Wednesday, August 22, 2012

“The Leadership of Love”

     Good leaders lead by example, word, and respect for those subject to their authority.  They do not dominate, coerce, manipulate, or micromanage.

     We know this because the best Leader of all guides His followers in a sublime humility of heart, and confidence in His capacity to instill genuine devotion in those subject to His authority.

     “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30).
    “If ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law” (Galatians 5:18).

     The Lord Jesus Christ, Himself under the authority of His Father, leads His trusting children with a gentle heart and hand.  He exercises firmness as necessary, “for whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth” (Hebrews 12:6).  His primary means of guidance nevertheless involves the winning of our hearts by the revelation of His heart, rather than the cowering of our souls by fearful domination.  Indeed, only love begets love – “we love Him because He first loved us” (I John 4:19).    

     The Holy Spirit, depicted in Scripture as the gentlest of creatures, a dove, also guides us in a quiet leadership rather than domineering force.  He can be grieved, and the consecrated Christian will know when this is the case.  However, the exercising of His authority is generally so unobtrusive that believers often walk paths paved by the Spirit of God without our even knowing He has gone before us.  “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come.
He shall glorify Me” (John 16:13-14).

    Perhaps most of all, God relates to His trusting children in Christ as a Father.  His children well know His authority, and even fear Him in the sense of knowing that He will always act toward us in accordance with our truest need.  The Bible, however, plainly reveals a Heavenly Father whose heart beats with tender affection and kindness toward sons and daughters who will one day be  perfectly conformed to the image of His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus.  “Grace to you and peace, from God our Father” (Romans 1:7).

    We follow under the Lordship of a Father, a Lamb, and a Dove who sanctify rather than subjugate.  The believer who increasingly discovers this leadership of love will increasingly respect the God we more and more deem worthy of our complete devotion.  Again, love begets love.  To the degree we look into the devoted heart of our Master will be the degree to which we long to devote our own hearts to Him in this life and forevermore.

“He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
(Psalm 23:3)

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