Guest Blogger: Charlie Loften
“If I want to go the beach on vacation and my family wants to go to the
mountains, how do we decide? Who wins? I am the leader–that means I
win. I get to decide.”
I wish that I could say that such a perspective on leadership is rare,
but it is not. Way too many people approach leadership in their homes,
jobs and elsewhere with an attitude of perks, privileges and winning.
If you are asking the question about who wins, then you have not only
misunderstood what Paul is saying in Ephesians 5 about families, but
everything that Jesus and the entire Bible have to say about leadership.
What Paul says is that being a head is a comparison to Christ being the
head of the church. “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for
her.” Ephesians 5:35 (NIV). How did he do that? He sacrificed his will
and his desires in order that he might give life to his Church. The
question of what Jesus wanted was not a consideration in his decision to
empty himself and die for us. If the question had been posed to Jesus,
“What do you want?” after giving a puzzled look I imagine his response
would be, “I want what is best for my church.”
What about us? How often does “What do I want?” come up in our
decision-making and leadership? How often do we try to pass off what we
want as the best decision? “I know it looks like I’m getting what I
want, but really this is best for all of us.” If we are to be the
leaders that God is calling us to be, we need to look to Jesus’ example.
This is the example of a man who washed the dirty feet of his disciples
when no one else would, the man who told us that the first would be last
and the last first, the man who said that even though you call me Lord,
I have come to you as a servant, the man who was tortured and killed in
order to give life to those he loved and led.
Being the leader does mean that you win. You win when you lay down your
desires and life so that those you lead may have life and become the men
and women that God has called them to be. (BTW, you should probably go
to the mountains.)