Living and Leading Confidently

Posted on January 27, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Devotional Reflections

“Is not your fear of God your confidence, and the integrity of your ways your hope?”

In preparation for a couple of events at which I have been invited to speak on leadership, my thinking reverted to this verse in Job 4:6. It became an anchor for me in stormy times and a foundational truth to keep priorities focused. One in leadership is subjected to perceptions of others that often lead to criticism and personal attacks. Decisions can be misunderstood and disagreements are inevitable.

Becoming defensive and counter-attacking is seldom an advisable solution, and it simply engenders further conflict. Ignoring detractors can cover the spectrum from aloofness and arrogance to being perceived as indifferent and insensitive. The greater the responsibility the greater the vulnerability to blame and having motives questioned. How can one continue to lead confidently and do what is right even if others do not agree.

These two aspects of advice have sustained me through many difficult issues and strained relationships. Our confidence is in the Lord, not in men. We are not to be afraid of God as a judgmental, punitive sovereign, but we are to have a sense of awe and reverence toward Him. Knowing that He is aware of our behavior and even the motives for what we do and that we are accountable to Him is a deterrent to sinful actions or self-serving decisions. If our fear and respect of God characterizes our relationships and lifestyle, we can be pretty confident of doing what is right.

Likewise, when one is firmly committed to integrity, there is nothing that can divert a person from being truthful and transparent. If one is committed to honesty and truth it is unlikely one will be lured to indulge in the baser pleasures of life, communicate half- truths for the sake of preserving oneʼs reputation or to be self-serving in any way.

These are not only principles for leaders but are valuable precepts for anyone. We all go through times of trial, strained relationships and are subjected to misunderstanding. The hope that sustains us is knowing that we have been truthful and honest. We have not misrepresented a situation in order to cover our mistakes. The hope that everything will ultimately be all right and we will come out on top is to walk in integrity.

Fearing the Lord and practicing integrity will keep anyone on the right track and give confidence to encounter whatever life may bring.

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