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“When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, ‘What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?’” (Exodus 18:14)
Do you have “I need to do it so it’s done right” syndrome? How many times have I said under my breath that if I want it done right I have to do it myself? How many times have I heard other women complain, saying exactly the same thing? It’s no wonder we feel the weight of the world on our shoulders.
Trying to pry our fingers off the control button of our lives and the lives of others is a difficult thing to do. Moses also knew this fact. God had assigned him to lead 4,000 men plus women, children and livestock out of Egypt. On top of this Moses was also assigned to teach the Israelites the Ten Commandments. It came to the point where Moses just assumed he had to do it all by himself.
But that is not leadership – it is dictatorship. True leadership allows others to develop to their full potential. A true leader stands by and chooses to bite his or her tongue as others learn to do the tasks. In addition, a true leader applauds the efforts of those learning while giving honest feedback on ways to improve. The mentality is not to follow behind and redo everything “the right way”. A true leader also doesn’t assume no one else can learn the right way or that there is only one right way.
If you try to do everything for everybody, then what are you really doing for others? If you spread yourself so thin and can’t have any quality time for anyone, how are you really benefitting others? If you assume you are the only one who can do something because you feel God has called you to that task, then I think someone wise would ask you the same question Moses was asked, “What are your really doing for these people?”
The wise man who posed this question to Moses was his father-in-law, Jethro. He told Moses that he was wearing himself out and advised him to divvy up the smaller tasks to potential leaders in Israel. As a result Moses would have the time and energy for tasks that required his expertise. This advice made sense to Moses and he saw God’s fingerprint on it.
Moses realized that God had spoken through his own father-in-law. This is the man who had taken Moses in after he fled Egypt. Jethro also helped strengthen Moses’ faith and beckoned him to embrace his identity as a child of Abraham. In Moses’ season of confusion and pain God used Jethro as an instrument of godliness.
If you feel frazzled and tired, it might be worthwhile to ask if yourself some questions. “Am I trying to do everything by myself?” or “How many control buttons am I clinging to right now?” Listen for the ways God is telling you to let go and let Him work through others.
Don’t worry, you aren’t being fired; you are being refined. He is taking your light and asking you to let go and use it to fire up others for His work. The question can still be: “What can you do for others?” You have the ability to lead others in truth to discover their own worth and talents. Essentially, with liberating leadership you are enabling others to see themselves the way that God sees them. In leading without control, you are showing them how God is in control.
Heavenly Father, help us to listen to You when You speak even through others. Teach us how true leadership is a servant’s attitude and help us not to be a slave to our obligations. Enable us to let go of the reins and let You work through us so You can work through others. Through your Son who gave up His life for us, we pray. Amen
Question: What control button in your life do you need to let go of?