Sunday, December 13, 2015
Character More than Ability
UV 1612/10000 Character More than Ability
Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:
Exodus 18 v 21
In giving such wise advice Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses should be considered the father of management and the principles of leadership, delegation of responsibilities and good governance can be traced back to this uni-verse. The elements of this uni-verse are able men, men of truth, rulers. Mere ability is not, then as now, a sufficient guarantee of good leadership. Ability needs to be balanced with a fear of God and a hatred of dishonest gain. A leader by definition is a person who has both faith and fear of God. If he is not he is likely to be covetous and try to gain dishonestly from his office and influence.
Jethro advised Moses to instruct or train the chosen leaders with the ordinances and laws and to show them the way they should walk. They were to learn from the personal example of Moses who kept himself blameless in the sight of God and man. They were to hear the plaints of both the small and great and not act in fear or favour of any. They were to judge on behalf of God what is true and righteous. They were not to be tempted by bribes or be a respecter of persons. They were to be fair, just and impartial to the foreigner and the stranger. Understanding that God is absolutely just is what enables godly leadership to administer wisely.
The implication of this uni-verse is that leaders need to have a passion for the truth, a sense of responsibility and commitment, patience and integrity. We ought to be God-pleasers and not man-pleasers. In accordance with how we acquit our responsibilities faithfully, He will lift us up in His time. Apparently, the ruler of a hundred or a thousand or ten thousand will be person of equal integrity but greater ability than a ruler of ten. At no point is talent, ability or charisma a substitute for integrity. Integrity , as someone said insightfully,-if one has it, nothing else is important. If one does not have it also, nothing else is important. Character evidently has far greater weightage than ability in God’s scale of things. Moral weaknesses are not set off by physical charm, intellectual acumen or personal abilities.
Prateep V Philip