Nearly everyone has felt the pressures and hassles of the daily grind. It is like the old saying, “It goes with the territory,” or in other words, we accept the reality of the often redundant tasks, imminent deadlines, and obstacles that we must overcome to achieve a job well-done. However, sometimes the most significant barrier we face does not come from other competing businesses or ambitious colleagues. Instead, sometimes our most significant barrier to doing our day-to-day job is the person in charge. Perhaps you know the type, e.g., untrusting, judgmental, egotistical, narcissistic, or a combination thereof. Simply put, they see themselves as being all that and a bag of chips.
What does it mean to be a leader of people, or better yet, what is leadership? Leadership is not about how well a person bends and flexes others to achieve success. Instead, it is about how well a person, as the leader, bends and flexes his or herself to help others achieve their success. True leaders invest in their employees to help them learn and grow to become more efficient and capable. Jesus gives us the perfect example of authentic leadership when He, the Creator of all things, God in human form, humbles Himself by washing His disciples’ feet. In those days, the washing of feet was usually the job of a house servant and considered one of the lowest positions.
“Do you know what I have done for you? You call Me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’; and you are correct, for so I am. So if I, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example so that you also would do just as I did for you.”John 13:13-15
The example given by Jesus teaches us to put others before ourselves without reservation of their status in the community or their position in a company. Apostle Paul reinforces Jesus’ teaching in his letter to the Philippian church. Paul wrote, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility consider one another as more important than yourselves” (Phil. 2:2-4). You see, the true nature of leadership is to be a servant leader, one who focuses on the growth and well-being of others for the greater good of the community or the business culture of the company.
But what can I do when my boss is more of an obstacle than a servant leader? Great question! One that Paul answers in his letter for the church in Rome. Paul wrote, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people” (Rom. 12:18). Paul recognized that there would be people we encounter who prefer to be all about themselves, be judgmental, untrusting, and so on. The peace that Paul refers to comes when we refuse to allow a root of bitterness towards others to fester within ourselves. If we allow bitterness to take root in our hearts, we suffer at our own expense, and even worse, it can hinder our relationship with God.
The best way to contend with someone in charge who is more of an obstacle than an enabler is, first and foremost, prayer. The second is to focus on being a servant leader to those around you. You may discover that many of your colleagues are dealing with the same struggle, that same obstacle, so by lifting each other, you will enable each other, and in the midst of it all, the light of Christ will shine brightly in you.
I invite you to check out our weekly Bible study podcast each Wednesday at 11 a.m. eastern. Next week, we will explore the gospel according to John throughout the season of Lent and into Holy Week.
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“God never leaves you nor forsakes you.” I’ve heard that before. “Jesus will leave the 99 to come after you.” I’ve heard that one too. Meanwhile, fear creeps up when life hurls a season of loneliness our way, and poof! Churchy sayings hold as much weight as thin air. Believe it or not, God is cheering us on and inviting us to thrive amidst the loneliness. Yes, it’s weird and scary, but this emptiness is a safe space where you get to hear the God of everything speak the loudest. You’re safe because God is so good at owning goodness amidst our dank, confused, lonely seasons, and because of Him, you aren’t so by yourself.”
A Faithful Sower Publishing is a limited liability company that is dedicated to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and help guide people into a relationship with God and grow in that relationship. The publisher, editors, and authors achieve that end through prayer and the careful exposition of the Bible to best explain and illustrate Scripture in a meaningful engaging way so others can apply its truths to their everyday life. The mission of the the A Faithful Sower ministry team is to carry out the Great Commission issued to all who choose to follow Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. Jesus commands us to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15).
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