Passages: Numbers 13:1-33, 14:1-38, 27:12-23; Joshua 1:1-18
Praise: God so loved the world
Source: John Maxwell’s The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leader’s Day
The long weekend has passed and it’s back to work again. I praise God for my work as He has blessed me with a job where I can contribute to the well being of people, specially students. Today’s passage is from the life of Joshua. When leadership is discussed in Christian circles, the life of Joshua are inevitably mentioned. There are several lessons about the nature of leadership we can learn from the life of Joshua. These are the ones that deeply touched me.
Leadership is influence. In the reading, all 12 spies were positional leaders in their tribes. However, we can see that position has nothing to do with being a true leader. It is the same in our life. Even if we have a leadership position, it does not mean that we have influence.
Leaders do no possess influence in every area. Joshua and Caleb, although filled with faith, were unable to influence the other 10 tribes to obey God. They were overpowered by the influence of the other 10 spies over these tribes.
Our influence is either positive or negative. As revealed in this account, the influence of the 10 unfaithful spies resulted in the punishment of their generation (i.e., die in the desert, walk around for 40 years). Leaders have a tremendous power to lead their followers to the promised land or to their own destruction.
Leadership is a choice, not an appointment. Although Joshua have failed in influencing the people early on in his life, he did not give up in trying to lead again. With his obedience to God and the power of the Holy Spirit, Joshua persevered and later succeeded in leading the people to the promised land. Jesus has promised us that we will be the head and not the tail. Christians are called to be leaders. It is not evil for us to desire to have a bigger sphere of influence for the sake of God’s kingdom.
All of us are in a position of leadership, one way or the other. (Fathers of the home, teachers of students, etc.). I remember an exchange between my older brother and my younger brother when they were having a spat. My older brother said: “You must respect me because I am older.” My younger brother responded: “Respect is not commanded but earned.” In some way, I see the wisdom of my younger brother’s response. To truly be a leader, one has to earn it by example. It is not the position that makes one influencial.