Profiles in Leadership—A “Leader” that Whines—February 26, 2017

frettingVol. 2, No. 9 – 2017

If the Lord is with us, why is all this happening to us. Judges 6:13

A Pandora’s box is bursting at the seams for Gideon. The word, dismay, comes to mind, a word we frequently use in today’s language.

Dismay comes from the Teutonic des and magen, desmagen, meaning to remove the strength of mind (courage). It is the outcome in relation to continually thinking about impending trouble.

Have your experienced dismay?

God’s people hid from the Midianites for seven years, with paralyzing fear—from the camel-riding nomads of the Arabian desert. The choice for attack was during the harvest season, with speed and vengeance. Their angular and imposing dromedaries (highly trained camels), provided a speedy long range strike force, bringing absolute devastation by and through hordes of villains, not unlike the IS (ISIS, ISIL) terrorists of today in the Middle East.

To accomplish their goal, the enemy used terror and panic—it was the order of the day. Rather than defend themselves, Gideon and his cohorts hid out in a camouflaged cave at Ophrah. A messenger of God approaches, telling Gideon, “Get up, and be a leader. Get rid of the evil band that causes you to not move forward as a nation. Gideon, you are the man of the hour, chosen specifically as a leader; go after them.”

Gideon, the leader, produces a pent up reply to the God who would use a coward. If you read Judges 6:13, you will come across some vocabulary of a whining leader:

            Oh (sir!)–expressing fear
             If–expressing unbelief
            Why–expressing doubt
            Has–expressing the question “did”—a reflection
            Abandoned–expressing the mindset of being forsaken
            Handed–expressing the testimony of being pressed down upon by the enemy

One who wallows in the why never moves forward because that kind of leader refuses their commission—substituting self-depreciation and unworthiness. Can you hear the sound of the whine? Gideon whined about lack of resources, whined about being tired, and whined about being a nobody. Complaining or fretting is stewing in one’s own juice (Psalm 37).

Fretting was Gideon’s problem. Fretting gnaws at one’s innards; it eats one’s lunch. A leader is not supposed to get uptight or unduly heated. A leader is to keep their cool. Fretting makes one lose their bearings. A train with hot wheels eventually drags its cars and comes to a halt. Angry heat is a hindrance, providing unnecessary friction, eventually bringing ministry to a halt..

Without the oil of God’s Holy Spirit all we have left is our own whine. Hear it? Our inner gears are dry; we cannot move in our dryness.

Mighty hero, the Lord is with you! Judges 6:12

The potential for leadership is greatest when surrendered to God first. God enables leaders to be strong, un-cowardly. It is not what we think we are, but what, by His grace, God leads us to become. It is not who we are, but who God is. That is the secret to addressing the “why.”

Do not worry (fret) about the wicked. Do not envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. Like springtime flowers, they soon wither. Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Psalm 37:1-3

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

February 26, 2017

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