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Dec. 2010 - Moses: The Personification of Exemplary Character

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December 2010

Moses: The Personification of Exemplary Character

Dr. John KlineThe last three columns have focused on one of the greatest leaders of all time. We considered Moses’ leadership challenge, the result as he built a nation and finally, his visionary leadership. This month we consider the exemplary character which allowed him to accomplish the vision. Three of his strongest character traits were: compassion, humility and integrity.

Compassion. Moses was raised a prince in the court of pharaoh, yet compassion for the Hebrew people moved him to kill the taskmaster who was abusing them, thus relinquishing his royal position (Exodus 2: 10-15). Forty years later he demonstrated his compassion by interceding with God on behalf of the people even though God had promised Moses would survive and father a great nation. Moses also revealed his commitment and passion for God’s glory when he acted to prevent the Egyptians from having an opportunity to malign God (Exodus 32:10-12). Moses was a leader whose compassion caused him to put the needs of others ahead of his own.

Humility. When God called Moses to lead the people from Egyptian bondage, Moses responded with true humility when he asked, “Who am I to go to Pharaoh?” Moses could not believe he would be able to stand against the mighty Pharaoh. It is good he had such humility or he never would have been able to stand the grumbling and disobedience of the people for the next forty years. Moses exhibited what leadership expert Jim Collins calls Level 5 leadership—exhibiting extreme personal humility and an intense will. Numbers 12:3 says “Now, the man Moses was very humble more than any man who was on the face of the earth.”

Integrity. Moses had many opportunities to compromise his integrity. The writer of Hebrews (11:24-29) said Moses held to his integrity when he chose to suffer affliction rather than enjoy the pleasures of wrongdoing. Integrity is moral and ethical soundness. Daily we hear of those who lose the trust of their followers because of flawed integrity. Moses, like another hero of antiquity, Job (2:3), maintained his integrity in the face of adversity.

Next month we will see how Moses was a proficient master of implementing change.

John Kline
Montgomery, Alabama

Dec. 2010 - Moses: The Personification of Exemplary Character
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