Daily D – 2 Corinthians 10:1
2 Corinthians 10:1 By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away! (NIV)
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (NIV)
If you want to make a lot of money, write a book on leadership. If you want to change the world, lead with humility and gentleness.
The old joke says, “If the King James Bible was good enough for Jesus and Paul, it’s good enough for me.” The eternal truth is Christian leadership by its very nature looks very different from any other leadership. Its two defining characteristics set it apart. Jesus and Paul led with humility and gentleness. Let us practice our King James English and say, “Go, thou, and do likewise.”
Jesus treats his disciples as yokefellows and not as oxen or donkeys. He is slow to anger and quick to demonstrate mercy. He shouts at storms and speaks tenderly to those trapped by disease or sin.
Paul made it his ambition to be like Jesus. As he said in 1 Corinthians 4:15, “Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.” Guardians (Pedagogues) were known to carry rods to whack disobedient or daydreaming students. Good fathers, on the other hand, gently and patiently instruct their precious children.
I sat in a room full of “leaders” one day and listened to two of them harshly instruct the convener of the meeting on what he was to tell our congressional representative. They had orders for her to carry out. These were serious men accustomed to getting their way who paid for the privilege of bossing other people around. They bore the name of Christ but not his character.
Christian leaders do not get to be jerks.
Leaders who lead like Jesus and Paul lead with humility and gentleness. There is nothing stronger than thinking others first and placing power in service of those who need the amazing grace of our Father in heaven.
Jesus and Paul died broke. They extravagantly gave all they had. They made the world a far richer place. They changed it forever.
Go, thou, and do likewise.
I will lead with humility and gentleness.
Our Father, it is perfectly okay if no one beyond my closest circles of relationship knows who I am. It is not okay if I live my life to the end without assisting many, many people in knowing and experiencing you. It is okay if I am never perceived as strong and powerful. It is not okay if I do not exhaust my life in helping others find hope for the moment and strength for the journey. I want to lead like Jesus and Paul. Build an ever-increasing measure of humility and gentleness into my life. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”