The book lies buried in the rich soil of the Old Testament. Not many stop to dig it up and read its God-breathed pages of practical wisdom. How sad! The writer writes about what many live – an endless search to find satisfaction and meaning in life apart from God. It is a classic read on how to live a miserable life, though you have everything and do everything you've wanted.
Ecclesiastes 8:1-8 shines a light on the qualities of a good leader or what it takes to be a good employer. Here is an outline. A good leader has:
• A clear mind (v.1)
• A discreet mouth (vv. 2-4)
• A keen judgment (vv. 5-7)
• A humble spirit (v. 8)
Leaders exhibit keen judgment in four ways.
Good leaders acknowledge “the royal command.” (v. 5) That means, they realize their positions are ultimately given by the sovereign hand of God, not by their own personal achievements and merits. God has moved the leader into their position of leadership authority and the leader willingly submits to the Lord Jesus, who alone holds the top position of authority.
Effective Leaders can map out and execute a successful plan because they know “the proper time and procedure.” (vv. 5-6) Joseph knew the right time to reveal his true identity to his brothers. Once Joseph heard them acknowledge their wrong against him and repent, he knew the time was right to reveal himself.
Nehemiah was heartbroken over the walls of Jerusalem being shattered. However, he was not sure whether the Persian king would release him from his duties to rebuild the walls. Nehemiah had to exercise discernment when to ask the king for permission to go to Jerusalem.
Daniel was a prisoner of war in a strange anti-God culture. When he was ordered to eat from the king’s menu, Daniel suggested a kosher diet at the right time that met the king’s and God’s favor. And remember, “But when the fullness of time came (i.e., the right time) God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might redeem.” (Galatians 4:4,5)
Employers with keen judgment can remain stable under pressure. (v. 6) Difficult situations (“when a man’s misery weighs heavily upon him”) don’t cause them to panic; instead, they continue to think clearly and remain calm. Churchill said it well (he usually did): “Keep calm and carry on.”
Insightful leaders have strong intuition. “Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come?” (v. 7) Insightful leaders can sense the attitude of their followers and make plans accordingly.
A leader of good judgment gives stability; an exploiting leader leaves a trail of waste. Proverbs 29:4 MSG
Dr. Fred Campbell is president of Living Grace Ministries, a ministry committed to developing servant leaders in the United States and around the world. He can be reached at email@example.com. He and his wife Carolyn live in Ovilla.