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20 Great Quotes on Work, Vocation and Leadership from “God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Book of Proverbs” by Tim Keller with Kathy Keller

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Tim and Kathy Keller followed The Songs of Jesus, their excellent devotional book on the Psalms, with a second devotional book, God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life on the Proverbs. Here are 25 great quotes on work, vocation and leadership from the book:

  • If you have been enjoying any success, have you been secretly taking credit for it? Are you seeing it as the gift of God that it is?
  • We should habitually seek out others who know more than we do about a subject and learn from them. We should have an entire life marked by being teachable rather than opinionated.
  • After getting advice from others, choose the best course in light of: any relevant biblical texts, the opinion of authorities (in family, church, and state), your conscience (James 4:17), an examination of your motives, the best use of your gifts and abilities in God’s service, and finally an assessment of your decision’s impact on others.
  • Nothing is trivial. When you comb your hair, you bring order out of chaos, as God did at the beginning (Genesis 1:1–3). Do everything for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

  • God is happy in his work, and we are made in his image. No wonder there is nothing more humanizing than good work, and no wonder God rewards it.
  • God wants you to value workmanship over success. He wants you to take enormous pride in work well done and give far less thought to how much money the work makes.
  • All leaders, whether they know it or not, exercise authority by the permission and power of God himself.
  • Even leaders without much wisdom or virtue, though they don’t know it, are ruling by God’s appointment and ultimately furthering God’s plan.
  • The most powerful leaders are those whom people trust so much that they want to follow them.
  • You cannot be a real leader without character that all can see, respect, and therefore trust.
  • The most powerful kind of leader is one who uses his or her authority ultimately to serve the ones being led.
  • Christian leaders, guided by the wisdom of God’s Word, must set before people goals that honor God and serve others. And indeed, the best leaders are those who can paint a compelling picture of the future, who can say, “This is the world I want to see. Who’s with me?”
  • Good leaders will find and give time to the most important things.
  • If you have been given authority—whether as a parent, a teacher, a government official, or a small group leader—it is something God gave to you (Daniel 4:17), and God holds you fully responsible for what you do with it (Deuteronomy 17:18–20). You now must, as much as possible, represent him in your leadership.
  • Remember that Jesus put the failed Peter into leadership (John 15:15–25), showing that it is not ability but humility and dependence on him that matter most.
  • If we are to trust God as our only true hope for social order and peace, we must avoid either adulatory naïveté or bitter cynicism about human leaders.
  • We should not be overly shocked and disillusioned when our leaders are revealed as having clay feet.
  • Don’t be a leader, or in ministry, unless you accept the high standards for self-control and dependence on God.
  • We take far more credit for our prosperity than we should. When we flatter ourselves that our assets are the result of our work, it leads us to believe any lack of such assets must be the result of laziness.
  • Leadership heals what is broken by uniting what was fragmented.

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

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