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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Little Hearts Never Make Good Leaders

A couple of mornings ago my wife backed out of our driveway like normal. A car coming around the curve had to slow to let her completely take off. She drove the speed limit for the neighborhood which is 25 mph. The guy driving behind her become irate. He pulls ahead of her as soon as possible and hits his brakes. Then, pulls over to the right three lane and gives her the finger.

I got a little angry when she told me the story but since she couldn't identify him, I can't really do anything about it. What do you say to a coward such as this anyway? Anyone who will act such toward a woman while staying in his car at some distance is an incredible coward! He is a little man no matter how tall he is.

Sometimes people mistake little in stature as little men. It is said that the Apostle Paul was short but he was no little man. King Saul, on the other hand, was tall but he was a little man.

1 Samuel 9:1-2 (NIV) 1 There was a Benjamite, a man of standing, whose name was Kish son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah of Benjamin. 2 He had a son named Saul, an impressive young man without equal among the Israelites--a head taller than any of the others.
Physical size really doesn't matter but size of character does.

I heard a ad on tv the other day claiming that a high percentage of CEOs are tall. Could it be that people equate a large physique with large character? They look like leaders in the minds of those with small characters. While a large physique is certainly no disqualifier as leader; it doesn't qualify a person as leader either.

The Prophet Samuel had such expectations out of Saul. He came from the right parentage. His father was a man of valor. Saul was handsome and was an easy sell to the people. He should have known that God was choosing Saul because he was the one that the people would accept. He should have known when Saul hid when he should have been visible.

1 Samuel 10:21-22 (NIV) 21 Then he brought forward the tribe of Benjamin, clan by clan, and Matri's clan was chosen. Finally Saul son of Kish was chosen. But when they looked for him, he was not to be found. 22 So they inquired further of the Lord, "Has the man come here yet?" And the Lord said, "Yes, he has hidden himself among the baggage."

He should have known when Saul would not wait for him to offer the burnt offering (a sacrifice of commitment to the Lord) before going into battle. Saul was afraid of losiing the battle because of a lack of men rather than a lack of favor from the Lord. With his men scattering, Saul took upon himself the office of priest. He acted as if the burnt offering was magic rather than commitment. He depended on man's effort alone to do what the Lord wanted.

1 Samuel 13:11-12 (NIV) 11 "What have you done?" asked Samuel. Saul replied, "When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Micmash, 12 I thought, 'Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord's favor.' So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering."

He should have known when Saul didn't completely obey the Lord. Incomplete obedience is disobedience. Saul was supposed to destroy the Amelekites but he chose to pick the parts of the Lord's commands that he wanted to obey.

1 Samuel 15:3 (NIV) 3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.'"

1 Samuel 15:7-9 (NIV) 7 Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, to the east of Egypt. 8 He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. 9 But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs--everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.

Samuel really wanted Saul to succeed. He really wanted him to be a great king. He looked the part and as many people would say of one as handsome and tall, "He has such great potential." But potential is not found in the physical size of a leader. It is found in the heart.

Samuel didn't really learn this lesson right away. He was sent to Jesse to pick one of his sons to be the next king. The oldest comes before him and he looks upon him as he did Saul.

1 Samuel 16:6-7 (NIV) 6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, "Surely the Lord's anointed stands here before the Lord." 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
We cannot see another person's heart. A heart is revealed by the action of that person. Thus, we see David writing Psalms which tell of his relationship with the Lord. We see him believe in God bigger than Goliath. We see him spare Saul's life when it would have been easier to have taken the kingdom by force. People with tall character gather around one who has tall character.

Yes, David had his faults and sinned. Every successful person with a tall character must carefully guard his heart every day. It is so easy to believe that you can do anything you want when you have been so successful. It is easy to believe that it is all about you and take whatever you want.

Are you looking for a leader? Do your best to discover his or her heart. Do you want to be a leader? Then, don't wait for circumstances to overwhelm you. Go to the Lord.

The problems of leadership are never in the physical size. They are in the heart. The qualities of leadership are not in the size of the person. They are in the heart.












1 comment:

high-expressions said...

Well, the part of the story of Saul was "the man of men" in his build, did always remain in my mind; too, the part that the Lord said "I look at the heart", and finally I am aware of some of the flaws of Saul, yet you have rolled the three in, by your skillful pen, to paint or should I say, over-paint the link of the smallest of the character of Saul to his physique. I kind of think if I am a good built guy reading your article, I may say, "This is unfair. There is no direct link between good built and character!" Well, a short chap can be having a short fuse, too, you know! There are good big guys, and there are horrible midgets, too.

It is nevertheless a good exposition of the weaknesses of the character of King Saul.

And of course, you did NOT title your message as "Big guys or tall guys never make good leaders!"

Anthony Chia, high.expressions