Do you take your influence over others for granted? (179-1)
Leadership is a form of stewardship. Read Amos 1:1-2:16.
Amos was God’s prophet to the Northern Kingdom of Israel for approximately 10 years from 760 B.C. to 750 B. C. Amos was a bit of an unlikely leader for the Northern kingdom. He was a shepherd and, according to 7:14-15, he supplemented his income by taking care of sycamore-fig trees, living in the Southern kingdom of Judah. Unlike some of the prophets, Amos brought no known credentials to his prophetic work other than his claim of a divine call of God.
In chapters one and two, Amos declares God’s judgment on six of Israel’s neighbors and Israel and Judah. In four of the six declarations against Israel’s neighbors, the nation’s leaders were singled out for special judgment. When leaders fail to understand their role as stewards of high standards they lead the people into practices that create moral failure and demeaning acts against their brothers and neighbors. The wickedness of some of the leaders described by Amos ranged from making captives of free people and selling them into slavery to murdering women and cutting out the fetus to terrify people so they could more easily expand their boarders. God gives power to leaders for the protection and just treatment of followers but these leaders used it for their own benefit.
Stewardship by definition is someone who manages another’s property or financial affairs; one who administers anything as the agent of another or others. With every stewardship relationship there are two parties involved—the one who hands out the resources and the one who manages the resources and is accountable for how they are used. God has entrusted leaders to shape, refine, and creatively utilize other people as well as the creatures and resources of this planet, and He grants them great freedom in the process. The part easily forgotten by leaders is that, even though they may have total freedom to decide how a resource is used, they are ultimately accountable to the One who granted them use of the resource.
Have you been in leadership long enough to take your influence over others for granted? Do you assume that the years you have spent developing your leadership skills, climbing to your position on the organizational chart and the freedom you have experienced to apply those skills somehow exempts you from accountability to the Creator who granted you the power and authority. One of the dangers that comes with great freedom is leaders can easily forget their stewardship role. Wise leaders continually remind themselves they are stewards, not owners, of God’s gifts.
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