There is in the word of God a standard for spiritual leadership by which we can evaluate ourselves. Not only does the Bible give us examples of great spiritual leaders; it also gives us leadership principles. There are five principles contained in the Bible that define the character of a true leader.
Nobel Peace Prize recipient George Marshall’s character defined him as an individual who could be trusted by colleagues, subordinates and superiors alike. Speaking before the Institute for Honor in 2005, Brig. Gen. Casey Brower said, “Optimism, stamina, love of one’s soldiers, determination, and loyalty were qualities for Marshall that distinguished successful officers from the common pack. They were the solid qualities on which a commander could depend, qualities that would make a large organization function effectively, qualities that would be the bedrock of readiness. Marshall valued loyalty enormously as a leadership virtue. There could be no role for individual ego in a soldier’s respect for superior authority, Marshall counseled. Indeed, the less you agree with the policies of your superiors, the more energy you must direct to their accomplishment.’”
These five principles defined George Marshall’s leadership qualities:
Candor – Speak honestly and responsibly
Commitment – Faithfully adhere to what is right
Courage – Be bold in speech and deed
Integrity – Speak and act with honor
Selflessness – Service above self-interest
These five principles have their base in the word of God.
Candor – Ephesians 4-15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Commitment – Proverbs 16-3 Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established. (Your plans will be fulfilled when you faithfully commit.)
Courage – Deuteronomy 31-6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Integrity – Titus 2: 7-8 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
Selflessness – Philippians 2 3-4 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
The words that we speak and the actions that we take testify to who we really are. Michael Bilosi puts it into perspective, “A person of integrity is validated by their words and their deeds. If we are pure in heart, we can be pure in action. Integrity is making my daily actions line up with my heart’s values.”