When Leaders Fall…

Nearly every week, we are bombarded with news stories of some leader’s “fall from grace”. It seems that we’re living in an epidemic era of faulty and fallen leaders who leave the rest of us frustrated and frazzled. Yes, it seems that everywhere we look, leaders fall…Religious leaders fall. Political leaders fall. Business leaders fall. Military leaders fall. It would seem that leaders everywhere are ripe to fall.

What makes these leaders fall from their positions of prominence and power? That list is endless. But sexual sins, financial indiscretions, and poor decision making usually top the list of why leaders fall from their places of impact and influence. Sometimes we shed tears when a leader falls, but most of the time, we just shake our heads and move on with life, thinking, “Another one bites the dust…”

I’ve been in leadership positions long enough to know this much: I too can fall and fall hard. No one (and I mean no one) is exempt from leadership failure by means of a moral failure. The Bible is replete with warnings to leaders everywhere…Prov. 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” 1 Cor. 10:12, “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” The Apostle Paul was especially cognizant of his own bent towards destruction and failure as a leader. He wrote in 1 Cor. 9:27, “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” I am quite certain that the great Apostle Paul was ever mindful of the fact that he was just a half-step away from going full-stupid and destroying everything.

So, the next time you read of another great leader’s fall, consider doing the following:

  1. Pray. Pray for the leader who took a “fall from grace”. Pray for the leader’s family as they grapple with sin and shame. In the case of an ongoing investigation into a leader’s failure, pray that the truth would be exposed, that justice mingled with mercy would prevail, and that repentance would come about.
  2. Evaluate. Evaluate your own life and leadership. Look for loose ends and loopholes that you’ve developed to escape accountability. Take more seriously the role that you’ve been given and resolve to keep yourself in check by following proper protocol.
  3. Remember. Remember that there is one Leader who will never fail us. He left his crown of glory for a crown of thorns. He left his throne of splendor for a cross of suffering. When human leaders fall and fail us, it serves as a sobering reminder that our ultimate hope is in a Leader and King who came once to redeem us and is coming back to rule and reign without scandal, without disgrace, and without moral failure. Indeed, His rule and reign will be perfect. How I long for that day. Even so, come, Lord Jesus, come!

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