- Mridula Pradhan
How Can You Avoid These Traps and Pitfalls
With great power comes great responsibility. Some believe that these wise words are that of Ben Parker from the movie Spiderman while others trace the roots of this statement to Voltaire, the French enlightenment writer. Either ways, we are no superheroes. Can mortal men made of flesh and blood make strong, flawless and godly leaders?
Leadership has many pitfalls but God in His grace has provided us with resources and wisdom to avoid them and moreover rise above them.
In 2 Sam Chapter 11 we read about David’s sin with Bathsheba. The chapter made me realize how “fallen” man inherently is. David, “a man after God’s own heart” committed adultery, schemed to cover up his sin, and when that did not work out, he plotted the death of a loyal and faithful soldier, Uriah the Hittite.
2 Sam 11:1: “In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab and his servants with him” – David was supposed to go to battle but decided to stay back. He sent his best men and relaxed at home. Little did he realize that as he was taking a walk on the roof of “the king’s house”, he was walking straight into a trap. My friends, I want to tell you that your assignment keeps you away from temptations. Had David gone out to battle he would not have been tempted by the sight of Bathsheba bathing. Most of the time, inactivity presents greater danger than a battle. As people of God, we should not resist battles. Some battles are God ordained and we are more safe in the midst of them than we could ever be lounging around at home.
With leadership comes power. And power without fear of God is dangerous. David was relishing this newfound power and authority. For some time he forgot that he was accountable to the almighty. God knows the heart of man all too well. He had already devised a solution for this. As per Deuteronomy 17:18-20, the law required Israel’s king to “write for himself, in a book, a copy of this law”. A new king was to have his own copy of the law in his own handwriting. This signifies diligence, dedication and reverence. Furthermore, the king was required to “read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God” – Scriptures instill godly fear in our hearts. Deut 17:20 “that his heart may not be lifted above his brothers”. Greater levels come with bigger devils. Please note that David was “walking on the roof” of the king’s house. Even as we scale greater heights, God does not want our hearts “to be lifted” above our brothers. Independence and pride leads to the downfall of a leader but the law of God keeps his heart in check. I don’t think the law required the common man to copy the scriptures in his own hand but a king was required to do so. As a leader, are you challenged to be a diligent student of the scriptures?
1 Sam 16:12-13 narrates how prophet Samuel had anointed David. Verse 13 “And the spirit of the lord rushed upon David from that day forward”. David always had the Holy Spirit to fall back to and so do we!
When we read further. In Chapter 12, we see that David was surrounded by Godly men. Nathan was a prophet. He was direct, candid and fearless in confrontation. While Joab, David's general was loyal and forgiving. He believed in David. He knew that David was better than the mess that he has created for himself. As leaders, what kind of people have you surrounded yourself with?
I encourage you to go back and read this chapter coupled with Psalm 51. I promise you, you will be blessed. Do share what God spoke to you in the comment section below!