The following commentary on I Kings 19:1 - 22:40 is from John Maxwell's Leadership Bible.
Ahab and Jezebel Manipulate People Because They Cannot Move Them
Few couples in Scripture look less attractive than King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. We get acquainted with their ugly style at the end of I Kings. Because they suffered an almost total lack of leadership charisma, they had to use manipulation, selfishness, and cunning to get what they wanted.
Charisma has been defined as a magnetic personal attraction that draws others to the leader, making them feel better about themselves. Effective leaders do well to develop some level of charisma.
In Greek, the word charisma means "gift." God gives a degree of charisma to everyone. Leaders are to give it away to others; charismatic people are others-centered. So why did Ahab and Jezebel fail to demonstrate any charisma?
- They set out selfishly to build their own kingdoms (22:8).
- They used people in order to get ahead; anyone was expendable (19:2).
- They worried about image and lived under false pretenses (21:8-13).
- They sulked and got angry when they didn't get their way (21:4).
- They pretended to be someone they were not (21:25-27).
- They abused the authority they had been given (21:18,19).
Ahab and Jezebel felt no incentive to develop charisma because their position allowed them to use people. Why would they need to inspire others to cooperate with them? Wasn't their word law? Godly leaders must avoid this wicked attitude at all costs.
Roadblocks to Charisma
To build charisma, be others-minded. Leaders who think about others and their concerns before thinking of themselves quickly develop charisma.
How would you rate your own charisma? Are other people naturally attracted to you? Are you well liked? Consider the following roadblocks to charisma. Do you possess any of these?
- Pride: Nobody wants to follow a leader who thinks he is better than everyone else. Arrogant leaders lose the respect of others.
- Insecurity: If you are uncomfortable with yourself, others will be, too. Only secure leaders can provide a secure atmosphere.
- Moodiness: If people never know what to expect of you, they stop expecting anything. Eventually, they won't even approach you.
- Selfishness: People can tell if you are using them merely to reach your own goal. No healthy person stays for long in such an unhealthy environment.
- Perfectionism: People respect the desire for excellence, but loathe unrealistic expectations. No one wants to feel the program is more important than they are.
- Cynicism: People don't want to be rained on by someone who sees a cloud around every silver lining. Negative leaders repulse healthy followers.