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February 3, 2022

A Man of Good Presence

17 So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me a man who can play [the lyre] well and bring him to me.” 18 One of the young men answered, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the Lord is with him.”   -1 Samuel 16:17-18 (ESV)


Man of valor

Man of war

Prudent in speech

Man of good presence

The Lord is with him

I love these descriptors of David and would be honored if anyone said these things of me.

Which one stands out to you the most?  If you could pick one descriptor, which one would you want to be said of you?

I keep coming back to a “man of good presence.”

What does this look like to you?  Does anyone come to mind?

The first person I think of is Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird.  He’s calm, stately, bold, humble, intelligent and unshakable.  He’s a man of conviction and a man of his word.  This is probably why he was named the #1 cinematic hero by the American Film Institute.

The world needs more men of good presence.

As it relates to leadership, Edwin Friedman, in his book, A Failure of Nerve, explains it this way.

The problem of leadership is a failure of nerve.  Leaders fail not because they lack information, skill, or technique but because they lack the nerve and presence to stand firm in the midst of other people’s emotional anxiety and reactivity.  Leaders need to develop a “non-anxious presence.”

Are you a man of good presence or a man with an anxious presence?  Men of good presence have confidence in God’s sovereignty.  They aren’t so caught up in themselves to be present for those around then.  They resist the temptation to get drawn into the anxiousness of others and remain calm and rooted in what they know to be true.  Their confidence does not come from their skills, but from a trust in the Holy Spirit who is working through them.

Take your cue from Bruce Lee, who said, “One of the best lessons you can learn in life is to master how to remain calm.  Calm is a superpower.”

Let’s be men of good presence today.


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