Profiles in Leadership—The Leaders’ Book—Judges 21:25

Vol. 2, No. 22 – 5-28-2017Judges 21

In those days there was no king in Israel, so the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes. Judges 21:25

Do you ever kind of cheat when you read a novel by looking at the end? You always expect the hero to step in and save the beauty, marry her, and carry her off on a glorious white horse.

Judges ends in a real disappointment. There is backsliding, and the nation is in the pits after 350 years. There is constant failure of leaders; yet, God’s frequent mercy prevails. A major problem, however, develops; there is division in the land.

It is not as if it is uncommon. We have seen this throughout the world. Think of North and South Korea, the U.S. North and South, the Mid-East and the West. Among the divisions comes charismatic leaders; not necessarily those of integrity. Today there is great political and ethical division in our nation.

Johanus Naisbitt conjectured the directions for the 1100 B.C. era in a book, Megatrends 1000. In his imagination, he wrote, “We possess the tools and capacity to build utopia here and now.” Whistling in the dark is nothing new.

An article in The Humanist (easy to decipher the zine’s intent) proposes to rewrite The Beatitudes:

Blessed are those who have absolute faith in nothing save the “self’ of consciousness within them. The Humanist, Gerard Staub, 1989.

Speculation, humanism, and Gnosticism do not play well into the formation of true leadership. Even Israel did not do well some 3000 years ago, attempting to live out life in imaginations. D.R. Davis remarked:

They were the days when a nation was out of control, the days when the dictates of every man’s own [thoughts] formed the standard for life, in the days when they desperately needed Godly leadership.

Everyone did what they wanted to do from their own eyes. That was the standard that governed leadership (and therefore following leaders and those below them). These leaders wanted to call the shots; be the ultimate authority. In effect, they chose to act in God’s place, their Creator. They declared their own independence. They took the nation into a state of disorder, then to utter chaos. The nation became like a blob of Silly Putty—squeezed, shaped, molded, and rearranged in any way the leader wanted. If the rules/laws needed to change to get the leader’s desire, the leader changed the rules/laws or simply ignored them.

Sounds like the most recent eight years of U.S. Government Administration. But then, it also sounds a lot like institutional and business leadership as well. Note the massive numbers of bankruptcies of former solid businesses that used to operate with integrity.

Judges is a miserable book, and it continues to reflect the state of our world today.

Thoughts:

  1. The only thing that can bring nations back is to submit to the Creator, Who created the people
  2. The only way nations can progress is through obedience to the One who is full of integrity, knowledge, justice, and knows the thoughts, words, and actions of every leader, following leader, and all others
  3. Nations that refuse to submit to the absolute authority and truth of God ultimately fail, dragging their downtrodden with them

Godliness exalts a nation; sin is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 14:34

Those That Serve—If you Live by the Spirit, Follow–May 21, 2017

timeVol. 2, No. 21 – 2017

If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Galatians 5:25

There are many that aspire to leadership; however, a large number of leaders do not want to be subject to any leadership. In order to be successful, a leader must recognize their position as a following leader. That is to say, a leader must submit to the One True Leader. Rarely does the leader admit that they are expected to be a servant-leader.

Leadership in the flesh and leadership in the Spirit are opposites. They head in opposite directions. They are actually in conflict with each other. They bring different and most often opposite outcomes.

Do not miss the obvious here! There are no other alternatives that can capture our servant-leadership. We may not like to hear this, but we are susceptible to one direction or the other—being led by the flesh or led by the Spirit. There is no plan B, C, D, E, or F.

Paul’s appeal is for us to make right choices. The reason he says this is because he has already looked inward to himself. He has evaluated himself on the basis of the truth that is before him. That is why he can say, “Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another” (vs. 26). It is always important to do introspection before offering constructive criticism toward another.

The original text uses the picture phrase of “keep in step.”

  1. Keeping in step is a servant-leadership issue.
  2. Keeping in step responds to the One True Leader that is walking beside you
  3. Keeping in step disallows our doing our own thing
  4. Keeping in step requires yielding or submission to another
  5. Keeping in step requires a servant-leader to allow another the initiative
  6. Keeping is step requires a servant-leader to allow another the guidance over their affairs
  7. Keeping in step allows the One True Leader to call the shots
  8. Keeping in step is a choice we make

When the servant-leader keeps in step, the daily decisions made always fall under the determined plan of the One True Leader.

The question then remains:

Who is out in front of you in your life these days?

Profiles in Leadership–His Mom Named Him “Sunny”–May 14, 2017

Vol. 2, No. 20 – 2017Samson born

His parents named him Samson, and the Lord blessed him as he grew up. Judges 13:24

My wife and I had the privilege of seeing the musical Samson in Lancaster PA the summer of 2016. What an exciting story; what a heart-rendering epic. It is hard to imagine Samson’s name meaning “Sunny.”

Leaders often are drawn to their position because of an appetite for notoriety, opportunity to use their own creativity, and a compulsion to function as head of others. James M. Burns observes:

One of the most universal cravings of our times is a hunger for compelling and creative leadership. In the final quarter of our century that quality type leadership has given way to the cult of personality, to “gee whiz” approach to celebrities.

His parents named him Samson (sun-man, distinguished, or strong). They prepared him for a position—leadership. As a young man, “Sunny” was the instant hero through acts of strength and a supernatural stamina. The reason for this is that Samson belonged to The Leader, Almighty God; others were decisively their “own persons.” Being your own person is being a hypocrite to the One who has created you—it is an attempt to be self-sufficient.

In today’s psychology movement “Sunny” is a sanguine Type A; with adrenalin flow all the waking hours. He even killed a lion with his bare hands. He returned to the lion to discover bees had proceeded to make honey in the carcass. Wrongly, he feeds on the honey in the dead animal (he had taken a Nazarite vow). He slew 30 Philistines, absconding with their rich wardrobes to pay off a debt. Then we see him tying together the tails of 300 foxes, setting them on fire, chasing them into a field of grain ready for harvest.

Hot-blooded and impulsive.

He then takes a jawbone of a beast burden to slay 1000 choice warriors of the Philistines. The Philistines were not a happy lot. They began to plot his demise.

Samson was a man of wit, a trickster, strong, handsome, and uncontrollable. He also struggled with morals—given to license, laxity, and sensual passion. Yet, Hebrews 11:32 also pictures him as a man of faith and loyalty.

What can we learn from Samson’s leadership?  That he was great, but should have been greater. His leadership did not always match appropriate values, morals, and character. He had great potential; yet, his performance was mediocre at best.

God expects better of His leaders—the story of “Sunny” ought to make us stop and take inventory of our leadership.

Do not copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is. Romans 12:2 NLT

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