November 16, 2015

Leading with Justice and Faith

By L. Roger Owens
 
The Upper Room Disciplines 2015

The Upper Room Disciplines 2015. Click to purchase this full week of devotions (“Belonging to the Truth”) as an e-book.

Read 2 Samuel 23:1-7


These verses offer us an image for just, faithful leadership: “One who rules over people justly, ruling in the fear of God, is like the light of morning, like the sun rising on a cloudless morning, gleaming from the rain on the grassy land.” The night may be dark, cloudy, and rainy, but when morning comes the darkness disappears. How refreshing and enlivening is the clarity of such a morning!

You need only to think of a world leader like Nelson Mandela to understand this image. After the long, stormy night of apartheid in South Africa, Mandela’s leadership, marked by a commitment to justice and reconciliation, was like the light of a new day. However, political leaders are not the only ones called to this ideal of just leadership. These verses speak to parents, pastors, and principals as well—all who hold positions of authority and leadership. How can each of us exercise authority in ways that are just, so that clarity like that of a new dawn will be their hallmark?

King David in these verses speaks of his own reign, which had its dark, stormy periods. When we remember that aspect, we can hear his words as ones of hope. When we fall short of this type of leadership, we know that with God, renewal is possible.

When we lead with justice, in the “fear of God,” we become signs of the reign of Jesus himself, the heir to David’s throne, who, as the book of Revelation says, is himself the light of the city of God.

Lord, help me see where you are calling me to leadership today, and give me the wisdom to lead with equity and justice. Amen.


L. Roger Owens, author of What We Need Is Here: Practicing the Heart of Christian Spirituality.

L. Roger Owens, author of What We Need Is Here: Practicing the Heart of Christian Spirituality.

L. Roger Owens is associate professor of leadership and ministry, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He is the author of What We Need Is Here: Practicing the Heart of Christian Spirituality.


 

Excerpt from page 333 of The Upper Room Disciplines 2015: A Book of Daily Devotions. Used by permission of Upper Room Books.

 


The Upper Room Disciplines is an award-winning devotional book published annually by Upper Room Books. Fifty-three writers from diverse Christian and cultural backgrounds contribute to this yearlong guide of daily devotionals. They provide insightful reflections on scripture and offer suggestions for applying biblical truths to daily life.

 

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