Samuel was one of the greatest leaders in the Bible. From birth, his life was dedicated to serving God and leading the people of Israel. He obeyed God and inspired others to do the same.

I’m especially impressed, humbled, and challenged by how he handled the crowning of Saul as Israel’s first king. His questions interrupted my thinking.

I would expect Samuel to handle this MILESTONE MOMENT with a quick review of his accomplishments and deeds. Instead, he opens himself up and allows anyone to challenge his character. WHAT A WAY TO PASS THE MANTEL OF LEADERSHIP! With a boldness that can only come from a pure heart, Samuel asks:

Have I taken anything?
Have I cheated anyone?
Have I oppressed anyone?
Have I accepted a bribe and looked the other way?

Samuel was a leader of israel since his youth and he was now “old and gray.” He had plenty of GREAT FEATS he could have shared. No one would have faulted him, they probably would have CHEERED, for Samuel was a hero.

Samuel’s legacy was his character, not his success. It was more about how he treated people than what he got them to do. Too bad Saul never caught this. Too bad I forget this more than I’d like to admit.

In this we see what God values: intimacy with the creator is far more important than influence over creation. Each of us has a different mold, and everyone won’t have the same span of influence. THIS IS OK! Everyone can’t be the president, Billy Graham or the owner of a MLB team. Everyone can have character: doing the right thing even if it means we miss out on personal gain. Achievement can feed ego and self-sufficiency, character removes these things from our lives.

Imagine leadership (we are all leaders, think about who you influence if you don’t see your self as a leader) that values character over achievement. What would the people in your life say if you asked them the same questions Samuel did?

Abnormalize the way you view spiritual maturity: faithfulness is more important than effectiveness and people are more important than production.