Posts Tagged ‘Recognition’
A leader’s priorities can keep the good from becoming the enemy of the great. Read Luke 12:13-21.
Jesus’ words were so life changing that people followed Him where ever He went. At times the audience asked Him questions which triggered His teaching on a specific topic. At other times someone in the crowd would ask Jesus to use His authority to resolve a situation. On one such occasion someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus did not give the man advice on how to resolve his situation with his brother but Jesus addressed the real issue that would affect the rest of the man’s life, the man’s priorities.
As important as success, security, and significance are there is something far more meaningful. It is possible for a leader to achieve their wildest dreams for success and significance and still lose everything in the end. This does not mean success, security and significance are always bad but according to Jesus’ story there is a danger if these priorities dominate a leader’s thoughts and actions. Matthew 16:26 says, “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul.”
The way Jesus’ story ended warned against the attitude of greed and pointed out the futility of priorities that are not in line with God’s will. For Christian leaders the highest priority should be to bring recognition, glory, and honor to God rather than just pleasure to themselves. First Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” When a leader has that purpose in mind their priorities tend to sort themselves, and bring focus on what will bring the greatest recognition to God.
Write down your top five life priorities. How many of them focus exclusively on your personal benefit or gain? How many of your top five priorities focus on bringing glory to God (even if you do not receive financial gain or recognition)? Wise leaders can learn from Jesus’ teaching and discern bad priorities from good priorities from great priorities.
Humility is one of the Bible’s most often mentioned traits of a God-honoring leader. Read Luke 3:15-17.
John the Baptist was a powerful leader and public speaker. Luke 3:3-9 says John had crowds of people coming out of the cities of Judah to listen to him speak. Because of his straight talk, many who listened to John responded to his message of repentance and were baptized. Many people followed John and actually became his disciples. John was so popular that many in the crowds actually thought he may be the promised Messiah. When asked if he were the Messiah, John demonstrated tremendous humility when he said he was not worthy to untie the sandals of the true Messiah. What an awesome combination of traits John possessed as a leader – burning passion and absolute humility.
The Bible is very clear that no leader should be involved in leadership for the honor or recognition. My own personal experience has been that many of us took responsibility to lead the first few times seeking recognition but found that very shallow and unfulfilling. The price of leadership is so high that recognition alone doesn’t sustain the motivation needed to lead. Yet, God created the feeling we get from recognition. Read Judges 4.
Israel had been under the iron rule of King Jabin of Canaan who reigned in Hazor. Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army had a powerful force including 900 iron chariots manned by expert, experienced, proven horsemen and soldiers. From all known military understanding, with Israel’s lack of central leadership and the divisions between tribes, and the lack of a standing army, Israel did not have a chance to defeat them.
Becoming a leader is not a quick, simple process. It may be possible to become a self-made leader but that would be rare by any standard and impossible for a Christian. If the Spirit of God is not in control of leading and directing a Christian leader, they may develop skills but those skills bring glory to themselves not to God. Most highly successful, effective Christian leaders receive input not only from the Spirit of God but also from another leader that invests in them. Joshua is a tremendous example of such a leader. Read Numbers 27:15-23.
This portion of scripture is right at the end of Moses life when he was publicly passing the mantle of leadership to Joshua. There are excellent leadership lessons for both the mentor and the person receiving the mentoring in these few verses: