Being anointed as a great leader can sometimes be the gift and the curse because you are wired to pursue success on each assignment you undertake. On one hand you take great pride in always seeing that whatever goal you and your team are collaboratively working on is completed promptly and within the preset specifications, with beyond amazing results. But on the other hand, there will be times when the project does not prosper or isn’t completed, and you are left scrambling for alternatives because failure is not an option in your eyes. Regardless of how much effort and dedication you put forth, the project just won’t thrive; perhaps, it just wasn’t designed to prosper in your care. Or in many cases, our own disobedience, negligence, greed or pride sabotage our success. Regardless of the circumstances, a strong leader desires to prosper. Even tougher to swallow, sometimes as you watch your project falter, you have to sit and watch the exact thing prosper in the hands of someone around you (maybe even someone on your team).
Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. One of them said, “Pardon me, my lord. This woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was there with me. The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us. “During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him. So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne.” The other woman said, “No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours.” But the first one insisted, “No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine.” And so they argued before the king. The king said, “This one says, ‘My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’ ” Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king. He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.” The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!” But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!” (1 Kings 3:16-26 NIV)
As you read this story, it’s easy to get caught up in the deceitfulness of the woman whose son had died, but I implore you to instead focus on the woman who was being truthful. Although she was a prostitute, we can learn from her exemplary leadership qualities. She was more concerned with seeing the boy grow into all that God had destined for him to be than she was with receiving the credit for raising the child. She was willing to sign away her parental rights if that was the only way he would have a fair chance to survive. Conversely, the other woman was willing to kill the “assignment” if it meant that she wouldn’t be in charge. Are you willing to watch the vision fail simply because God didn’t allow you to birth the product?
A leader recognizes that things may go awry on the journey to a successful completion, but a kingdom-minded leader appreciates the victory regardless of who led the fight. A kingdom-minded leader is much more concerned with seeing the vision thrive and accomplishing the goal than with receiving the credit. Kingdom-minded leaders will sign over their ownership rights just to see everything come to full fruition. Kingdom-minded leaders are quick to yell, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!”
Based on the two women’s responses, King Solomon made his decision: Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.” (1 Kings 3:27 NIV) One of the amazing revelations in this story is that even when you decide to relinquish your rights as leader or owner of the project, someone can still notice and endorse your efforts. I often tell people that it’s unnecessary to tap dance and spin cartwheels to get someone to notice what a great job you are doing. Simply do the assignment that God has given you–whether it’s at the forefront or behind the scenes– and watch Him reward you publicly for your efforts! Be reminded of Matthew 6:3-4: “But when you give…do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (NIV)
I understand that it’s human nature to want to be responsible for anything successful, but I pray that You constantly remind me that the ultimate goal is all that truly matters. Teach me to simply pray that the project thrives, regardless of who birthed it. I pray that You get the glory out of everything I put my hands to or stand in support of. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to be outstanding, kingdom-minded leaders by supporting the growth of anything that is going to bring God the glory. I EMPOWER you to remember that the most important factor is that the vision thrives, not who gets the recognition.
What are some other qualities of kingdom-minded leaders? Please share them below.
Read a related EmpowerMoment: The Long-Eyed Lesson!
Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and dedicated servant. She is extremely passionate about women’s spiritual advancement, hence the founding of EmpowerMoments. As an avid reader, Kristen enjoys reading the Bible and other non-fiction pieces. Her driving inspiration is when God says to her: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) She currently resides outside of Chicago, Illinois with her wonderful husband and three lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.