What Makes a Great Leader

Kayla Ferris

Day: 28 | Plan: Even If

Today's Reading: Psalm 101

Psalm 101:2 (ESV) "I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house."

A quick look at leaders throughout history can leave us with mixed emotions. On one side, there are people who have led with integrity, resisted corruption and left the world a better place. However, we have also seen leaders on the opposite end of the spectrum. How scary that can be.

Today's psalm was written by David about the Davidic monarchy. He wrote it to remind himself (and all future heirs to the throne) about the responsibilities that accompany leadership. This psalm was also sung by the people to remind them of what should be required of their king. It was a beautiful and poignant list of attributes to pray over those in charge.

Throughout Psalm 101, we see virtues that make a great leader. Such persons should "ponder the way that is blameless" and "walk with integrity of heart" (Psalm 101:2). They should "not set before [their] eyes anything that is worthless" (Psalm 101:3). They should uphold justice (Psalm 101:5, 8) and surround themselves with upright, honest people. (Psalm 101:6-7)

David wrote great words, but we have the opportunity now in our time to also study if he lived these words. And when we read this psalm in light of history, we might feel discouraged. Yes, David was a good king, but he strayed so far from these principles. Unfortunately, he did set his eyes where they shouldn't have been, and he compromised his integrity of heart. (2 Samuel 11) He did not always walk the blameless path. He often surrounded himself with men of questionable character. (2 Samuel 3:26-28, 16:20-23) David's words toward leaders and his actions as a leader did not always match up.

However, take heart. This psalm was not just written about David. It was written about the Davidic monarchy. Ultimately, it is pointing to the "New David," which means this is a list of virtues describing the reign of the Messiah. And when we read this psalm in light of Jesus, we can rejoice! Jesus is the perfect King! He perfectly fulfills Psalm 101. His way is blameless, and His heart is pure. (1 Peter 2:22) He will uphold perfect justice, and He will put an end to all evil and wrongdoing, forever and ever. (Revelation 22:14-15)

Using Psalm 101 as our guide, let's look for and pray for leaders of integrity. Let's pray God would raise up among us men and women with a heart toward justice and against corruption. But when human leaders fall short, let's not get discouraged. Ultimately, we serve the perfect King. Jesus will reign over a kingdom where righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13) and death and sin are no more. (Romans 6:9-10) The throne of our King of Kings will be forever and ever. (Hebrews 1:8) Amen!

Prayer: Father, we ask in the name of Jesus that You guide the leaders in our world, our countries, our workplaces and our homes. Convict them against corruption and deceit. Steer them toward a heart of integrity. Guard their eyes from worthless things. Help them to find Your way. And Father, we thank You that You have sent us the perfect King in Jesus. In Jesus' name, amen.

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In just eight verses, David makes 10 "I will …" statements, proclaiming how he will live as... Read More

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