As a leader, there are many decisions that have to be made every day. One thing I have learned is that there are consequences for EVERY decision, good or bad. There have been times when I’ve made wise decisions and seen amazing fruit. There have also been times when I made a decision out of haste or frustration and had to repair damages as a result.
I was reading the story of Esther recently and got lost in Chapter 1. I’ve read this story hundreds of times but what God showed me this time was different. King Xerxes was hosting a lavish banquet flaunting his wealth and strategizing with the nobles on military tactics, increasing his trust with them. The Bible says that King Xerxes was “in high spirits” from the wine (Esther 1:10). In other words, he wasn’t thinking clearly. He summoned his queen, Vashti, to appear before him and the other men and she refused.
King Xerxes became angry and consulted those in his inner circle. They encouraged him in his anger and suggested he banish Vashti from the King’s presence forever. The King followed through with this decree, which could not be reversed. Later, King Xerxes remembered Vashti and what she had done for him (Esther 2:1).
Through this story, a few things jumped out at me with the way King Xerxes managed his decision making:
1. Don’t make rash/emotional decisions.
We can’t let distractions, whether it be circumstances, emotions, offenses or opinions of others influence our decisions. True wisdom comes from God. We must take all decisions, big or small, before Him. The decisions we make don’t just affect us – they have a trickle down effect and we want that to be a positive one.
2. Choose your inner circle well.
Make sure those closest to you are pointing you to Jesus and are encouraging to you and others. If they are tearing others down in front of you, they are likely tearing you down in front of others. If they are fueling your fire instead of attempting to bring calm to your storm, find someone else in which to confide. I heard someone say once, you become who you surround yourself with…you MUST choose your inner circle WELL!!
3. The decisions you make have a lasting affect.
My decisions WILL produce fruit. The Bible says we will be known by our fruit. I want to be known for extending grace, mercy, love and forgiveness. I want to be known for strength, wisdom, integrity, perseverance and passion. Therefore, the decisions I make MUST be made well!
Leadership isn’t easy and leading others is, at times, messy and difficult. But, what I know is that in the times I have lacked – God’s grace has covered and more than made up for my weaknesses. And because of that, I can trust Him knowing I can press on to do all that He has called me to do, staying fully dependent on His grace and giving Him all the glory along the way!