During the course of life, situations will not always go as planned or expected. Some events will be insignificant when compared to others that will have an effect on the lives of people. When faced with situations like these, a leader can react in a number of different ways.
- Like congress, they can kick the can down the road.
- They can run away from the issue.
- They can attempt to place the blame on others.
- Or they can stand up and admit responsibility for their actions or decisions.
A successful leader will take the latter option.
King David had such a situation arise while he was leading the people of Israel. In Chronicles 21:1, we read that Satan put into David’s mind the desire to take a census. The problem with implementing such a plan involved David’s pride, because the census was meant to determine the size and strength of Israel’s army. David’s commander Joab objected to the idea (1 Chronicles 21:3), but the king’s decision prevailed (1 Chronicles 21:4). God knew that the census wasn’t a good idea and was not happy with David because of it (1 Chronicles 21:7). At this point, David had a choice to make as the leader of the people.
- Would he blame Satan for his decision?
- Would Joab be accused of wrongdoing?
- Would David distance himself from the issue?
Actually, David took none of these actions. Instead, he told God, “I have sinned greatly by taking this census. Please forgive my guilt for doing this foolish thing” (1 Chronicles 21:8). His admission of doing wrong was costly in terms of human lives, but by standing up and accepting responsibility, he prevented a worse fate.
Men, David’s example offers a good, though costly, lesson. When a situation turns out badly, when you are wrong, don’t run away or blame someone else. Instead, ask God for strength and admit your fault. Realize that others may suffer because of your mistake, but man up and accept the consequences. It’s the responsible thing to do.