Grounded in Love
Yael Eckstein | March 27, 2023
The king answered them harshly. Rejecting the advice of the elders, he followed the advice of the young men and said, “My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.” — 2 Chronicles 10:13-14
In Judaism, wisdom is something that should be sought, cultivated, and taught — no matter what age we are. Enjoy this collection of inspirational thoughts and insights about this godly pursuit.
When I was young, there were some teachers who commanded respect from the students, and subsequently, everyone behaved and paid attention. Then there were the teachers who had no control at all. I remember one teacher in particular who tried to be so strict, but nothing helped. The kids who were inclined to misbehave just had their way.
Years later, I ran into one of my favorite teachers, a teacher who never had any behavior issues in her classes. I brought up this issue and asked her what her secret was. Her answer was so simple — and so wise.
“At the start of the year, I make it a point to find out what each student is interested in — what their hobbies and favorite activities are. Then I look for opportunities to ask them about these things in the hallways, before and after class. Also, whenever a student participates well or does good work, I call the parents to let them know,” this wise teacher told me.
When we meet people where they are, when we allow them to feel valued and heard, there is no need for disciplinary measures. Wise leadership is, first and foremost, grounded in love.
Grounded in Love
When Rehoboam inherited the throne from his father, King Solomon, the people of Israel approached their new king with a request. They asked Rehoboam to lower the taxes that Solomon had put in place, both on their finances as well as their service to the king.
First, Rehoboam consulted the elder advisers, those who had been around during Solomon’s reign. They had seen the destructive results of heavy taxes and recommended that Rehoboam show goodwill to the people. They assured him that this would strengthen his kingdom.
But then Rehoboam met with a group of younger advisers, his closest friends and allies. They told Rehoboam that if he gave in to the request of the people it would make him look weak. Their advice was to enact even harsher taxes.
The Scriptures record Rehoboam’s unfortunate decision: “The king answered them harshly. Rejecting the advice of the elders, he followed the advice of the young men and said, ‘My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.’”
Rehoboam’s choice ultimately split the kingdom, a breach in the nation of Israel that has never healed. The lesson is clear — wise leadership, whether at work, at home, or in a classroom, is grounded in love, which means being sensitive to those we are privileged to lead.
Are you in a position of authority — at home, at work, or in your community? Remember that leadership grounded in love is often the strongest leadership.