Philemon 8-10--For this reason, although I have great boldness in Christ to command you to do what is right. I appeal to you, instead, on the basis of love. I, Paul, as an elderly manand now also as a prisoner of Christ Jesus, appeal to you for my son, Onesimus. I fatheredhim while I was in chains.
Typically we view leadership as a trait comprised of courage, strong will and that rare ability to see what must be done and inspire people to action. Too often we see those who occupy positions of leadership harness power or vested authority to coerce others into acquiescence. But how often do we hear about leadership from the vantage of love?
Consider God, the ne plus ultra; the Leader of all leaders. In order to free us from the deadly effect of sin so that we could have a viable relationship with Him, He appealed to us on the basis of love. He sacrificed His Son instead of smoking Satan. He made Himself like us to reach us instead of throwing us away and starting all over.
Consider Jesus. If we knew we were spending our last night with our dedicated team before certain death, most of us would summon our most inspirational thoughts and issue directives we consider critical to mission accomplishment. Jesus washed His follower’s feet. He appealed to them on the basis of love.
Consider the Holy Spirit. He speaks with a still small voice when He could so easily split the atoms. He assumes control only if we will listen; interceding for us “with unspoken groanings” (Romans 8:26b) on the basis of love.
If I want my children to obey me I don’t raise my voice I raise my heart. If they are to embrace what is true and noble they must know what it means to be truly and nobly embraced. I learn this from my Father who moves me to tears by His most excellent patience, kindness, and gentleness. So often I fall short of His will yet I find His authority sewn with mercy. He inspires me to do what is right from the basis of love.
St. Augustine wrote, “Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.” Do you wish to lead? Start with love. You hope for success in the lives of those you serve? Give them Jesus. The world’s concept of leadership is based on gain. Heaven’s concept of leadership is based on love. The former sees you for what you will do the latter for who you are. Something to think about . . . in reveration.
You do not lead by hitting people over the head—that’s assault, not leadership.—Dwight D. Eisenhower
Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it.—Marian Anderson
©2005 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)