Recently, I (Becky) had the opportunity to speak to a group of civic leaders. In that message, I referenced Micah 6:8 where the prophet answers the question, “What does the Lord require?” The Lord wants leaders to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. Let’s lean into that a bit and see what that means for our own personal walks as leaders.
Act Justly – The leader who acts justly is impartial. They have a heart for the poor and broken, the messy and the marginalized. They don’t take advantage of people and in all their commerce they act with integrity.
Dr. Ward, the founder of Food for the Hungry, is an excellent example of a leader who was concerned about justice. He learned that 10,000 people worldwide died daily of hunger. It felt wildly unjust to him and so he cried out to God asking what He could do. He prayed, “I’m just one person!” He sensed God’s answer was, “But they die one at a time, my son, they die one at a time.”
You won’t be able to bring about justice for the whole world, but perhaps you can act justly on behalf of one person at a time.
Love Mercy – We all want mercy, we just don’t all want to extend mercy. John Winthrop was a Puritan who encouraged the founders of the Massachusetts Bay colony that they were to be a city on a hill. He encouraged them to operate in mercy. He cried for leaders in the community to both rejoice together and mourn together, to labor and suffer together. We need mercy today as much if not more than when the Massachusetts Colony was established.
Walk humbly with God – Humble leaders recognize their need for God in a broken world. When we come humbly before God we seek His wisdom in prayer. The Apostle Paul wrote that we were to have the attitude of Christ who was humble in His leadership. (Philippians 2:1-8). What do humble leaders look like?
- Humble leaders don’t need constant applause.
- Humble leaders are open to feedback and even criticism.
- Humble leaders celebrate the successes of others.
- Humble leaders serve their teams.
- Humble leaders shine the light on others.
Friend, these are wonky days in which we are living. How are you acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God in your leadership? Why don’t you take a moment to pray and ask God to develop in you justice, mercy, and humility. You’ll be a far more effective leader!