Job’s 1st Principle for Leadership

By Roland Heersink

The story of Job is the story of loss and suffering such as you never want to endure. But it is also a story of a successful business leader unlike any other in the Bible, encountering total loss before being restored to double success.  

In the middle of the book, Job reviews his leadership principles, challenging his friends and God(!) to find any fault with how he conducted himself. While all of his principles are instructive to us today, Job’s first principle is especially relevant, even though we rarely mention it. 

Given Job’s tremendous success, you might think his first principles would focus on finance or perhaps management, but that’s not so. Instead, Job firmly nails down sexual purity as his primary principle for life, leadership, and even business success. 

Job’s choice of sexual purity as his first principle should actually come as no surprise; after all, sexual infidelity has brought about problems to leaders throughout history, from Bible times right up to today. Sexual sin is a big deal, and can seriously impair one’s leadership, as well as God’s ability or desire to bless that leadership.  

Check how Job starts off describing his principles about sexual purity in Job 31:1 – “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman” – and then note the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:28: – “… anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  

And this is not only for men! The Apostle Paul explicitly wrote about the importance of sexual purity for men and women in his letters to all but one of the churches he addressed in his New Testament letters.  

Job’s first principle in life, leadership, and business was sexual purity. Although it seems off-topic to a list of leadership principles and is no longer taboo in many circles, God’s will for our sexual purity has never changed. As you look for the blessing of God in leadership, your first step is to follow His principles, not the practices of the world, and that still means sexual purity. 

What about you? Has your leadership or success been compromised because of lust or sexual sin?   How does sexual purity fit into your top ten list of leadership principles?  

Abstracted from “TOTAL LOSS to DOUBLE SUCCESS – 14 Leadership & Business Principles from the World’s Richest / Most Successful Man: JOB of the Bible” by Roland Heersink, Founder, God & Work. 



Lifework is an eight-month leadership experience that runs from September to May. Each class examines the life of Jesus as the best example of a leader and influencer, as well as corporate leadership best practices.