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The Alex McFarland Show-The 5 Most Important Characteristics of Good Leadership-5

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland
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May 19, 2022 8:00 pm

The Alex McFarland Show-The 5 Most Important Characteristics of Good Leadership-5

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland

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May 19, 2022 8:00 pm

On today’s episode of the Alex McFarland Show, Alex uses the life of King Solomon to highlight the 5 most important characteristics of good leadership. He also explains what true courage is and why now more than ever, believers need to operate with it. 

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The spiritual condition of America, politics, culture, and current events, analyzed through the lens of Scripture. Welcome to the Alex McFarland Show. Who was the greatest leader of all time?

Hi, Alex McFarland here. Welcome to the program. We're going to talk a little bit about leadership today, and I'm going to read a Scripture from the Old Testament, 1 Kings 3, and I want to talk about some leadership characteristics that are much needed in the world today, and leadership characteristics which I believe God wants to groom into your life. Did you know you can be a leader? Did you know that really honestly you should be a leader? Especially if you're a Christian, you might not really think of yourself as a leader, but leadership is influence, and to one degree or another, everybody has influence in this world. And we're going to talk about being a leader because it really is a matter of stewardship, and every last one of us will give an account to God one day for what we did with our lives, and maybe leadership to you seems to come naturally. Maybe you have to sort of nudge yourself out of your comfort zone and assert yourself to be a good leader or a good influence, and maybe it's even a little bit uncomfortable sometimes to speak up or do the right thing.

But do you know you can groom where you are and go for God's glory to where you should be and where you could be? And we'll talk about leadership and some of the characteristics of a leader that we find in the Word of God. I'm going to give five characteristics of leadership from the Word of God. But when I ask the question, who is the greatest leader of history, the greatest leader from all of history, most people will probably come up with some names. There are leaders famous and infamous. I mean, you think about Adolf Hitler was a leader. He was a bad leader. You think of Napoleon, kind of a mixed bag there.

Some good things, some not so great things. One of the greatest leaders of all time that a lot of people will point to is of course King Solomon. Now he followed David in the Old Testament. King David was his father. But it was Solomon that brought peace to the kingdom, and God used Solomon in a great way. And the Bible says there was peace in the land. And I want to give some leadership characteristics of Solomon.

You know, very famously he was known as a wise man, and wisdom is more than mere intelligence. But let me read a scripture, and then we'll talk about leadership in our own times and leadership in our own lives. In 1 Kings chapter 3, this is in the Old Testament beginning at verse 5, the Lord appears in a place called Gibeon. God appeared to Solomon in a dream. And God said, ask what shall I give you? Can you imagine if God said that to you?

Hey, I want to bless you, so ask whatever you want and I'll give it to you. Do you know to a degree that promise is given to us because in Psalm 37.4 the Bible says, commit your way to the Lord and he'll give you the desires of your heart. And in the New Testament the Bible says that God desires to give us all things that our joy may be full.

Isn't that amazing? But God appears to Solomon and says, ask what I shall give you. And Solomon said, Lord, you've shown great mercy to David, my father, according as he walked before you in truth and in righteousness and in uprightness of heart with you.

And you have kept for him this great kindness that you have given him a son to sit on his throne as it is this day. Okay, so Solomon's saying, Lord, you've been really good to my dad. By the way, I think Solomon's being pretty charitable when he talks about David, his father, walking in truth, righteousness, uprightness of heart, because while David at times did exhibit those things, we all know that he failed egregiously in the murder of Uriah and the affair, the fornication with Bathsheba. But at any rate, God still approved of David the king and as Solomon says, blessed him with his son. So Solomon responds and you notice his response to God is very reasoned and thoughtful. And he says in verse seven of first Kings three, And now, O Lord my God, you have made me your servant king in the stead of David, my father.

In other words, he came afterward. And a lot of humility here. He says, I am but a little child.

