Daily D – Luke 6:40
A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. LUKE 6:40 (CSB)
Jesus teaches at least two leadership lessons here. One is about self-leadership. The other is about qualifications for leadership.
First, before we can lead others, we must lead ourselves well. This includes knowing what we are talking about and knowing what to do when and how. A few years ago, I was asked to teach material before a high-capacity group of leaders. The only problem was that I had seen that material precisely once. I had not lived with it and allowed it to sink deeply into my mind. I never want to make the mistake of saying Yes to something like that again.
I was the blind man leading the blind.
Second, our character determines our actions. A highly-regarded ministry leader was revealed to be a sexual criminal this week. This makes me sick to my stomach. True spiritual leaders lead like Jesus. They do not shear the sheep to multiply their wealth or devour them to sate their sinful appetites.
Let me quickly say this: I work with hundreds of ministry leaders every week. The above-mentioned predator is the stark exception and in no way representative of his peers. One local pastor I heard about this week is the rule. He is physically and emotionally exhausted to the breaking point from caring for the staff team and members of his church who are dealing with COVID and other problems. He carries their burdens as his own and feels the full weight of all their trouble.
Self-discipline and self-control are gifts we give ourselves. They empower us to live lives of integrity and wisdom. They keep us on the right path. They return us to the right path when we realize we have wandered off.
Self-discipline takes the right lead measures (Luke 6:12). Self-control improves our recovery rate when we wander or fail. Self-discipline ensures that we have a personal growth plan that makes us more like Jesus and that allows Jesus to shine through us. Self-discipline keeps us away from anything that would make us blind or cause us to lead others astray.
Let us be careful who we choose as mentors and partners.
Let us become the kinds of leaders others can follow with confidence knowing that we are bound for the Promised Land and not toward a bedroom or a bank.
I will live a life of self-discipline and self-control.
Our Father, make me a leader of integrity and character. I want to give all that I know about myself to all that I know about you. I want to grow in grace and truth in these two areas so that I may live with wisdom and power. Amen.
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Psalm 23:3, 4 He renews my life; he leads me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me. (CSB)
Daniel 5:11 “There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. In the days of your predecessor he was found to have insight, intelligence, and wisdom like that of the gods. Your predecessor, King Nebuchadnezzar, appointed him chief of the magicians, mediums, Chaldeans, and diviners. (CSB)
Daniel 1:20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding that the king consulted them about, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and mediums in his entire kingdom. (CSB)