October 1, 2010

Too Familiar Leaders

Written by Wisdom Hunters

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- October 1, 2010

“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Hebrews 13:17

Leaders can become so familiar with their team that they dilute their effectiveness to lead. A leader is not one of the boys or one of the girls—they are the leader. Parents have to learn this. They are not the child’s or the teenager’s friend. They are first their dad or mom. Friendship can come later with adult children, but, in the meantime, they need you to be their leader.

So, how familiar are you to those you lead? Are you respectful of others, so that you invite their respect of you? Do you lift them up with commendation and not tear them down with coarse kidding? Joking around on the job is not a pattern great leaders model. This may have been your behavior in the past, but, in the present, your role requires more maturity.

Does this mean leaders are not transparent about their weaknesses? No, because a humble person is the first to confess their struggles and blind spots. But, it does mean that a wise leader approaches their God-given role with solemn responsibility and a serious resolve. People need a leader they can trust and look up to as the Lord’s leader for this season.

We do not want those we lead to pray as David did, “May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership” (Psalm 109:8). Followers want to be led by a wise leader.

Moreover, when we become too close to a team member it creates jealousy, rivalry and resentment. This happens with children. If we show favoritism to one child, other siblings will notice and spew out their frustrations on the parent’s pet. We can reward good behavior and praise obedience, but not over do it by crossing the line of becoming too familiar.

Leadership can be lonely, but we are not alone as followers of Jesus. Wise leaders keep their emotions under the Spirit’s control in the presence of their team, but in the presence of the Lord they bare their soul. You cannot become too familiar with your Heavenly father. He already knows more about you than you do. Pour out your frustrations and fears to Him and He will listen, forgive and lead you in the way you should go.

“My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng. Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, or I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 43:3-6a).

Do I look to the Lord to lead me? How can I lovingly lead with honesty and respect?

Related Readings: Exodus 18:13-16; Zechariah 12:5-6; John 12:42; Hebrews 13:7

Boyd Bailey is the author of Wisdom Hunters daily devotional and two devotional books, Infusion and Seeking Daily the Heart of God

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