This devotional series examines a verse or two from a chapter of Proverbs each day of January 2017.
When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan. ~Proverbs 29:2
Whenever the Bible speaks to good leadership, whether in the home, at the church, or over the nation, the number one thing it points to is character. People with good character breed positive influences, good directions, and beneficial policies. People with corrupt character tend to yield corrupt influence and act more in line of self-betterment than the betterment of those around them.
Righteous character ultimately flows from Christ. There are none righteous, in themselves, as Paul wrote in Romans 3:10. But if we belong to Jesus by faith, then his righteousness becomes ours (2 Corinthians 5:21). Trusting in Jesus, we gain the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit influences us for the better as we yield ourselves to his work in our lives.
Paul wrote in Galatians 5 that the deeds of the flesh, or the fruit of the sin within us, are things like sexual immorality, idolatry, anger and strife, backbiting, and similar other attitudes and activities. But the fruit of the Spirit in our lives is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
At home and in the church, these are the defining traits that we should seek in our leaders and as leaders. More so than looking for vision and business acumen. In our nation, such traits are the ones we should seek for in leaders we support with our votes, not men and women who epitomize corruption at home and in politics.
After all, righteous leaders bring joy in the land, but wicked leaders cause the people to groan.