In Scripture we read, ‘If you get more stubborn every time you are corrected, one day you will be crushed and never recover.’ (Proverbs 29:1 GNT) King Solomon was reputed to be the wisest man who ever lived. He wrote these words, but sadly he didn’t live by them, so he ‘crashed and burned’. And if it could happen to Solomon, none of us are immune!
Character has become a crucial issue today because so many political, business, and religious leaders have fallen so publicly. As a leader, you don’t operate in a vacuum. You influence many others, and when you fall, they feel the repercussions. When a big oak tree falls, it takes the little trees with it. So how can you guard against falling? By not favouring gifts over character. Today we have an unhealthy tendency to celebrate and reward someone’s gift and overlook their character. Both must be developed. Character is the sum total of your daily habits. In Psalm 15, David gives us eight traits to look for in a leader worthy of respect:
(1) They have integrity.
(2) They don’t take part in gossip.
(3) They don’t harm others.
(4) They speak up against wrong.
(5) They honour those who walk in the truth.
(6) They keep their promise, even at personal cost.
(7) They’re not greedy to profit at the expense of others.
(8) They’re strong and stable.
David concludes his psalm by saying those who do these things ‘will never be shaken’. That’s how you keep from falling!