I know not how to go out or come in. And I really don't know how to lead these people. Thy servant is in the midst of thy people, which thou has chosen, a great people that cannot be numbered or counted for the multitude. So all of these things, this is Solomon's really prologue of response to God.

And it's going to lead to our points about leadership. So verse nine in first Kings three, Solomon says, Give therefore thy servant and understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad for who is able to judge this thy so great a people. In other words, Lord, please give me understanding. And really, the word is wisdom. Famously, Solomon asked for wisdom. And the speech pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing. God is pleased with what Solomon says. And God said to him, Because you have asked this thing, you've not asked for long life, you've not asked for riches, you haven't asked for the life of your enemies or revenge on those that you dislike, but you've asked for wisdom, discernment, judgment. God says, Behold, I've done according to thy words, lo, I've given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there's none like thee before thee, neither will there be another to come like you afterwards. And I've given you wisdom.

But God says, Look, I'm going to give you the things that you didn't really ask for either. Solomon, I'm going to give you riches and honor. There's not going to be another like you and all the kings of Israel. Verse 14 of first Kings three, And if you will walk in my ways, keep my statutes, my commandments, as your father David did walk, then I will lengthen your days. And Solomon awoke and behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord and offered burnt offerings and offered peace offerings and made a feast for all of his servants.

So and then in the passages that follow, we read about the great wisdom of Solomon. So he has this encounter with the Lord and the motives of his heart are honorable in the sight of God. And then he concludes it. He wakes up. He realizes he's had a moment with God. And so then he has prayer. He sacrifices. He sort of ratifies this covenant. He solidifies this.

Now, when we come back, we've got to take a brief break. Let's just summarize. Solomon could have asked God for wealth, fame, power, but he requests wisdom and understanding mind and a heart that could know right from wrong, truth from error and the ability to rightly lead the people. Do you know any of those attributes? All of those attributes could be at work in our own lives. Wisdom.

And that's not just intelligence, because I know a lot of people, they've got great intellect, but they're not wise because wisdom is to see life from God's perspective and to act accordingly. And Solomon seeking after these things pleased God. So the Lord gave Solomon these good characteristics.

Plus, he blessed him with abundant success and monetary gain. Now we've got to take a brief break. We're going to come back and we're going to talk more about five leadership characteristics that are approved and sanctioned by God, and they can be yours in your life.

And you, for God's glory, can be a leader as well. Stay tuned. Alex McFarland saying we'll be back after this. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert. Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. Christian author and speaker Alex McFarland is an advocate for Christian apologetics. Teaching in more than 2200 churches around the world, schools, and college campuses, Alex is driven by a desire to help people grow in relationship with God. He arms his audiences with the tools they need to defend their faith, while also empowering the unchurched to find out the truth for themselves. In the midst of a culture obsessed with relativism, Alex is a sound voice who speaks timeless truths of Christianity in a timely way. With 18 published books to his name, it's no surprise that CNN, Fox, The Wall Street Journal, and other media outlets have described Alex as a religion and culture expert. To learn more about Alex and to book him as a speaker at your next event, visit or you can contact us directly by emailing booking at He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program.

Alex McFarland here. We are from 1 Kings chapter 3 in the Old Testament. We're talking about leadership characteristics in the life of King Solomon. Leadership characteristics, I believe, are much needed in the world today. If you read this passage, you get five characteristics.

I want to give those. For one, wisdom. The other is integrity, discernment, humility. But there's an overarching characteristic that you see present in the life of Solomon, and I'll talk about that in a moment.

But first of all, I want to give a story, and I've shared this a number of times. When I was in my philosophy program in graduate school, we studied some of the great thinkers like Aristotle, but we also studied Plato. Now Plato taught a lot of lessons in the form of stories that were called dialogues. Now every now and then people will ask me, they'll say, Alex, you're a preacher, you're a minister, why are you quoting some of these philosophers? Well, you know, all truth is God's truth, said R.C.

