Recently, I listened to a podcast by Michael Hyatt titled “Don’t bite that apple”.
During the podcast he discussed four temptations every leader faces which are:
- the temptation of priorities
- the temptation of entitlement
- the temptation of resentment
- the temptation of popularity
While reflecting on the four temptations every leader faces, two historical leaders, Saul and David, came to my mind. As I reflected on the two leaders, I asked myself what type of leader am I… a Saul or a David?
Let’s look at the lives of Saul and David, Israel’s first and second kings. Each starts their reign full of promise and hope, so why did one take his own life and the other live a long and prosperous life? David’s and Saul’s lives are representative of the four temptations every leader faces. Each made choices that determined the type of leader they would be.
Saul was chosen by God to be the fist king of Israel. On the surface, he was exactly what the Israelites wanted for a king, yet he did not fulfill his early promise. When Saul took the throne he appeared to be humble, dedicated, considerate, and walking with God, but what was really in Saul’s heart?
Saul was prideful, filled with self-love, jealous, deceitful, impatient, irresponsible, disobedient and unrepentive. He submitted to the temptations of priority, entitlement, resentment, and popularity. Saul never changes his ways and it cost him his life.
David learned to depend on God at an early age when God delivered him from a lion and a bear. Even though David had been chosen to be king when he was about 16 years old, he doesn’t actually become king over all of Israel until he was 38 years old.
For 14 years David was an outlaw, living hand to mouth in caves while running from Saul who was trying to kill him. David had numerous opportunities to kill Saul but each time he spared Saul’s life.
David’s fame spread throughout every land and the Lord made all nations fear him”
– 1 Chronicles 14:17
However after years of walking closely with God, David begins to drift towards the temptations of popularity and entitlement. David commits adultery with Bathsheba and murders her husband Uriah. When David’s sin was uncovered by Nathan, he immediately acknowledges it and cries out to the Lord.
How do leaders remain grounded and not fall into the temptations of power?
- Ground yourself in your faith
- Align your priorities with your values
- Surround yourself with individuals who hold you accountable
Every leader faces temptations. The question is how will you respond. Are you a Saul, or are you a David?
Which type of leader are you?
Dr. Kim Moore
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