Tough Leadership

Tough Leadership

Proverbs 16:12

12 Wicked behavior is detestable to kings, since a throne is established through righteousnes

Proverbs 20:26

26 A wise king separates out the wicked, and drives the threshing wheel over them.

Central Truth

Godly leaders overcome both the fearfulness that leads to indecision and the pride that leads to stubbornness.


Through the years of my life I’ve had many different types of leaders and bosses that I’ve learned from…both good and bad.  Also, as my responsibilities have increased and changed in the different churches I have served and shepherded, I’ve tried to apply leadership principles I’ve acquired through the mess-ups and the victories. 

Leadership is not about trying to please everyone and looking good.  Leadership is more about representing God well.  Even though all human authority is limited (Matthew 22:21), and we must obey God over human beings (Acts 5:29), leaders in authority do stand in God’s place (Romans 13:1).

You may have been given authority—whether as a parent, a babysitter, a teacher, a government official, a coach, a boss, or a small group leader—it is something God gave to you (Daniel 4:17), and God holds you fully responsible for what you do with it (Deuteronomy 17:18-20).

So representing God means being humble and depending on him to give us the love, compassion, integrity, and decisiveness we need to be a godly leader.

One leadership trait that is a tough is being decisive.  “A wise king separates out the wicked, and drives the threshing wheel over them.”  The threshing wheel was fitted with sharp iron blades that separated the wheat from the chaff.  What this means is that leaders are bold enough to “clean house” and make judgments, especially concerning right and wrong.

When people in an organization, team, or family are not clear on what was decided or not sure what they are expected to do, that’s a leadership fail.  Tough leaders are not afraid to look past appearances, and are not easily swayed by need for approval. 

But the counterpoint to this verse is also true just a couple of lines down. Proverbs 20:28: “Love and faithfulness keep a king safe; through love his throne is made secure.” So, instead of seeking glory and power, a good leader seeks loving service.Jesus came not to be served but to serve.

Questions To Ponder

  • How has decisiveness played an important role in good leaders you’ve known? 

  • How have your mistakes and weaknesses made you more, not less, qualified to lead?

Scripture Memory | January | Proverbs 17:9

“Whoever would foster love covers over an offense,

but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”

God is in control!

God is in control!