January 20, 2017

Successful Delegators Trust Others to Do the Job Better Than Them

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 20, 2017

Moses’ father-in-law replied, What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.   Exodus 18:17-18

Many times it is more expedient to do the work ourselves—it goes faster, with fewer mistakes and there is not the headache of training someone—however, though more efficient—doing everything ourselves is not the most effective leadership approach in the long run—we quickly max out our capacity. Emotionally—overextended. Mentally—no margin. Physically—exhausted. Spiritually—spent! If I attempt to do everything myself, I end up not doing anything very well. Faithful leaders learn to trust and train other faithful leaders to do the job better.  

Moses woke up one day and discovered all decisions flowed through him. Though it stroked his ego, he was on the verge of not doing anything well, because he was trying to do everything himself. Fortunately someone he really respected—his father-in-law Jethro—spoke into his life.

Not only was Moses on the precipice of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual collapse, so were those seeking his advice—-all of them were about to wear themselves out (v.18). Reality can be a harsh teacher, so better to anticipate the need to surround ourselves with a diversity of gifted leaders than to wait after the fact and find ourselves causing unintended relational strife and emotional stress. Jethro’s advice was clear and simple: instruct and show the people how to live and resolve their own issues in accordance to the Lord’s ways. When they are unable to agree on a solution, then involve an objective third party to mediate and help come to an agreed upon resolution.

“Listen now to me [Jethro] and I will give you [Moses] some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied” (Exodus 18:19-23).

Moses takes the time to prayerfully recruit capable (faithful) men of integrity and wisdom, who are trustworthy and fear God and he gives them a specific scope of work and a clearly defined number of people to help settle their disputes. As a result, the people went home satisfied and Moses was able to handle the strain of his responsibilities. As a father-in-law to four son-in-laws—my favorite verse is, “Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said” (Exodus 18:24)!

What responsibility do you need to hand over that can be done better by someone else, freeing you up to do what only you can do? For a season it takes additional time, money and resources to train and coach others, but in the long term it saves you time and allows you to better manage yourself, your family and your work. Trust God in the process of giving over authority to another trustworthy leader, the Lord will give all parties the wisdom and confidence to carry out the work with excellence Be available to help mediate exceptions, but allow your trainee to fail and learn from their failures. God expands the influence of faithful leaders who delegate—then evaluate.

“The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2, NASB).



Heavenly Father, give me the patience to train faithful leaders who will train others.


What responsibility can I entrust to another, so I am free to do what only I can do?

Related Reading

Proverbs 22:6; Daniel 1:5; 2 Timothy 1:13; Romans 6:17; Hebrews 12:11

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God expands the influence of faithful leaders who delegate—then evaluate. #WisdomHunters #trustothers

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