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Work and Leadership

Proverbs 18:16 (NASB)
A man’s gift makes room for him 
And brings him before great men.

Bible Commentary

Proverbs 18:16 is a Bible verse in the Old Testament where King Solomon is sharing his wisdom about the gifts of men.

When Solomon first became king, he was overwhelmed with the privilege of leading God’s people. He knew the responsibility was enormous, and he was greatly concerned about his ability to handle such a position.

The first thing he did as king was to speak to all the people of Israel. Then he took with him all the commanders, leaders, judges, and every head of the fathers’ households to seek God at the altar, and there he offered one thousand burnt offerings as a sacrifice (2 Chronicles 1:1-6).

God responded to Solomon that night and said, “Ask what I shall give you.” (2 Chronicles 1:7).


Solomon poured his heart out about this enormous responsibility and said to God in 2 Chronicles 1:10-12, “Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people, for who can rule this great people of Yours?” 

11 God said to Solomon, “Because you had this in mind, and did not ask for riches, wealth or honor, or the life of those who hate you, nor have you even asked for long life, but you have asked for yourself wisdom and knowledge that you may rule My people over whom I have made you king, 12 wisdom and knowledge have been granted to you. And I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings who were before you has possessed nor those who will come after you.”

Wow, it is obvious that God was well-pleased with Solomon’s priorities! Solomon sought God first and asked for wisdom to rule His people well. He knew the people of Israel were the apple of God’s eye, and he took his responsibility as king very seriously.


And so it should be with us. We must examine our heart’s true intent for desiring honor or leadership. Is it for the benefit of others, or so we can be lifted up above others?

Unlocking the Truth - Leadership or Superiority

This is the true test of leadership in God’s eyes. He knows the truth in our hearts. He knows when we’re ready for leadership, and if not, what needs to be cleaned out of our hearts.

Even today, King Solomon is known for being the wisest man who ever lived. He knew something about men’s gifts and the purpose behind them.

In Proverbs 18:16, Solomon says “A man’s gift makes room for him…” He knew from his experience that the purpose behind a man’s (or woman’s) God-given gifts is ultimately for the good of other people. That is God’s design.


When Solomon asked for wisdom for the good of the people, God responded and lavished wisdom and honor upon Solomon in the kingdom of Israel. Solomon put others before himself, and in doing so he was blessed and honored.

Proverbs 18:16 also says a man’s gift, “brings him before great men.” When we get our selfishness out of the way and unite with God’s heart for His people, then our gifts can be used for Him, and at the same time He will honor us.


If you invest the time to seek out God for the development of your gifts—and your heart—and make sacrifices of effort and resources along the way, God will not overlook you. He will bless and honor you, just like He did with Solomon.

God loves you as much as He loves His people; you are one of His people! He has your good in mind, too. Just like Solomon had God’s people in mind, God has you in mind.

Don’t be afraid to make those sacrifices to use the gifts God has given you. He will create an opportunity, a place for you to use them. It will honor Him, His people and you.

Study the Bible verse of Proverbs 18:16, and discover the purpose of your gifts in work and leadership of others.



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