Welcome to Proverbs 28, an entire chapter of wisdom for the leader. Some of you might be tempted to immediately disqualify yourself from leadership because you only understand leadership through the lens of comparison. You look at the dynamic leaders around you and think, “I could never lead like them.” Every single one of us is a leader, even if only over our own lives. Beyond that, we carry influence in our homes, with our families, at our places of employment, and within our neighborhoods. So, the message to each one of us today is simply this:
Proverbs 28 paints two distinct pictures for us in regards to leadership. We’ll read about the good, righteous leader in verses 1-14, and we’ll read about the bad, angry leader in verses 15-28. Our goal remains the same as we continue to study the book of Proverbs: Walk in wisdom. Today’s directive is just specified on leadership. So, let’s pull up our chairs once again and lean into the wisdom that comes from above. Let’s learn to see error not just in others around us, but rather in ourselves. Let’s humble ourselves wherever we need to be humbled, confess our foolish, prideful ways, and let’s assume a posture of righteous leadership as we seek to walk in wisdom and influence the lives of those around us.
“When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers,
but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.” Proverbs 28:2
I can’t help but wonder what an extra dose of discernment and knowledge could do to change the course of each of our lives, of our rulers’ lives, of our world.
“Evildoers do not understand what is right,
but those who seek the Lord understand it fully.” Proverbs 28:5
Seeking the Lord and the pursuit of Him alone leads to what is right. Do you want to know right from wrong, right from left, which way to go? Seek the Lord.
“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” Proverbs 28:13
Mercy is found in confession. To lead well is to model humility in this way, to be quick to admit when you’re wrong.
“Those who trust in themselves are fools,
but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.” Proverbs 28:26
I can’t think of a better word of instruction to leaders than Proverbs 28:26. Don’t trust in yourself. Trust in the Lord. Allow Him to guide and steer your course. Assume dependence upon Him in all things. Lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him and His ways. The promise of safety awaits those who walk in wisdom.
You can lead from your own strength, or you can lead from His. The former leads to folly. The latter leads to blessing. Lead well, my friends.