Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 7, 2017
“Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.” 1 Samuel 14:7
Loyal followers are hard to find, but once they are discovered, wise is the leader who values them. They are rare and productive, constantly looking for ways to make the leader successful in his or her God-given mission. They unselfishly serve behind the scenes, tirelessly and tediously. Because of a loyal follower’s sixth sense to anticipate needs, they know how to encourage excellence.
They learn to prod the leader with thorough questioning so the leader’s intuition can be clarified and verified. The loyal follower is an encourager and an implementer. They get things done by converting the leader’s vision into reality. Without the skill and support of these dream enhancers, the visionary leader would drown in their dreams.
Leaders without loyal followers are not effective over the long term. You can beg, bribe, and berate followers into results for a season, but eventually, this type of leadership will drive loyal followers away and leave only the weak ones. The leader may start something, but it is the loyal follower who sustains the new initiative. He or she is comfortable not getting credit, though the wise leader gives it gladly and gratefully. It is no secret that the loyal follower is the engine that keeps the enterprise running smoothly.
Therefore, reward loyalty with loyalty and appreciation or the loyal follower who is taken for granted will remain loyal no more. Paul modeled help for loyal servants of the Lord. “Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel…” (Philippians 4:3a). A wise leader learns to love loyal followers lavishly and unconditionally. Regularly reward those who embody the values of the organization. Thank them with bonuses and unexpected time off.
For followers, loyalty is not an end in itself, but a means to something greater than themselves. They feel called to carry out the God-given mission of the ministry or business. Their loyalty is the fruit of their calling and the result of their respect. They respect because they are respected. Indeed, the respect of the leader toward followers elicits their respect in spades. When you honor and value your team or family you invite loyalty.
You value them when you sincerely consider their ideas and opinions. You respect them when you start and end meetings and conversations on time. You honor them when you do what you say, and you respect them when you apologize for letting them down. You show respect when you listen and exhibit honor when you serve. You make them feel important because they are important. This type of environment of love and respect will cause loyalty to run rampant. You will be unable to control or contain its energizing effect. Loyalty that is given lasts, while loyalty that is demanded dies. Look for loyalty first in the mirror at home, and then watch it come back through the window at work. Jesus was loyal to the point of death on the cross, so be loyal to your Lord first, and loyalty to others will flow naturally. Loyalty to the Lord means you worship Him in His holiness, and you obey Him humbly and quickly. You love Him with passion and purity, and you follow Him by faith. Stay loyal to your loyal Lord and to your loyal followers, for loyalty extends in all directions.
PrayerHeavenly Father, my loyalties are to You as my Savior and Lord.
ApplicationWhat affections are causing me conflicting loyalties with my love of Jesus?
Related ReadingRuth 1:16-17; Proverbs 17:17; Matthew 26:35; 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Post/Tweet todayWhen we honor and serve those around us, we invite their loyalty.. #wisdomhunters #loyalty
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