Sproul. And that's right. And truth is truth, even if it comes from an unexpected or unlikely source. So a lot of times I'll quote historians and figures from the past, and yes, the Greek philosophers. But Plato, for those that are the philosophically inclined, I am not a Platonist. If you're asking about my philosophical orientation, I'm a Thomist. Now Thomas Aquinas, who lived 1225-1274, his philosophical foundation, which all Christians have, if you're a born-again believer, and you believe that truth exists, and truth is tied to the character of God, and truth corresponds to reality, and truth can be known, truth can be expressed in words, and truth is personally relevant, you believe those things, you're a realist.

Well Thomistic realism is related to Aristotle, and we'll talk about Aristotle on another day. Right now I'm going to talk about Plato, but I do want to talk about some of the virtues that Plato explained, one of which was the virtue of courage. And in one of Plato's dialogues, he asked the question what is courage, because he would ask a question, and he would get a point across by asking a question. And the fifth virtue that I see in the life of Solomon is the virtue of courage. But I want to give this definition that Plato gave, because he gave what to me may be the quintessential definition of what courage is. But he tells the story of two guys that they're on their way to a boxing match.

I mean, you know, we're talking 2200 years ago, and they were on their way to a sporting event. And somebody says, well those boxers that get in the ring, those fighters, they must be people of courage to get in there and fight like that. So Plato asked the question, these guys are walking along, what is courage? And this is in one of the dialogues called Laches.

Looks like the word Laches, L-A-T-C-H-E-S. So the question is, what is courage? Well, people think about bravery.

People think about the ability to stare down something that's very formidable and intimidating. And the bottom line, Plato defines courage as this, knowing the right thing to do and being willing to do it. Now there are people that are bold and maybe even like violent, but that's not courage. I mean, going in to fight somebody or to commit a robbery, that might take bravado, but that's not really courage. Courage is knowing the right thing to do, but this begs the question, what is the right thing to do?

Well, the right thing to do. And Solomon knew this, and God gave him this wisdom to do things that are moral. Well, what is morality?

Well, morality or morals are things that are true and good and right for all people at all times in all places. That's why our nation right now, even as I record this, we're having a big national struggle over what people claim are constitutionally protected rights, but our constitution was based on universal rights, not special rights, transcendent rights, what Jefferson called inalienable rights, not contrived or manufactured rights. So in a world of relativism, here's another question. Can we really be courageous? I mean, if there are no ultimate truths, if there is no objective morality, if there's not right and morality, I mean, can we really be courageous in a world where truth has become lost?

Okay, that's another question for another day. Let's just for right now accept Plato's definition that courage is knowing the right thing to do and being willing to do it. That's why I've said in many a broadcast right now, the church's job is to speak truth, even if truth is unpopular. We are to proclaim truth, even if it appears nobody is listening. Because, you know, the Bible promises us in 1 Corinthians 15.58 that our labor in the Lord is not in vain.

It really does matter. See, here's one of the beautiful things that when you do what is right, for one thing it's honoring to God and the Lord will bless it, but eventually it does begin to make a difference. Isaiah 55 says the Word of God does not return void. So keep on knowing truth, keep on proclaiming truth, keep on standing up for truth, even if you think nobody's listening because people are.

Even if you think it doesn't make a difference because it really does. And we Christians, we really do have the ontological edge because we know that the Bible says our labor in the Lord is not in vain. And many a time in the stories of history are just legion with people that did the right thing, the good thing, the sacrificial thing, the godly thing, sometimes for years, sometimes for decades.

And it looked like futility. And then suddenly there was a harvest. You think about William Wilberforce.

Surely you've heard the story of how William Wilberforce was instrumental in ending child slavery in Britain and they mocked him and he had gotten nowhere, but shortly after his death child slavery was ended. And that's the overarching virtue. Wisdom, integrity, discernment, humility. But all of this is predicated really on courage, which is knowing the right thing to do and being willing to do it.

