What type of leader are you? Are you a control freak where you have to have your finger in everything? Are you someone who empowers others? Are you overbearing? Are you able to delegate? Are you humble or domineering? Are you assertive or aggressive? Are you kind or mean?
Have you ever considered you might be the problem? Are you allowing fear and worry to make you that way? Do you realize the impact that your behavior has on the productivity of others? Do you realize the impact that your behavior also has an impact on the dynamics and stability of your team? Do you realize the how a change inward could have significant impact outwardly? Would you be willing to humble yourself? Would you be willing to be a servant leader? Would you be interested in seeing the incredible difference that would and will make?
Today’s devotional (Character Of A Great Leader – day 5) speaks to this very topic. Let’s jump into today’s reading and see what we can glean from it.
Come to Me, and I Will Give You Rest25 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”–from Matthew 11
Are you feeling the pressure of life? Are you feeling the weight of the world? There is an alternative option for you! We just read it in the start of today’s reading where it says:
28Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
-from Matthew 11
Jesus is the answer! He will trade us that pressure and that weight! He will provide rest in the midst of a busy day! He will provide peace in the midst of the storm! He will provide a way even when there doesn’t appear to be one!
The decision is yours! He won’t force you to! He won’t make you do it! You get to choose! So…
Today’s reading continues…
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” 39And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. 45Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus47 While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” 49And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 50Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. 51And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” 55At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. 56But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.
Do you realize what happens when you get so tired? Do you realize what you are missing? Do you realize what is going on around you? Do you realize what you are a part of? Do you realize the impact you could have? Do you realize how much God loves you? Do you realize how much you have available to you? Are you willing to humble yourself and do it God’s way? Are you willing to shepherd those who follow you rather than try to control them? Are you willing to let them be creative? Are you willing to allow them to learn and grow and think? You don’t want them to just be robots right? Are you willing to let go and stop trying to control and manipulate everyone? Do you realize that it’s a matter of choice and we get to choose for ourselves? Will you choose to be prepared? Will you choose to be ready? Will you choose to answer the call? Will you choose to make a difference? Will you choose to receive forgiveness? Will you choose to give out forgiveness? The choice is yours! So…
Today’s devotional (Character Of A Great Leader – day 5) speaks to the topic of “” and uses these very verses…
“Great Leaders Are Not Controlling”
Letting go is never easy.
Many parents, for example, find it difficult to loosen the reins of control on their growing children — even in the face of startling statistics on the damage inflicted by controlling parents.
As adults, 96% of people who had controlling parents worry and ruminate over confrontations. Close to 91% are extra sensitive to criticism, while 82% become perfectionists who are rarely satisfied with themselves.
Control is unhealthy. It is unhealthy in relationships and it is extremely unhealthy in a workplace environment.
According to the survey by Harry Chambers, 79% of responding employees said they’ve been micromanaged in at least one point during their careers, and they single out micromanagement as the most significant barrier to productivity. Also, a study by the Journal of Experimental Psychology showed that employees who believe they are being watched perform at lower levels.
Yet, despite all the statistics and surveys, leaders still have a hard time letting go.
The results are constant turnovers, low productivity, frequent change of direction, lack of creativity, and so on. So what would Jesus teach us about control?
If there was ever a leader who had every right and the wherewithal to control not only His followers but also His entire movement, it was Jesus.
He could have come as a powerful king to establish His earthly Kingdom; instead, He came as a child and later endured ridicule and cruelty from the very people He came to save. He could have saved the life of John the Baptist. He could have prevented His followers from being persecuted for their faith. He could have fed the five thousand all by Himself by raining manna from heaven (after all, that’s how He fed Israel for 40 years) without using someone else’s fish and bread, but He didn’t. Finally, He could have said no to the cross, but, thank God, He did not.
The beauty of Jesus’ leadership lies not in the control He exerts over His followers, but in the gentle way He shepherds us so that we can experience His fullness.
His way is full of grace, forgiveness and second chances. He is a leader who never leaves nor forsakes; yet, when necessary, He corrects and reorients. He doesn’t demand or force His way. He invites and guides those committed to His cause. His preferred leadership style is freedom instead of control.