Saturday, April 21, 2012

Following Ins't a Sign of Weakness...

About a month ago, I took the kids to Mississippi to see their Poppa Bob. While we were there, we went to the lake and walked around the shore line. I told Pearce to step out of the water and to walk where there was sure footing. Do you think he did what I told him to do? NOPE. He is one who will have to learn the hard way much like I did as a child. As I was headed in his direction to get him out of the water because it was cold, he made a faulty step. The faulty step caused the water to go up his pants leg and when he tried to extricate his foot, the Mississippi mud claimed Pearce’s flip flop. We couldn’t locate it. So not only did he have wet britches, but he was walking with only one shoe back up to the car. I have to tell you I snickered a little bit at my little, ticked-off boy. If he had just followed my instructions, we could have stayed longer to skip more stones. We could have driven to another area of the lake and made new discoveries, but his disobedience meant we had to go home.

Are you a leader or a follower? If you think about it, I don’t know of a leader who isn’t accountable to someone…which isn’t necessarily the same thing as being a follower but in some instances it is. Was that a little like “Who’s on First?”

I think the best leaders have been followers at one time in their lives. They observed what they liked and didn’t like from their leaders. They observed the weaknesses and strengths of those in charge. Then they determine their own style of leadership applying what they have learned from experience to their new opportunity to lead.

Abram followed God. Sarai followed Abram. Abram was told to leave the land of his family and pagan gods. Sarai left her family and their gods. Have you ever followed a spouse’s career? Leaving a place that you know. You know the people, the food, the culture, and you have to now leave home to go to a foreign place. Some spouses go willingly making adjustments along the way. Some spouses grieve for what was left behind, and they never allow the ones God has placed in their lives the opportunity to become like family. Some spouses can just make life downright miserable for everyone. I think of military families who move every two to four years, and how they have to adjust in order to best protect our country. It isn’t just the person serving in the forces but their families as well who make the sacrifices.

Now, think if your spouse says, “Not only are we leaving, but we are changing religion.” Your spouse wants to change to a religion that is completely different from what you were raised to believe. Abram was not raised in a God-fearing home, but at some point, Abram starts hearing God, starts seeking God. Abram was brazen with his newfound faith. He built an altar to the only true God besides the altars built to the other gods. God was leading Abram from land to land giving him blessings and making promises…and Sarai followed. Abram was moving from place to place to avoid the droughts and provide for his family…and Sarai followed.

Following isn’t a sign of weakness. Following is a sign of obedience. If God places someone over you, if you are to submit to someone else, you do it as unto the Lord. Colossians 3:23-25 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.” Just because you may feel your leader is out of touch with reality, just because you feel you could do a better job at leading, just because you feel that what’s being done could be done better does not mean you are to be insubordinate or disrespectful. Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.”

So, Sarai followed…have you got that yet? Who are you following?

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