Great Shepherds Lead with Character and Competence

“I will sing of your love and justice, LORD. I will praise you with songs. I will be careful to live a blameless life.”

Psalm 101:1-2 (NLT)

Integrity is a requirement for leadership—because all leadership is based on trust, and all trust is built on truth.

Israel’s King David was one of the greatest leaders in history. The Bible says about him: “And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them” (Psalm 78:72 NIV).

David was an effective leader because he possessed two things: character and competence. Both are absolutely essential to leadership. One without the other is disaster! You can be a good person and still be an incompetent leader. On the other hand, if you have really great gifts and skills but bad character, you won’t be an effective leader.

David had both character and competence. He shepherded his people—that means he cared for them. And he led them with skillful hands—that’s competence. David was effective in competence and character because of his commitment to personal integrity.

In fact, he wrote down his commitment in Psalm 101: “I will sing of your love and justice, LORD. I will praise you with songs. I will be careful to live a blameless life—when will you come to help me? I will lead a life of integrity in my own home. I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them. I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from evil. I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors. I will not endure conceit and pride. I will search for faithful people to be my companions” (Psalm 101:1-6 NLT).

If you want to live a life of integrity and see God make you a more effective leader, then you need to make Psalm 101 your personal covenant.

When you don’t know where to start in developing a life of integrity, start with worship, like David did. Praise the Lord with songs, aloud or in your heart. Tell him how great he is. Thank him for his character. Worship him for who he is, not just what he has done for you.

Then, look to your home. King David said, “I will lead a life of integrity in my own home” (Psalm 101:2 NLT). This is often where it’s hardest to live with integrity! You must choose love, patience, and kindness with the people in your home.

Make choices every day that honor God, in the big and small ways. That will help you lead a life of integrity.

Talk It Over

  • Everyone is a leader in some part of their life. In what roles has God given you the opportunity for leadership?
  • Great leaders display both character and competence. What is one way you need to grow in character? In competence?
  • In what small, everyday choices can you display integrity?

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.