- Dr. Stieglitz
Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 31:8
"Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all the unfortunate"
It is incumbent upon the Christian leader to give voice to those who have no voice. There will always be plenty of people who have access and power in a society or organization. It the decidedly godly thing to do to contemplate the rights of those who don't have access or power. What are the people without power wanting people in this organization to understand, realize, come to terms with?
Christian leaders can fall into the trap of always responding to those who are pressing at them. But this proverb says that godly leadership thinks through the whole of the organization, making sure that those who cannot speak are heard.
In a church this might be a small and almost forgotten ministry. It might be particular individuals. It might be those who have no access to staff, leaders, or officers.
This is what Jesus said when He proclaimed that Christian leaders are servants of all.
Who are the forgotten people in your organization? What do they want people to know about them or about how to improve things?
Now this aspect of Christian leadership does not have to be the whole of one's leadership, but it must be a part of Christian leadership or you forsake the gospel of love for a self-serving power trip.
for the rights of all the unfortunate
It is interesting to note that the word translated rights is the Hebrew word din used for judgments or decisions. And the word translated unfortunate is the word destruction, sons of those passing away or vanishing.
The Christian leader is to open up their purview – not just to those who have no voice in the organization – but all those who have had destruction sweep through their lives. These people are vulnerable, exposed, and needy. This proverb declares that the godly leader watches out for these people on the margins of life and makes sure they are not forgotten.
They may have even, through their own choices, moved their lives to the edge of destruction; but the Christian leader wants to make sure that the decisions that are rendered in connection with them are not unrighteous or radically overbearing. The Christian leader fights for these vulnerable people that they are not taken advantage of or beaten down just because they do not have the resources to fight back.
It is important to realize that becoming a leader means more than being in charge or getting your own way. As a Christian it means that you are commissioned under God to look out for all of the people under your care – even the hidden and non-powerful. God has appointed you as the voice of the voiceless and the defender of the vulnerable.
To balance this idea, a leader must accomplish the organizational goals and develop a strong sense of team amongst the organization. These factors remain the highest priorities of the leader whether they are godly or not, but a godly leader must also embrace the responsibility to speak for the hidden powerless in the organization and for the vulnerable in all of life. The leader is constrained by God's directives more than the regular Christian.