When a leader sins

source: http://www.impactbnd.com/how-a-waterfall-graph-will-help-your-lead-management/
source: http://www.impactbnd.com/how-a-waterfall-graph-will-help-your-lead-management/

Leviticus 4:22:  “When a leader sins, doing unintentionally any one of all the things that by the commandments of the LORD his God ought not to be done, and realizes his guilt,

A leader can sin. And there are two ways that it can be handled as shown by two leaders of Israel: Saul and David.


Saul passed the bulk (1Samuel 15) just like Adam and Eve did (Genesis 3). When God sent him to destroy all the inhabitants of Amalek, the instruction included destroying all the animals, but in the euphoria of the victory (probably) he lessened his commitment to truth and spared the king and some fat animals. He can imagine coming from war and not bringing spoil. That was against his sense of norm. But walking with God is not about norm. That wasn’t his mistake. Because of the pomp and pageantry that accompanied his being made king, when the perks of the office started coming in, he forgot to maintain total allegiance to God. Since everybody now deter to him, he was deluded to think that God should too. That is the pit hole that many a leader fall into.

Saul followed the practice of the kingdoms around who take prisoners of war, as a trophy to their military prowess. And immediate God rejected him. He would not be saddled with a king that would fly in the face of his instruction on a whim. Samuel told Saul that his disobedience is like the sin of witchcraft, and that his attitude of stubbornness is a sin.

He was wrong but he would not acknowledge it, either to God or to man. And lose his air of invincibility? He was power drunk. Before he was made the king he was self effacing. But after a few successes as king, he was feeling too much for God to control, because he is now seen to be on control in Israel.

When God asked Adam if he ate the forbidden fruit, he passed the bulk. While before he was full of God-interest, now he is full of self-interest. That self-interest does not allow him to own up to any wrong doing, so that he would not lose face. Saul thought that by putting on a bold face, he will be protecting his position as a leader, protecting the prestige of his position.

When you don’t have an image to protect, you will repent speedily, if you don’t think that you have false ideal to live up to.

We should be more careful to please God, focused on what he feels. Covering up sin under any kind of excuse achieves nothing. The psalmist says that the one who covers up his will not prosper (Proverbs 28:13). And because you are a leader does not confer immutability on you. So don’t carry on that it does. If you do, you are deceived.

After Saul disobeyed God, the bible says that the Holy Spirit departed from him and a spirit of torment was sent to him (1Samuel 16:14). When he sent disobedience to God, God sent a tormenting spirit to him. He thought he was the one in charge, he thought he can do and undo. He did not give God’s word the respect it deserves. And God also rejected him as king over Israel. He lost the position he so desperately tried to hold on to.

God wanted to influence the nation of Israel positively through him but he would not be useful again, since he disregarded the commandment of God.

James said we should draw and he will draw near us (James 4:8). A way we draw near God is by repentance, not cover up. What do we want to tell God that he does not know in the first instances? But confessing it is for our own benefit. James also wrote: confess your sin one to another that you may be healed (James 5:16), that also means that un-confessed sins can lead to sickness, which should be in the mind (like what happened to Saul) or the body.


David wrote in a place that when he did not confess his sin, his bones waste away (Psalm 32:1-5).   He was a man noted for his strong relationship with God. But he himself was not immune to making mistake. Paul wrote that he that thinks he stands should take heed lest he falls (1Corinthians 10:12).

When confronted with a sinful error he committed, David retraced his steps and asked for the forgiveness of God, writing a psalm along the way.

The words of Psalm 51 show a man in penitence. He wrote in another place that the one who covers up his sins will not receive mercy (Proverbs 28:13). The initial messages of John the Baptist and Jesus which they proclaimed was about repentance, helping people to realise that there are certain things that you are doing wrong, so that you can change.

We are not called to define (or redefine) morality or right and wrong for ourselves, we have to submit to God’s own definition of it. As leaders, we don’t have grace to commit sin (Romans 6:1-4); as believers we have grace to stop committing sin. Therefore do not develop any sense of invisibility. Do not let the anointing or success in ministry becloud your sense of carefulness, of being on guard against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11).

David committed the sin of adultery and murder one after the other because he was not where he was supposed to be (2Samuel 11:1-12:14). The bible made it clear that at the time David was strolling on his balcony, prior to his committing adultery, kings go to war. But David decided to take it easy, to take a vacation. After all he has been in warfare for most of his adult life, while shouldn’t he cool off? David allowed himself to become idle, and fulfilled the proverb which says: an idle hand is the devil’s workshop. David sent his lieutenant to war while he did nothing. A momentary lack of focus and purpose and he was neck deep in sin.

Paul said that he puts his body under control (1Corinthians 9:25-27), discipline it, so that after doing the will of God he will not be a cast away, he would not lose out on the price. Jesus warned the disciples that they should watch and pray so that they don’t fall into temptation (Mark 14:38).

Peter said that the devil is like a roaring lion looking for whom to devour; he advises that we should resist him steadfast in our faith (1Peter 5:8-9). Standing in faith does not just mean getting your needs met, it also means living in righteousness.

The bible says that the just shall live by faith (Romans 1:17). Paul said: I died in Christ, nevertheless I live, and the life that I live, I live by faith in Jesus the Son of God that loves him and gave his life for him (Galatians 2:20). Living the righteousness life by faith means you are believed that you have the righteousness of Jesus operating in you; you believe that the capacity for righteousness is inside of you (2Corinthians 5:21).

You realise that you have been taken from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of life (Colossians 1:13), you know that that you have a new life in Jesus Christ (2Corinthians 5:17), you know that His seed is in you (1John 3:9). You know that you are a new creature with new spiritual appetites.

Peter said that as new born babes we should desire the sincere milk of the word that we may grow thereby (1Peter 2:2). In pursuit of spiritual growth we move in the direction of God and we move away from the works of the flesh. Paul wrote that we should walk in the spirit so that we would not fulfill the works of the flesh (Galatians 16, 25). He advocated that we put on the whole armour of God, and one of which is the shield of faith that we use to quench the fiery dart of the Satan’s temptation (Ephesians 6:16).


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