Obedience To God by Kenneth Boa

Leadership Qualities: Obedience to God
Dr. Kenneth Boa

Along with the costs of leadership come many opportunities - some positive, some negative. Many leaders have access to information or financial resources that they could use to their personal advantage. Others travel widely and almost anonymously, and have ample opportunity to compromise their purity. Still others may be tempted to use their position to unethically crush the competition - whether internal or external. Whether the temptation is about money, sex or power, many leaders sell themselves out. We read about the higher profile cases on the newspaper headlines every day.

>> What's Your Price?

The television show "Fear Factor" is based on the idea that everyone has a price. If the price is right, anyone will do anything at any given time - from eating live slugs to being placed in a glass coffin with thousands of snakes, worms and hissing cockroaches. Every week millions of viewers tune in to see if people just like them would be willing to conquer their fears for money. Quantifying revulsion has proven to be amusing and profitable for network television.

It's one thing to ask someone how much it would cost for them to wear a silly outfit in public or parachute out of an airplane or eat something gross. These things are morally neutral. But there are some things that shouldn't ever have a price - things like integrity, honesty, morality, our commitment to God and to our family. These things are not a game. Every leader should periodically ask, "Do I have a price? What would it take for me to compromise?"

It would be nice to think that followers of Christ do not have a price; that with an initial one-time commitment to Jesus comes a lifelong, resolute loyalty. And yet, it is not uncommon to find people who claim to be Christians cheating on their taxes, padding their expense accounts and stealing from their workplace. A godly leader's commitment to God should be such that he or she will obey him no matter what he or she is offered to compromise. Unfortunately, Saul - the leader who had everything a nation would want - lacked such commitment. When the pressure was on, instead of obeying God's command to completely destroy the Amalekites, Saul spared the king and the best of the livestock (1 Samuel 15:9). That was Saul's price - a defeated king to gloat over and expanded wealth through owning animals, one of the major contemporary wealth indicators. Saul thought he could rationalize away God's clear instructions. But notice how the Lord responds:

"Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: 'I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.' Samuel was troubled, and he cried out to the Lord all that night.

"Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, 'Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor.'"

- 1 Samuel 15:10 ...

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