holy Spirit to walk in integrity.

Would we be clothed with God’s Righteousness, walk in the wisdom of God, Jesus Christ, and walk in integrity in Him by His Holy Spirit, fulfilling the words of Paul, from 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, in our leadership: “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—that, as it is written, ‘He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.’”

Seeking to be led by Jesus in leadership,



The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982.

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