The Heart of a Leader

December 3, 2007 — Leave a comment

In my devotions this morning I read the following passage:

Exodus 28:29-30
29 “Whenever Aaron enters the Holy Place, he will bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breastpiece of decision as a continuing memorial before the LORD. 30 Also put the Urim and the Thummim in the breastpiece, so they may be over Aaron’s heart whenever he enters the presence of the LORD. Thus Aaron will always bear the means of making decisions for the Israelites over his heart before the LORD.

In this section of Exodus God is–in detail–describing what the Israelites are to do to prepare the Tabernacle and the Priests for worship.

The Urim and Thummim were objects placed in the Priest’s breastplate and, although these items are not described in much detail, we know that they were a tool that God used to communicate His will to the people through the Priest.

In light of our modern view of what it takes to be a “great leader” and the fact that many people seem to believe that a “great leader” is a person who can make decisions without being unnecessarily hindered by matters of the heart, this passage intrigues me.

Isn’t leadership a purely intellectual process? Isn’t it true that an emotional leader is a weak leader? Isn’t leadership more about the mind than the heart?

Hmmm.

I found it interesting that God commanded that the Urim and Thummim be placed over Aaron’s heart saying, “Thus Aaron will always bear the means of making decisions for the Israelites over his heart.”

It obvious that leaders need to make hard decisions and must not be swayed by emotion, but–in light of this passage–it’s also obvious that a godly leader should have a heart that is open and receptive to God’s leading.

It seems to me–after reflecting on this passage–that a godly leader leads not just with a strong mind, but also with a tender heart.

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