BIBLE THOUGHT: “YOU KNOW THAT THE RULERS OF THE GENTILES LORD IT OVER THEM, AND THEIR HIGH OFFICIALS EXERCISE AUTHORITY OVER THEM. NOT SO WITH YOU. INSTEAD, WHOEVER WANTS TO BECOME GREAT AMONG YOU MUST BE YOUR SERVANT” (MATTHEW 20:25-26, NASB).
READ 1 KINGS 12:1-19 to gain a better understanding of this lesson.
THERE IS a paradox inherent in leadership. The more we attempt to control people the less control we have over them. Those who rule with a heavy hand, issuing edicts from on high, then sitting back to critique the labor of their subjects, will soon find rebellion and desertion among the ranks. However, those who lead by rolling up their sleeves and joining the workforce will win the loyalty and respect of their followers.
Peter understood this principle when he exhorted elders to be “eager to serve, of lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:2-3). Although we may not hold an official position of leadership, likely we serve as leaders in some capacity. As parents, do we work alongside our children as they perform their chores, or do we sit in our easy chairs, barking out orders while reading the newspaper or watching TV? As Bible class teachers, do we learn the memory verses along with our students, or peek in our Bibles as they recite to be sure it’s right? As coaches, do we play alongside our athletes or watch our athletes suffer in pain and smirk?
Let’s resolve today to follow the example of Jesus, our ultimate leader, who “…did not come to be served, but to serve…” (Matthew 20:28).
Sing “Lord, Make Me a Servant“
Prayer: Father, please give us the heart of a servant and help us not to ask or expect anyone to do anything that we are not ready and willing to do ourselves. In the name of Your Servant, Jesus. Amen.
– JAN KNOX, Granbury, Texas
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