What are the characteristics of a good leader? How can we determine if our current and potential leaders have the qualities to faithfully assume great leadership? Are there verses found in the Holy Scriptures that can guide us in choosing the right person to lead us?
The Bible is one of the best sources of practical knowledge that we can apply in our everyday lives. The wisdom it gives can help us discern things and make any decision right. And since God is one perfect example of a great leader, we can definitely learn great lessons of leadership from His words and teachings.
Our leaders have the power to shape our nation and even the future of our next generation. Without the right leader, a country falls, people suffer, and hope is lost. That is why our freedom to vote or to choose a leader, whether they are national, international, local or organizational, is one of the most important privileges we cannot afford to waste.
If you want to know if your present and future leaders possess the biblical qualities of a great leader, here are 18 signs you can check to test them out.
1. They are humble servants.
“But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.” – Luke 22:26 (ESV)
2. They do not tolerate wrongdoing.
“It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.” – Proverbs 16:12 (KJV)
3. They are honest and open.
“Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.” – Psalm 43:3 (NIV)
4. They make rules that people will be glad to follow.
“Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.” – Psalm 119:35 (NIV)
5. They protect their people.
“Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” – Psalm 139:10 (KJV)
6. They are merciful and compassionate.
“They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat upon them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.” – Isaiah 49:10 (NIV)
7. They do not tempt people to do evil.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” – Matthew 6:13 (NIV)
8. They are knowledgeable and mindful.
“Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” –Matthew 15:14 (NIV)
9. They lead in peacefulness and godliness.
“For kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” – 1 Timothy 2:2 (NIV)
10. Their words are respectful.
“But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness.” 2 Timothy 2:16 (ESV)
11. They are hardworking.
“If it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” – Romans 12:8 (NIV)
12. They have good advisers around them.
“For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure.” – Proverbs 11:14 (NIV)
13. They are faithful leaders who work based on love.
“In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man will sit on it— one from the house of David — one who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness.” – Isaiah 16:5 (NIV)
14. They have the will to serve; they’re not greedy for money.
“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve;” 1 Peter 5:2 (NIV)
15. They lead by example.
“Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.” – 1 Peter 5:2-3 (ESV)
16. They got skills and integrity.
“And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.” – Psalm 78:72 (NIV)
17. They are prudent, not hasty.
“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?” – Luke 14:31 (NIV)
18. Finally, they are a good role model to anyone.
“Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.” – 1 Timothy 3:1-3 (NIV)
Apparently, great leaders are rare nowadays. It’s difficult or even near impossible to find a human leader who has all the qualities above. However, we should not lose faith and hope for a better tomorrow. With love as the foundation of leadership, anyone could be a great leader people deserve, not to mention that leader could be you.