I open my Bible Study and begin to fall in love with him. Solomon, a king whose leadership I’ve somehow missed in all my years, is only a child when he takes the throne, but his wisdom bears spiritual fruit I want to eat of.
In a dream, God grants him opportunity to ask any one thing he wants, and Solomon’s answer is, “give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong” (1 Kings 3:9).
It is granted and this wise leader immediately stands out amongst the rest because his motives are different from the rest. Humble rather than heady, Solomon became a vessel. “From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom,” Lucado & Frazee write (The Story), leaving inspired, enlightened, guided, and stronger in the faith. Even when the queen of Sheba tried to test him, he remained steady. In Solomon’s presence people seem to feel the presence of the Lord.
Enamored, I drive to study and join my gal pals around the table. “Can you imagine a leader guiding like this? Whose desire above anything else is to know God’s heart and act accordingly?” I ask.
So often we shake our heads and bemoan what we see in the world around us. Messes feel too big. Hurt runs too deep. And, we just want to throw our arms in the air pleading, “Jesus, come.”
And He reminds I have, and I am.
“Is there anyone you admire in this way?,” I dare inquire. A leader who seeks God first, becomes a magnet by virtue of their acumen and whose warmth is as inviting to the spirit as the coffee I’m sipping is to my soul.
And I immediately identify a Solomon in my life.
She opens her mouth with wisdom & on her tongue is the law of kindness. Proverbs 31:26
This person sits on a throne of sorts, though you will rarely find her there. In this woman’s life the work ethic of those around her is inspired through the winning of their hearts rather than intimidation through her title. This means you’ll see her cleaning tables, picking up floors, and assisting wherever needed because she knows a life of foot washing will create a blessed outcome.
People flock her with their ideas because she constantly makes them feel valuable. Indebted to championing strengths and developing healthy leadership, she takes time from her agenda to hear people’s visions and promote chance for growth. At every opportunity, she builds others up because she knows seeds planted will reap stronger individuals and meaningful community reward.
Selfless and compassionate, this woman acts with gladness in her step. She is certain she is in the role God called her to and that assurance breeds purity in heart. Aware that God is the giver of gifts and talents, she wraps herself in His care and remains in step with His call over her alone. This confidence frees her to elevate the people around her with grace. With focus on Christ and acceptance of the Author’s desire for her to exercise her abilities to strengthen The Body, she stands secure in an insecure world because she knows true profit is found in faithfulness to her Maker.
Serving in the light of God, she is quick to hear and slow to speak. But, when she does, confidence vents through every word leaving her mouth. This is because she carefully, prayerfully considers each conversation to land on a decision promoting the best outcome. In every interaction, she leans her heart into His because she knows fear of the Lord is the ultimate bridge to knowledge and harmony.
Her throne demands that she field questions, criticisms, and problems. Never backing away from this trying ground, she invites all into conversation and communion around her office table. The youngest of her guests, at risk of being made or broken by their interaction, find belief that inspires them to better believe in themselves. The more mature notice unwavering eye contact, astute reasoning, and gentleness in speech. And, all shut her door marked by her influence and grateful for the moment because she knows that in living a life pleasing to the Lord even the initially resistent will be drawn to shake her hand or maybe even leave with a hug.
And she knows these things because above all else she seeks to know and glorify God.
A patient, hospitable woman of character, this is a leader people are receptive to. Despite living a tough position in a secular setting, Godly community flourishes in her piece of the world. And all who know her are better off for it. Myself included.
So who is your Solomon?
Because there are leaders with Solomon-like reputation in homes, churches, schools, at extra-curricular activities, places of business, government…everywhere. People committed to inviting Christ to freely flow through them and blessing the lives they touch in the process.
Tell him or her.
Write a note. Make a phone call. Something to say, “Thank you for seeking God’s heart to determine how to righteously lead. I’m grateful for the leader I witness in you. I admire you. And, in you, I see the salt of the earth.”
This kind of blessing is too great to remain hidden inside our hearts. Through word and action, let’s make a goal today to bless those who’ve blessed us and start a domino affect of thanks!
*I do recognize that near the end Solomon had earthly struggles with fear, weakness, and temptation that took his eyes off the Lord- something we can all relate to. This is reminder that all leaders are human and that even through our faults God can use us for His greater good. After all, Solomon is credited for writing the Proverbs, which continue to inspire you and I today. Be encouraged, and lead in your own spaces with a devoted mind and captive heart.*
Who will you be contacting? Tell us a bit about them in the comments below so we can celebrate together the good and faithful leaders in our lives.