Everyone on the planet is writing books about Leadership! Casually walk through any major bookstore and you will see all kinds of books on the subject. These books promise you can: “Lead Like Jesus”, Lead from the “Second Chair”, Lead with a “Limp”, Lead in a Circle (360 Degrees), become the “Leader You Were Meant to Be” (scary) and of course “Release the Leader In You!”.
While most of us aspire to be leaders (and probably will lead others) the fact is that the vast majority of our lives will be spent following someone else’s cause, direction or mandate. (Even when we have made it our own).
Ok, Here is the point: Most of us are terrible followers. We bristle when told we must do something that we don’t want to do…..And for the Christian, their faith will mean nothing to a lost and dying world if they cannot follow well.
A Few Problems with Following:
- WE ARE AMERICANS! Nobody tells us what to do! Our whole country was established based on the principle: Don’ t tell me what I can or cannot do!”
- LITTLE LAWYERS rise up inside of us whenever we are told we have to do something (Parent, boss, cop, organizational leader etc…) We question their authority, their direction and even their lineage!
- ABUSIVE LEADERS ABOUND! We have all had to submit to the authority of someone who abused their authority either by decree or neglect.
- WE HAVE REBELLIOUS HEARTS. (Jeremiah 17:9)
- God expects you to follow an unbelieving, unfair, mean….. boss, teacher, cop, parent, president, chairman and “grand poobah”! For it is God who established the authority in your life. (1 Peter 2)
- Authority in your life represents ORDER and not VALUE. In other words, someone’s authority has nothing to do with their value. (Contratary to Secular Humanism, scripture actually encourage followers of Christ to become less and less in their submission to both Christ and “every authority instituted among men” (John 3:30/1 Peter 2:13)
- Following a boss well gives you a unique platform to share what is really important, faith in Jesus Christ? You stand out “like a sore thumb”! How can you ever be a “light in a dark world” if your own bosses (and others) question your integrity or work ethic or loyalty?
- If we are unable to follow the authority that we can see, how can we follow the authority we cannot see? (John 4:20, interp)
- God uses an unfair authority figure to make us better….. (James 1:3)
- Scripture says rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft…. in other words not good at all. (1 Sam 15:23)
While we are all busy learning how to be better leaders…we may want to pay a little more attention to following whomever God has placed in authority over us.
May 13, 2011 at 6:32 am
I actually enjoy when you remind me on authority. It is a daily struggle for many more than just myself however. Criticizing those in authority over us is almost a national pastime. I think that God calls that “sitting in the seat of the scornful” in Psalm 1. Admittedly before moving to Wichita Falls and getting back to my walk with God, not only “sat in the seat of the scornful”, I had my name on one of those seats. Only giving this area over to God and trusting that Jesus’ Finished Work has left it on the cross has produced miraculous results. Mind you, I haven’t arrived, but I’m definitely on the way.
May 13, 2011 at 7:24 am
Following, that is serving in the capacity expected of you, is many times the role of being a leader, although that mostly comes across to others (not to the one over you). It’s a shame that sometimes there are abuses from authority, which really makes it hard to submit/serve.