Thursday, April 11, 2019
There is something very addictive about authority and power, especially to a person with insecurities. Moses was a man with insecurities. He had run away from his people once because his actions were misunderstood and rejected, and he had fought God’s call to return to his people as their deliverer because of the fear of additional rejection.
When God empowered him to accomplish the nation’s deliverance from Egypt, and when God empowered him to meet all of their needs during the exodus, Moses probably started to feel pretty good about himself. This authority and power that he had was gratifying, and it certainly felt a lot better than rejection. The people actually needed him, and he was really enjoying the attention and sense of security it brought.
But just like any addiction, there was a serious price to pay. Read the whole story in Exodus 18:13-26. Here’s the key verse:
Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you.
Moses’ price of feeding on the addiction of authority was burnout. His father-in-law saw it, and helped him to learn the lesson that all attempts to cover our insecurities and fears with human resources end in destruction. Moses needed the wise input of a veteran leader to help him see the error of his thinking. This wise man gave him some incredible leadership advice – delegate! The advice was broken down into the following elements, and gives each of us some insights into how we can become better leaders of the people God has brought into our circle of relationships:
- Make sure everyone knows that God is the final authority and you are just serving Him. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. It is very dangerous to take personal credit for decisions and actions when God alone is responsible.
- Use every meeting with a person seeking God’s advice to teach them how to personally apply God’s law so they become more dependant upon God, not you. Teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way to live… It is easy for us to enjoy the attention and ego stroking we get when people depend on us, but it is our privilege and duty to lead them into dependence upon God.
- Give people a sense of purpose and responsibility. And show them … the duties they are to perform. Everyone needs to know they are needed and appreciated and that their life is accomplishing some purpose. One of the most important aspects of leadership is the encouraging of people to dream and the empowering of people to pursue the dream.
- Set up a workable system of accountability and authority. But select capable men from all the people – men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain -and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. Organize the people into small groups and delegate responsibility to qualified people to oversee the groups.
What was the guaranteed result of such leadership? Stress reduction and satisfied people. You will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied. As a pastor, that’s what I want. That’s what I have. I thank God daily for the qualified people around me who carry the load and for the servant-hearted people like you who have accepted the wisdom of Godly leadership. Maybe some of these principles will help you in the leadership issues you experience at your work or in your family.