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Whoever wants to become great among you must be
your servant. Matthew 20:26
traditional African societies, leadership succession
is a serious decision. After a king’s demise, great
care is taken selecting the next ruler. Besides
being from a royal family, the successor must be
strong, fearless, and sensible. Candidates are
questioned to determine if they will serve the
people or rule with a heavy hand. The king’s
successor needs to be someone who leads but also
Even though Solomon made his own bad
choices, he worried over his successor. “Who knows
whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet
they will have control over all the fruit of my toil
into which I have poured my effort and skill” (Eccl.
2:19). His son Rehoboam was that successor. He
demonstrated a lack of sound judgment and ended up
fulfilling his father’s worst fear.
people requested more humane working conditions, it
was an opportunity for Rehoboam to show servant
leadership. “If today you will be a servant to these
people and serve them . . . ,” the elders advised,
“they will always be your servants” (1 Kings 12:7).
But he rejected their counsel. Rehoboam failed to
seek God. His harsh response to the people divided
the kingdom and accelerated the spiritual decline of
God’s people (12:14-19).
In the family, the
workplace, at church, or in our neighborhood—we need
His wisdom for the humility to serve rather than be
served.Dear Lord, please give me a humble
servant’s heart. Help me to lead and follow with
humility and compassion.A good leader
is a good servant.