My sisters and brothers, depending on our ages and experiences, we have seen people in various leadership positions in military and civilian life. Some were exemplary, some achieved results ranging from satisfactory to excellent, and others were poorly equipped.

Robert Johnson said, “Leadership is the ability to influence people and motivate them to do what needs to be done to accomplish a goal, vision, or mission.” Bishop Fulton J. Sheen reminds us, “Civilization is always in danger when those who have never learned to obey are granted the right to command.

How many of us have sat in meetings where the question is raised for volunteers to lead a particular effort, and no one steps forward to answer the call? Yet when you decide to volunteer and do exceptional work, some of those same people who sat in the room with you and had the opportunity to lead hate you because of your success. Can I have a witness? And then also, how many of us are victims of jealousy and envy in our work environment, some families and even some religious congregations because we have received unsolicited praise for being competent, trustworthy, honest, loyal , faithful, responsible, respectful, humble , polite and pious?

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I remember three Bible lessons taught on leadership. The first lesson comes from Acts 6:1-6 when the disciples multiplied, there arose a murmur from the Greeks against the Hebrews because there widows were neglected in the daily giving of food. Verses 2 and 3 document the disciples asking the multitude to “look among you seven men of honest report, filled with the Holy Spirit and with wisdom, whom we may appoint to this matter.”

The second lesson comes from Mark 10:35-45 where James and John, the sons of Zebedee, asked Jesus if one could sit on the right and the other on the left in your glory. When the other ten disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were not happy. Jesus used the situation to teach his disciples that “he who is great among you shall be your minister; and whoever among you is first will be the servant of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. referenced this passage of scripture in his sermon, “The Drum Major Instinct.” Dr. King spoke of the desire of some men and women who want to be FIRST.

The last Bible lesson I refer to comes from 1Kings 3:5-15 where the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. After Solomon was made king in place of his father David, the Lord asked what he wanted to be given to him. David chose to have an understanding heart, discernment, “to judge your people, that I might discern between good and evil.”

This brings me to share my final point with you – leadership with spiritual discernment. Leadership Central defines discernment as “the ability to grasp, understand and evaluate clearly. It means we can see the true nature of things. It makes it possible to distinguish what is real from what is imitation. It’s one of those intangible qualities that can’t be taught, but can be developed and improved over time.

Discernment helps you see past the facts, helps sort out the best from the rest, and can prevent us from making the big mistake.

Spiritual leadership thrives in a work environment where openness is encouraged. It’s important for everyone to be open and honest so that issues can be resolved quickly and healthy conflict can be encouraged. Using democratic elements such as inclusiveness, fairness and fairness can help establish a positive and open climate. Spiritual leadership occurs when vision, hope, faith, and selfless love are integrated into the workplace to enhance spiritual awareness and provide employees and others with a more meaningful experience.

Leaders with spiritual discernment use God as an anchor to help make decisions. Listening to that little inner voice as well as sleeping at night before making a critical decision can turn out to be the best part of wisdom.

“Leadership is based on a spiritual quality; the power to inspire, the power to inspire others to follow. —Vince Lombardi

“The beauty of empowering others is that your own power is not diminished in the process.” —Barbara Colorose

“A boss says, come on. A leader says let’s go.

“The credibility of a leader begins with his personal success. It ends with helping others achieve personal success. To gain credibility, you must constantly demonstrate three things:

1. Initiative: You have to get up to go up.

2. Sacrifice: You must give up to ascend.

3. Maturity: You have to grow to go up.

Wisdom is the main thing; Acquire therefore wisdom: and with all that you have acquired, acquire understanding. Proverbs 4:7 King James Version

Allie E. Brooks, Jr. is the former superintendent of Florence’s First School District and former principal of Wilson High School.