PJ’s Daily Devotional for Monday, April 24, 2017.
Leadership in any organization is hard. I have learned a significant amount about leadership after over 25 years of consistent and persistent leadership experience and study in a wide variety of positions of influence.
I have learned the exhausting, relentless, and dynamic nature of leadership. I have experienced the highs and lows; the curveballs and change-ups; the successes and failures that hit at the very core of the leader’s identity and personality. Leadership comes with the temptations of a Samson’s Delilah, but it also comes with the testimonies of a David’s Jonathan.
The experience of wielding influence can go to your head; don’t let it or the results can be devastating!
Regardless of the apparent exceptions of significant figures like former president Bill Clinton, there remains a universal leadership lesson that leaders can’t seem to learn in all areas and levels of leadership: REMAIN ABOVE REPROACH!
Leaders need to stay focused and not allow their position of influence to go to their heads. Every leader is temporary and every leader can be removed in the blink of an eye. Authority is from God and the mantle of authority can be revoked. A leader’s reputation is rarely so big that it can handle a moral failure, especially a repeated pattern of moral failures! With the recent collapse of the highly influential 21-year tenure media giant, Bill O’Reilly, I am again reminded of the fragile nature of influence in our fallen, globally-connected, media-driven world.
To learn more about lessons to be learned, I recommend you go to the following leadership blog: http://briandoddonleadership.com/2017/04/22/bill-oreilly-officially-out-at-fox-news-10-actions-leaders-should-take/
Here is the Scripture that has moved in my mind and heart this morning: “Having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” (1 Peter 3:16-18).
Leaders, we each must realize the importance of disciplining ourselves, of regulating our own personal freedoms, of living a life above reproach for the sake of those we influence to the glory of God. We must continue to look to Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith, and follow His example that is set before us: the Cross!
Regardless of the level of leadership and regardless of whether you are in a paid position, if you have influence on other people you are a leader. Once you become a leader, you no longer represent yourself and your own ideas; you now represent something (and in the church, SOMEONE) greater than yourself. We must keep our eyes on Jesus and live above reproach as leaders. And this is not just about our sexual purity, though that appears to be a universal issue for leaders, it is about how we communicate and what we communicate, it is about how we treat other people, and how we seek the well-being of the people and organizations we have been entrusted to steward and lead.
Leadership can never be for selfish gain or personal influence! Check your heart motives…
Pray for your leaders, not just in the church, but those who are shaping our families, our communities, our nations, and the global companies and media empires that are shaping the world.
Please pray for me. The deepest truth every leader and person needs to embrace is that failure can happen to any of us. Not a single person alive today is beyond the ability to be tempted and to end up in an embarrassing situation that could cause great damage to their own reputation and those they represent. For leaders, the ripple effect of that failure is great! To think that it won’t happen to you should serve as a warning sign of your pride. I am praying for you. May you humble yourself and bow the knee before the Lord does it for you.
*Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.