Proverbs 16:12-13

Doing wickedness is an abomination to kings,
because a throne is established in righteousness.
The delight of kings is righteous counsel,
and they love the one who speaks uprightly.

Since we don’t really live in a world ruled by kings anymore, we are going to use the verses that speak to kings to talk to leaders. The same principles apply. Kings were responsible to lead a country. And as we saw yesterday, kings are supposed to be just.

Today, we see that a king is also supposed to be righteous. I hope that by now, we all understand what Righteousness is. It’s right living. It incorporates the idea of wisdom and justice – among others. But, a big part of that is to live according to the right rules and laws.

A king isn’t just supposed to do the right things, they’re also supposed to avoid doing the wrong things. Leaders aren’t just supposed to do what’s right, but they’re supposed to avoid what’s wrong. A lot of times it can be easy to be seen as doing what’s right, but avoiding wickedness – avoiding doing what’s wrong isn’t as easy.

But, this is what’s expected of a leader.

It’s also expected that a leader surround himself with other people who live this way. They people who have the opportunity to influence a leader must be righteous too. If a leader surrounds himself with foolish counsel, he will do something foolish – sooner or later.

I love that last line – leaders love the one who speak uprightly. Leaders love the counsel of those who speak what is right. Not just what the leader wants to hear, but what is right. If you’re a leader and you only have yessirs in your midst, you’re not really leading. It’s not really leading if the people aren’t thinking for themselves. If they’re all lemmings, you’re just a piper.

If you’re a leader, you know that you need people around you who help keep you on track. You need people who are willing to say the tough thing, even when it might hurt the leader’s feelings. That’s righteous counsel. That’s what it’s like to have someone who speaks uprightly.

And if you have those kind of people around you, you’re going to be much more likely to live a righteous life. Those whom you trust and spend the most time with also have the most influence with you. If they aren’t righteous themselves, you’re going to be in trouble.