Athlete, Go Low

Go Low

5  “Now Adonijah … put himself forward and said, ‘I will be king.’”

1 Kings 1:5 (NIV)

When we read 1 Kings 1 we see two ways to lead: one by appointment and the other by self-appointment. The story goes like this: legendary King David was old. In the eyes of many it was time for new leadership, a fresh voice, a changing of the guard. Two sons emerged as candidates in the storyline: one who let personal ambition rule (Adonijah), and one who let process rule (Solomon). Let's compare and contrast these two men:

  • Adonijah put himself forward; Solomon put God and family first.

  • Adonijah created opportunity; Solomon accepted responsibility.

  • Adonijah moved to prove he was legit, launching a public relations campaign and eliminating competing voices; Solomon let his game do the talking, having advocates but no ad campaign.

  • Adonijah sought God to promote himself; Solomon sought God, period.

Frankly, I see way too many Adonijahs in business, politics, sports and communities. I even see him in myself. More Solomons are what we need, men and women who trust God with promotion, people, plans.

So here's the bottom line. Leadership works best when:

  1. It's given, not taken. Bestowing is the best route. Sit tight more than you prefer and let God and others do the lifting.

  2. Self-promotion gets sidelined. Never entertain selfish ambition. Steer way clear. It always backfires in the end.

  3. Communication runs freely. No one has to be eliminated from the conversation. Live open and free, full of grace and truth.

  4. Religion is used properly. Engage in worship to worship, not to manipulate, not for appearance, not for votes. It's never to be used as means to an end. Worship the Lord because He's worthy. Pure worship sanctifies and settles us. Athlete, God is not a vending machine. He's God.

Prayer to consider today: O LORD, purify my heart and settle my mind. Keep me committed to living out this precept: the way up is down. Thank you for coaching me through Scripture and modeling for me in Jesus and others how leadership works best.

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