Leading with discernment

King Solomon’s greatest strength as a leader was wisdom and knowledge. When given the opportunity to ask for anything from God, King Solomon asked for wisdom and knowledge (verse 9). God was so pleased with his request (verse 10), God granted him much more, including discernment.

In 1 Kings 3: 16 – 28, we see King Solomon’s wisdom in action. Verse 28 shows us, “And all Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered, and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice (1 Kings 3:28, ESV).” Through this passage we also see King Solomon leading with discernment.

Google defines discernment as “perception in the absence of judgment with a view to obtaining spiritual direction and understanding.” Discernment is a quality that sets some leaders apart from others. Discernment provides leaders with insight to see beyond the visible to the invisible. Discernment provides leaders with the ability to see beyond the natural to the supernatural.

No matter what field you serve in, who wouldn’t want to lead with discernment? So how do we continually improve our discernment as leaders?

In his “Equip” daily devotional, John Maxwell recommends:

  • Learn to hear God’s voice – Get quiet and read Scripture. Reflect on the mind of God.
  • Build problem-solving skills – If you can see root issues of problems, you can solve those difficulties.
  • Analyze your successes – What worked? Can you identify the heart of the matter?
  • Evaluate your options – Discernment involves both your gut and your head.
  • Expand your opportunities – Get more experience to help you deepen your wisdom.
  • Explore what others think – Choose leaders you admire and study how they think.
  • Listen to your gut – Most people are afraid to listen to their God-given intuition.

Discernment allows leaders to go deeper than surface knowledge to a profound perception of what is occurring on the outside or inside of a person. It enables us to essentially see around corners, perplexing those who don’t understand and haven’t experienced this gift of the Spirit.

In a world of ambiguity and imperfection, discernment helps Christian leaders bridge the gap between what is seen to what is unseen to make the best decision possible for the good of the organization. One of our roles as Christian leaders is to lead our teams with discernment. Caring for the well-being of others under your leadership begins with discernment. Through discernment, our life, language, and actions help us truly know others while we strive to be a beacon of light forever pointing the lost to the Creator and simultaneously putting our teams in the best possible position to succeed.


The views presented above are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of DoD or its components.

© Copyright 2015 MCWingate. All Rights Reserved.



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