There is so much writing out there on the subject of leadership – some inspiring and some downright scary. One article I recently read was by a guy who believes that a leader should always have what he calls “a competitive advantage” which he went on to explain as follows:
At the next staff meeting, ensure that your chair is set slightly higher than everybody else’s
Try to get your closest competitor at the office to face the side where the sun shines the brightest so that he can’t see properly.
Certainly, as a Christ follower, I need to question those strategies.
It seems that even during the days when Jesus walked this earth, people were using manipulative ways to get ahead or be seen. His response to his disciples was “not so among you!” (Matthew 20:25-26)
If I want to embrace a Christ-centered leadership style I should become the servant of all.
At first glace that seems somewhat doable. I think I can find it in my heart to serve people. That is … until somebody treats me like a servant. Then suddenly “my rights” are important and this “servant” wants to set her chair a little higher than everybody else’s and I am ready to let the sun shine on into that person’s eye. Then I find out how much I love others compared to how much I love me. And therein lies the motivation of my leadership.
In order to fully embrace the kind of servant leadership Jesus teaches, I need to learn to
- love God more than I love me
- love others just as I love me
To implement this, I have found that I have to learn one more love
- the love of God’s Word (which will ultimately help me succeed in the above two points)
It takes daily discipline to learn to love God’s word more than my own and to hear His voice above my own – and above all the other voices in this world of ours.
Here is one way how (Deut 6:6-9):
- Write God’s commands upon my heart (not just in my head).
- Impress them on my children (who learn mostly by what they see)
- Talk about them when I sit at home or when I walk along the road, when I lie down and when I get up (discuss, not lecture)
- Tie them as symbols on my hands and bind them on my forehead (demonstrate them in my lifestyle)
- Write them on the doorframes of my house and on my gates (let them become my sanctuary)
I have found that as I do this, day by day, my chair becomes the lowest and I seek ways to let the sun warm my neighbor’s back.
Question: What are ways that help you to love others as much as you love yourself? Please feel free to leave a comment.