The Secret of Great Leadership

How would a giant killer like David define greatness? Instead of turning to war stories, the seasoned warrior cites quite a surprising mark of valor in leadership. These are personal journal insights from Pastor Wayne Cordeiro.

“Now Barzillai was very old, being 80 years old, and he had sustained the King while he stayed at Mananaim, for he was a very great man. And the King said to Barzillai, ‘You cross over with me and I will sustain you in Jerusalem with me.'” (2 Samuel 19:32-33)

David pays a high compliment to a seemingly unknown man and even pledges the rest of his days to sustain him until death. It was quite a commitment and quite a compliment. What was it that Barzillai did that won him such affection. What caused him to be so highly spoken of by King David?

We find the answer two chapters back when David fled from Absalom. Barzillai brought “beds, basins, pottery, wheat, barley, flour, parched grain, beans, lentils, parched seeds, honey, curds, sheep and cheese for David and for the people who were with him to eat, for they said, ‘The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness” (2 Samuel 17:27-29)

Look at that verse again. What was it that caused the King to call Barzillai great?! What was it that brought such affection and exuded such commitment from David? Did he slay a dragon, fight an army, conquer a city or cut down a giant? No! He did what anyone can do. He was gracious and hospitable.

What?! That’s it? His efforts seem benign to me. No sparkle. No prestige. Yet David called him a “very great man” just for bringing dinner.

Graciousness and hospitality can make a person great. It is not necessarily a contest won or a challenging mountain scaled. Hospitality is a spirit within that is naturally expressed and is proven usually under trying circumstances.

“The Lord God has given me the tongue of disciples, that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word” (Isaiah 50:4).

Sometimes the richest meal is the morsel of an encouraging word.

A Leader’s Prayer

Heavenly Father, please give me the tongue of a disciple that I too may learn to sustain the weary with my words as well as with graciousness and hospitality. Teach many of us this hospitality principle. Increase my “gracious” factor. In Jesus name. Amen.

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