See there's the big leap. Now we've got to take a break. We're going to come right back. We're going to unpack these five virtues, not only how they were present in the life of Solomon, but how God can make these virtues present in your life as well.

And yes, you, for God and country, for your own benefit, and for implications that are, yes indeed, eternal, you can be a leader. Don't go away. The Alex McFarland Show is back after this. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert.

Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. Picture a stormy sea. The waves are rolling viciously and the sky is darker than night. The crack of thunder can be heard over the roaring wind.

A tiny ship is thrown wildly up and down as it rides the waves. The crew is just about to lose hope when someone spots a sudden flash in the distance, a lighthouse. Lighthouse for the Lost, an article by Parker May. To read this article, visit Are you tired of liberal agendas ruining our country, but you don't know what to do about it? That's why Truth and Liberty Coalition was founded. We want to equip you to take back our country and impact the world. Here's how we do it. We educate through broadcasts, conferences, and our website with resources that inform, equip, and motivate. We unify by collaborating with like-minded organizations like the Family Research Council, the Family Policy Alliance, and My Faith Votes. We mobilize by providing practical tools you can use to impact your local community.

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Welcome back to the program. Alex McFarland here talking about leadership. And you know Solomon, very famously, he asked God for wisdom. We've been reading from 1 Kings 3, 9, and we're talking about the leadership characteristics much needed in our world today.

You know, let me just say this very briefly as I record this. We're about two months away from my time at the Cove, the Billy Graham Training Center in western North Carolina. I'll be there July 8 through 10, teaching 1 Peter, the New Testament book of 1 Peter, which deals a lot with apologetics, defending the Christian faith.

And very famously, 1 Peter 3.15 says that we are to set apart Christ as Lord in our heart, be ready to give an answer. So at the Cove, and by the way, the website is I would love to see you there. It's beautiful, world-class accommodations, incredible food fellowship. There's also a yogurt machine. And some of you that have been to the Cove, you know that every night after the sessions, there's worship and there's teaching, there's prayer time, there's the yogurt machine, which is just amazing. But we're going to be going over 1 Peter. And in being a leader, I mean, part of being a leader is to know what you believe and the reasons why.

And the Word of God commands us to have a good handle on biblical truth. So you might want to come to the Cove this year. I would love to see you there. Angie will be there, so many listeners and, you know, followers and colleagues from around North America.

It really is an amazing time, and I would encourage you to be there. But the five characteristics of leadership, and any of these in your life, if we go over these and you say, Well, gee, I'm deficient there. You know, I don't really feel like I have a lot of courage. Or maybe I know the right thing to do, but I really don't have the bravery to step up and do it or to speak out. Well, you pray, and you ask God.

The Bible says that God will withhold from us no good thing. Now Solomon needed wisdom, which is understanding. The definition of wisdom, how would you define it?

Would you say intellect or smart? You know, it's been said that with the Internet right now, I read that for every man, woman, boy and girl on the planet, there are 125 terabytes of information. It's amazing.

We can't even get our mind around that. In fact, they say that with media, it's been said that the average person now experiences as much media, or is exposed to as much information in a month, as a person 100 years ago would experience in a lifetime. You know, it's amazing. I've got a reprint of like a 1905 mail order catalog. And I've seen several of these. There was Sears, there was Montgomery Wards. And you know, these mail order catalogs would have like two pages of books. And there would be a Bible and there would be a geography book and there would be a history book and a hymn book.

They would say, look, buy a book, every family should have a library. And you can buy all, you know, 15 books on these two pages. Because it was like that was just about the summation of all the knowledge available.

