Monday, July 10, 2017

Jesus' Leadership #14 Break Ranks (Dare to Be Different)

Jesus did not follow the crowd. He led it. He did not report news, he made it happen. In the Old Testament, David had to break ranks to take on the giant Goliath because his brothers and fellow Israelites were back in their tents, trembling in fear. Finding the situation counter to all he believed about God, himself and his people, David volunteered to go forth to fight the giant (read 1 Samuel 17). Astonishingly, it was his brothers who tried to keep him from doing the right and courageous thing.

It was the same situation with Joseph in the Old Testament. His jealous brothers threw him in a well because they were tired of listening to how he stood apart from them. Families have very strong “corporate cultures” of their own, and anyone who dares to be different is bound to encounter resistance. To Jesus the Lord, his family was not necessarily his earthly mother and brothers, but anyone who did the will of God. In other words, his true family was anyone with similar goals, plans, and visions who was willing to act on them, no matter what the cost.

There are so many dysfunctional families and groups in our society today that a person must have uncommon courage to break free. Sometimes breaking free may require drastic measures and cause conflict. Churches can be dysfunctional. Companies can be dysfunctional. Laws can be dysfunctional. And a leader who is not willing to break ranks is not a leader at all, but merely puppet set up to maintain status quo.

The Pharisees were dysfunctional religious leaders whom Jesus felt so strongly about that he called them “whited sepulchres, broods of vipers” and other choice words. He had such strong words for them because they were supposed to help set people free, yet instead they enslaved people for their own selfish gain. Jesus knew he had to step out of that crowd in order to set people free. He broke ranks.
[Reference: Jesus, CEO (1995) by Laurie Beth Jones]

If you did what was really in your heart,
With whom or what would you come into conflict?
What keeping you from truly being a leader?

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