The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be established for ever.Proverbs 29:14
A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer.Proverbs 29:19
The theme of leadership and discipline continues in these two texts.
In verse 14 we see the responsibility of leadership to appropriately mediate over the circumstances of the poor. Dealing with those in poverty justly can be difficult. On the one hand, those who have little have been overlooked and abandoned historically because they have little to offer. It has been easy for leaders to take advantage of the poor because their lack of resources makes it difficult for them to defend or represent themselves well. On the other hand, those in poverty have been counted as virtuous because of their need. Their difficult situation has tempted leaders to overlook justice. Solomon states here that the one that is faithful in their ability to act justly will have a durable tenure. Leaders who have the discipline to judge faithfully, and meet out discipline justly to the most vulnerable, will have a leadership that is well established. That kind of leader is likely to have favor with God and man.
In verse 19 we see a principle about leadership and discipline that is very practical. If the only “tool” in the leader’s “toolbox” is words, the actions required for success may very well go undone. Words must be followed up with action. There is an old saying that goes something like, “People do not always do what you expect. They do what you inspect.” Many times we are obedient to do what we are told, but we are more likely to do what we are told if we know that we will be held accountable to do it at some point. There are some times where people are not motivated by inspiration, but rather by discomfort. It is the job of the leader to point out the discomfort of a lack of discipline. Discipline at that level must be in his toolbox if the group he leads is to succeed.
The connection between leadership and discipline is clear. Here are two principles:
- The effective and faithful leader is self-disciplined.
- The effective and faithful leader must lead people to self-discipline.
• Do you see self-discipline as bondage or freedom?
• Where do you need to grow in your own self-discipline?
• How can you “lean-in” to those who lead you when it comes to accountability?