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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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.