Read: 2 Samuel 2.10 (NRSV)
Ishbaal thought he would continue just as his father, King Saul, had done leading the kingdom. Two years into his rule, the people of Judah turned to David, who proved to be God’s appointed king. The child of a strong leader often assumes they can do just as their parent has done before them. This true in the church, politics, and business, but a reputation is flimsy coattail to ride.
Every genuine leader needs to develop their own strengths, talents, and learn from the success and failures of those who mentor them. When we value our leaders based on public opinion, we are basing our judgment on an ever-changing foundation. At the age of forty, Ishbaal finds himself losing political clout and his people. The core message of this verse is to use the years we have, to build the strongest life we can. We may never be the leader of a nation, but as disciples, we are called to lead others to Christ. Certainly, the witness and experience of others can bless us but know we are called to share a relationship of faith that is our own work and faithfulness.
Action Plan: Record the gifts, skills, and blessings your family and friends have utilized in shaping your life and give a prayer of thanks for them. Then list what your own beliefs and principles are. What do you stand for in the way your live your own life? Compare how the two lists are similar and how they might differ.
Prayer: God, we are grateful for the people you place in our lives that shape and inspire us. We know you do not need carbon copies of others; you have made us unique as we are, and desire us to become most fully that person you are hoping we become. Amen.