Isn't that amazing? And yet you and I today, by the time you log on your computer and check your email in the morning, by lunchtime, probably you've seen as much in a month of your life as they would have seen in a lifetime. And so we live in a time of data, but data is not the same thing as wisdom. Because wisdom is the ability to see life and live life from God's perspective. And that's why James 1 verse 5, what an amazing promise, says, if anyone lacks wisdom, let them ask God who gives abundantly and does not withhold. If you ask God for wisdom, God will give it. Now what is the pathway to wisdom? The fear of the Lord, Proverbs 1.7, Proverbs 1.9, the fear of the Lord, in other words, the reverence for God, humility before God, acknowledging the Lord and humbly bowing before God and say, Lord, I need you, Lord, you be my teacher. That is the first step on the journey to becoming a wise person. We need leaders that are wise.

And my goodness, what a rarity that is these days. Then integrity. This means uprightness of character. Remember Solomon said, I don't have the right heart to judge these people. God says, I'm going to make your heart right. It's been said that a leader looks to the next generation.

A politician looks to the next election. How we need people of wisdom in positions of leadership, people of integrity, morality. And let me say, if you are pro-abortion, pro-gay, redefinition of marriage, gender is binary, you're not a person of integrity.

Because that's not just and it's not factual. And we need the Spirit of God to sweep across our nation and once again impress on everyone, especially our leaders, our instructors, our ministers, our elected officials, the importance of integrity and morality. Then the third characteristic, not only wisdom and integrity, but discernment. Now discernment is the ability to make a right decision or to rightly assess an issue, a situation, and be able to do this on a consistent basis. Discernment means the ability to choose between good or bad. And a lot of people, maybe in your own life, you've done things that you look back and you say, man, that was stupid. I really wish I hadn't done that. I've done that. And we need discernment every day.

Goodness. Not just on the big decisions of life. You know, whom should I marry? Where should I live?

What career might I pursue? We need discernment. Listen, my wife and I, we pray about buying a car. We actually pray about buying groceries.

How much should we spend? We acknowledge that we are not owners. God is the owner. We're stewards.

Time and finances and influence. We're the managers but God is the owner. We need discernment and that is a leadership characteristic. And then of course humility. Notice that God and Solomon, as they speak, repeatedly Solomon refers to himself as thy servant. That's humility before God. He says, who is able to judge this?

Thy so great a people. Essentially Solomon was saying, Lord, without you, I'm not up for this job. Humility. Now courage, the ability to know the right thing to do, and then the strength to do it. Wisdom. God will give you that understanding if you ask Him. Integrity.

And maybe if you're honest with yourself and you say, you know what, there are parts of my life I've not been honest about and I've been very selective in my use of truth. Pray today for God to make you a person of a united heart, not a divided heart. Make you a person of integrity. Then discernment, that you will make choices wisely. The Spirit of God will help you do that. 1 Corinthians 2 talks about the Spirit of God instructing the Spirit of man. Your spirit.

Well the Holy Spirit can instruct you and you'll have discernment. And then humility. It's been said, this is not original with me, but it's been said, pride says I don't need God. Humility says I don't need anything but God. You know, if you humble yourself before God, He will exalt you or lift you up in due time.

The Bible does say that. So right now let's reaffirm our willingness to be leaders for God and country. And just as Solomon prayed for himself, let's pray for God to raise up leaders in our time. And friend, those leaders that can change the world and in the process improve their own lives. One of those leaders can be you. And I pray for God's glory and for your good that you will submit yourself to God's school of leadership development.

Because God wants to not only use you, God wants to bless you. Alex McFarland Ministries are made possible through the prayers and financial support of partners like you. For over 20 years this ministry has been bringing individuals into a personal relationship with Christ and has been equipping people to stand strong for truth. Learn more and donate securely online at You may also reach us at Alex McFarland, P.O. Box 10231, Greensboro, North Carolina 27404. Or by calling 1-877-YES-GOD and the number 1. That's 1-877-Y-E-S-G-O-D 1. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you again on the next edition of the Alex McFarland Show.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-11 00:02:03 / 2022-11-11 00:13:35 / 12

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