“Leadership is never an abstract set of ideals or principles but is always rooted in our lived experiences with others.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 24, 2023
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-27, ESV
Though you may not immediately think of yourself as such, every single one of us is a leader. While “leadership” as an industry may often be targeted toward business executives or other high-powered white-collar jobs, when leadership is seated within the context of Christian discipleship, it is closely linked to living a holy life worthy of imitation and, therefore, deeply applicable to everyone.
As Christian leaders, each of us has a “sphere” of influence within which we live our daily lives, and often there are several related yet distinct spheres: work, church, home, etc. Within each of these, our leadership is lived out in the context of relationships, people with whom we laugh and love, serve and honor, respect and forgive. In this way, leadership is never an abstract set of ideals or principles but is always rooted in our lived experiences with others. In truth, just as it is impossible to know ourselves in isolation, leadership is only possible when we commit ourselves to the life of community and relational intimacy, celebrating the vulnerability required to be known and know others.
Within this life of community, one of the most essential traits of any faithful leader is the ability and willingness to keep short accounts.
With the words of Psalm 4:4 on his mind, Paul in Ephesians 4 reminds this young community of faith to “not let the sun go down on (their) anger.” Of course, this is easier said than done, and there may be times in which our anger lasts well beyond a single night, blazing out of control and threatening to overtake our entire being. And yet, we must never lose sight of the principle behind these words: the longer our passions rage, the harder it is to reign them in, and the greater the devastation upon the life of our communities.
Though reconciliation requires all parties to move toward one another in love, today, we are invited, to the extent we are able, to model and embody a way of life that is quick to see our own faults, and equally quick to model repentance and restoration wherever it is needed. Faithful leaders are never expected to be perfect. In fact, the best leaders are deeply aware of their faults, yet thrive when they acknowledge these shortcomings and model for the rest of the community a lifestyle of repentance and humility, knowing this is the way that leads to life!
Father, help us to keep short accounts by modeling repentance and humility in every area of our lives, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
How can you begin to model faithful leadership by being quick to reconcile and repent whenever and wherever it is needed?
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