“And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him.”
Every person needs a code of conduct that guides them in what they do. No better person to give a code of conduct than God. When Moses set up judges to assist him in the massive job of caring for the people, God gave him a code of conduct that should guide each leader, which is good even to this day. Seven principles are given to the leader that should guide them as they lead people.
First, don’t run from the people. Moses told these men, “Hear the causes between your brethren…” The leader must be careful not to be aloof with those they lead. The leader is not to sit in an office to hide or to get away from those they are supposed to lead, but the leader should be among those they are leading so they can be a help to them. You cannot be a good leader if you are never around those you are supposed to lead.
Second, be righteous in judgment. God commanded the leader to “judge righteously.” In other words, what a good leader does for one, he does for all. A good leader always allows the established rules to guide how they judge situations. The best way to keep morale high and peace in an organization is to enforce the established rules and avoid skirting rules that are uncomfortable to enforce.
Third, don’t be a respecter of persons. Verse 17 says, “Ye shall not respect persons in judgment…” A leader must never have favorites, but they must treat everyone the same. Poor leaders allow favored individuals to influence their thinking rather than allowing the established policies to guide their decisions. You must be careful not to let anyone to be favored because of money, status or influence.
Fourth, never be too big for a listening ear. Verse 17 continues by saying, “…ye shall hear the small as well as the great…” A leader must be a listener. If you don’t want to listen to people, you should never take a position of leadership. Most followers just need someone who will listen to them. One of the greatest characteristics a leader can develop is the ability to listen to everyone.
Fifth, don’t be afraid to do right. Never let the consequences of right keep you from doing right. Nobody ever said that making a right decision would be easy. God said, “…ye shall not be afraid of the face of man…” You are a leader because people expect you to make the tough decisions. Right decisions won’t always be easy, but they are right to do and will keep you in favor with God.
Sixth, remember for Whom you are making decisions. Verse 17 reminds the leader, “…for the judgment is God’s…” Always remember that you are not making decisions for yourself, but you are making decisions and enforcing scriptural principles for God. You mustn’t let your heart get involved because it will keep you from making the right decisions. Remember that you are representing God with every decision.
Seventh, don’t be a know-it-all. Leaders must be willing to get help from other leaders when they don’t have the answer. If you love those you lead, you will be sure to refer them to those who can help them when you don’t have the answer.