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Wanted: Leaders Who Exemplify Truth, Humility, and Justice

September 2, 2016 • Life for Leaders

In your majesty ride forth victoriously in the cause of truth, humility and justice; let your right hand achieve awesome deeds.

Psalm 45:4

 

A child dressed up as Superman.When I was a boy, I loved watching Adventures of Superman on our black-and-white Motorola television set. How I longed to be just like that “strange visitor from another planet” who fought a “never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way.”

As people of justice, we will treat all people fairly and will work for a world that offers justice to all. We will be especially committed to doing justice for the poor, the powerless, and victims of systemic injustice. Where we have been given authority in our work, our families, our churches, our schools, or our community, we will strive for just systems that reflect the character of God.

 

Superman, ironically enough, has much in common with the king who is praised in Psalm 45. This psalm is unusual in that it is addressed, not to God or to the people of Israel, but to the king on the occasion of his wedding (45:13-15). In verse 4, the psalmist urges the king to “ride forth victoriously in the cause of truth, humility and justice.” That’s not exactly “truth, justice, and the American way,” but two out of three ain’t half bad!

When we pray for our leaders, as Scripture urges us to do (1 Tim. 2:2), we should ask the Lord to lead them in the ways of truth, humility, and justice. God knows we desperately need leaders today who exemplify these qualities! Yet Psalm 45:4 also provides a model for our behavior in the world. We too are to be people of truth, humility, and justice.

As people of truth, we will speak and live in a way that reflects God and his revelation. In a world filled with falsehood, in which truth itself is under attack, we will seek the truth in all things, stand for the truth in what we say and do.

As people of humility, we will never speak the truth in a way that is haughty, as if the truth belongs to us. Moreover, we will always see ourselves as subjects of the King of kings, and offer our lives to him and to others as servants. Thus we will imitate the humble servanthood of Jesus.

As people of justice, we will treat all people fairly and will work for a world that offers justice to all. We will be especially committed to doing justice for the poor, the powerless, and victims of systemic injustice. Where we have been given authority in our work, our families, our churches, our schools, or our community, we will strive for just systems that reflect the character of God.

When you “ride out” today into the world, defend truth, humility, and justice as God’s viceroy, God’s servant.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

How can you express your commitment to truth today?

How can you live with humility?

How can you seek God’s justice in your part of the world?

PRAYER:

Gracious God, even as the king was to be a person of truth, humility, and justice, so am I. You have called me to speak and to live truthfully. I am to imitate the humility of Jesus and to seek your justice in all things. Help me, dear Lord, to be this kind of person in all that I do. Even as I go through this day, may your Spirit bring to mind ways that I can be more truthful, more humble, and more just.

As a citizen of the United States, Psalm 45 invites me to pray for the leaders of this nation, and, indeed, all nations of the world. O Lord, give us leaders who are committed to truth, who are genuinely humble, and who seek justice for all people. Raise up those who are leaders after your own heart.

To you be all the glory. Amen.

 

Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online Bible commentary: Prayer, Peace, and Order are Needed at Work as in Church (1 Timothy 2:1–15)

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Psalms

2 thoughts on “Wanted: Leaders Who Exemplify Truth, Humility, and Justice

  1. Brian Humek says:

    Hi Mark, Love the way you can take an old TV show and come up with a great transition to the Bible. It’s not always the easiest thing to do. I did so for every episode of Leave it to Beaver’s first season in my book Leave it to God. And yes, truthful leaders, I will place that attribute at the top of my prayer desires for leaders. Thank you for the devo.

    • Mark D. Roberts says:

      Brian, thanks for your encouragement. Ah, I loved Leave It to Beaver. Your book sounds like great fun!

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