You can’t watch a commercial during a televised college or professional football game without hearing the words, “Drink Responsibly.” It’s the tagline reminder to be responsible in your beverage choice consumption and in particular alcoholic beverages. I love the line because it reminds you to consider your choices, actions, and subsequent behavior. I think for leadership we need a similar tagline like, “Live Responsibility.” A leader’s challenge is to consider choices, actions, and behaviors – to live responsibly this life of influence.
Take a moment to read 1 Kings 9:1-9. It’s the detailed conversation God had with Solomon following the dedication. We’re told the Lord appeared a second time to him. The blessing of obedience is the message with barrenness and loss the result of one’s disobedience. If Israel is disobedient at any point, God said He’d make her a proverb. People will pass by, hiss, notice the destruction, and comment about a people forsaken due to disobedience. Followship of other Gods is the inappropriate behavior – the chasing, pursuing, and embracing of the created rather than its creator. God’s message to Solomon: Live and Act Responsibly.
The timing of this message is most unique. God comes to Solomon following the completion of several dreams (goals). He’d achieved everything he desired to do. Solomon was residing in the neighborhood of accomplishment. He was a man who’d outlived his dreams. The pinnacle of success is a very precarious place. If we’re not careful to live responsibly, accomplishment can easily give birth to pride. In pride we become self-absorbed – selfishness becomes the new perspective. Our new motto, “It’s about me!” At the core of every disobedient act is a selfish mindset. When a man knows success, he is most susceptible to sin and failure. I believe that’s why God came to Solomon – a man of success with no more dreams – to say to him, “Live Responsibly.”
Let me challenge you. Leadership demands responsibility. Live your life responsibly as a leader. The success is His and not yours. Don’t give in to the temptations; you don’t have time to sin. Secondly, never try to lead without a dream. Dreamless leaders are nothing more than managers – overseeing the routine.