Three Warnings for Leaders
Although leadership has its privileges, it comes with a unique set of challenges.
Within a period of just a few hours the Apostle Paul faced three challenges that provide warnings to spiritual leaders today.
When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened on his hand. When the native people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live.” He, however, shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. They were waiting for him to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw no misfortune come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god. (Acts 28:3-6 ESV)
Three Warnings for Leaders:
1. Leaders will suffer personal wounds, but they don’t have to prove fatal.
Paul was bitten by a viper. And leaders will occasionally get bitten, too. But Paul shook off the viper, showing us the importance of allowing faith to triumph over the attacks of the enemy.
Leader- your current disappointment does not have to be the death of you. Rise up! Shake off the viper (a picture of the devil), and let that test be turned into a testimony!
2. Leaders will be misunderstood and poorly spoken of.
Paul, having been bitten by the viper, was then assumed to be a criminal getting his just dues of punishment. People make judgments based on limited perspective, and their conclusions are often wrong or incomplete.
Leader- the sooner you stop defending yourself the more effective you will be. Sure, there are a few “speak-first, think-later” people whose words seem to hinder your leadership; but time is the proving ground of wisdom. Stay the course. Time will tell the truth.
3. Leaders will be elevated to pedestals and lured by pride.
The same people who once assumed Paul to be a criminal now concluded that he was a god! People will see the anointing of the Holy Spirit at work in a leader, then see them as super-humans!
Leader- you’re not as bad as your worst critic says you are, but neither are you as good as your greatest fan proclaims. Guard your heart against the seeds of pride that can so easily be planted in your soul. It’s a set up. Only God deserves the glory for the mighty works He does through you.
Leadership has wonderful privileges, but comes with a unique set of challenges.
Let me be found a faithful leader in Your kingdom! And may every leader reading these words walk with wisdom and discernment, so that we can influence people toward Jesus, despite the schemes of the enemy.