Psalm 25 is an acrostic Psalm which contains the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Oftentimes an acrostic would be used as a memory device much the same way we alliterate sermons today. In this psalm David spends time pouring out his heart in prayer. His first prayer is a prayer of dependence in verses 1-7. His second prayer is a prayer of forgiveness which is found in verse 11 and his third pray is a prayer for deliverance in verses 15-20. In these wonderful verses we also find great instruction on guidance. David speaks about how guidance is sought, how it is taught and even how guidance Is brought. But there is something else striking in Psalm 25 and that is the lesson of transparent leadership.
Every one of us could benefit from this Psalm learning that we should be genuine, real, and open about who you are, what you are going through, and who you will trust. There is no doubt that when David penned this Psalm he was in great distress and that he was feeling vulnerable. Many believe that is was written during the time David fled from his own son Absalom when Absalom had revolted against David. Others have believed perhaps this was the time when David was fleeing from Saul. Whichever the case we receive a first-hand account into David’s heart that is very transparent.
David was a “a man after God’s own heart.” He was a shepherd tending after his father's flock in his young years. He was a soldier fighting for and defending his beloved nation. He was a sovereign reigning in pomp, might and glory over the nation of Israel. He was a statesman who unified the people. But in this Psalm, we see him as a transparent leader as he bares his soul.
It is no different for you and I today, we need transparent leadership. Leadership that is strong, but is also sincere; Leadership that is powerful, but is also pure; Leadership that is visionary, but is also viable; Leadership that has conviction, but is also consistent; Leadership that is hyper, but is not hypocritical; Leadership that is advancing, but not advantage taking; Leadership that is loyal, but not lip service; Leadership that has genius, but is also genuine.
What are some of those characteristics of transparent leadership that David displayed?
Transparent Leadership Is Honest In Its Admission.
Read this psalm, and nowhere do you see David being courageous. You have to ask yourself is this the same David that killed a bear and a lion as a teenager with his bare hands? Could this be the same David who soundly defeated the giant Goliath? Could this be the David of whom the women sang, “Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?” This psalm opens with David saying, “Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul." Here we find David is pouring his heart out! Yes, this is the same David. But this is a David who is honest in his admission!
He Is Honest In His Assessment Of His Self
David is in trouble. But, David is also concerned about his transgressions. Psalm 25:7; 11 “Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD" "For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.”
The first step in being transparent is being honest about our sins, about our transgressions.
“The sins of my youth”. David is openly stating that there are some serious sins in his life that needed to be dealt with. All of us have the problem of unconfessed sins and uncontrolled sins. Proverbs 28:13 strictly warns us concerning the covering of sin. “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh his sins shall have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13 and in Genesis 8:21 we find out just how serious of a problem it is for all of us. In central part of that verse God comments on the state of man “…the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth;” Some of us might be tempted to say, Not me! But what about the following short list of perhaps unconfessed or uncontrolled sin in our lives:
Immaturity – some adults never grow out of their immature, childish ways.
Incorrigible – unruly, not easily controllable.
Implacable – a person not easily pleased.
Impatience – not waiting for God to work in lived.
Irritable – angry, mean spirited, downright ugly in spirit.
Immoral –lacking in integrity and morals, allowing flesh to control their life.
Insecurity – always suspicious; thinks people are always trying to do them in, constantly craving for attention.
Insolent – rude, condescending, and disrespectful.
He Is Honest Concerning The Afflictions Of His Soul
In verses 15-19 David tells us he is distressed, desperate, and in way over his head. He knows that without God he will not make it. Transparent leadership is honest in its assessment, but it is also humble in its approach.
Transparent Leadership Is Humble In Its Approach.
David is brought to the end of himself in this Psalm. I reminded of what the Lord said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 5:3) Someone who is poor in spirit is someone who is broken. It is an individual who is at the end of himself. Unfortunately, to many times we put ourselves in this place. When we are conceited, proud, and haughty, the Lord catches us off guard, and allows afflictions to come our way to teach us that we are nothing! “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5b) David teaches us:
We should learn to pray through humility (Vss. 1,2)
We should learn to be patient through humility (Vss. 3-5)
We should learn to be pliable through humility (Vss. 9,10)
We should look for pardon through humility (Vs. 11)
Lastly, we find that transparent leadership is heavenly in its ambition.
Transparent Leadership Is Heavenly In Its Ambition.
True transparent leadership is not humanistic, or dependent on self. True transparent leadership is heavenly in its ambition. To be heavenly is to get our attention, our focus, our ambition on the eternal and not the temporary.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God and all his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:1-2)
A Heavenly Ambition Is Concerned About The Safety Of His Soul (Vs. 1)
Worse than being in physical danger is to be in spiritual danger. David was in spiritual danger because of things that caught up with him. He is saying "don’t let me fall into the place where I am ashamed to come to you: to you alone I lift up my soul!"
A Heavenly Ambition Is Comforted About The Satisfying Of His Soul (Vss. 12-14)
A transparent leader is satisfied with where God leads him; how God leads him, and when God leads him.
A Heavenly Ambition Is Contented Concerning The Certainty Of His Soul (Vss. 20,21)
Real leadership is transparent. Transparency involves honesty, humility, and a heavenly mindedness. It's a leadership that is clearly motivated to glorify God, and that gives Him honor. May all the leadership team at this local New Testament church begin to lead with transparency.
- Pastor David Carroll, Senior Pastor, Sharon Baptist Church
Sharon Baptist church is an independent, fundamental Baptist church located in Hampton, VA.
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