Leadership is a stewardship. Its temporary. And your accountable. – Andy Stanley
As I read through Micah 3 and digested the harsh language directed towards those who held mantles of leadership in ancient Israel, I arrived at one concept: Ownership. In this particular case, Micah is announcing time has expired, and it is time to be held accountable. But this concept can be found throughout scripture.
There is a story Jesus tells, found in Matthew 25:14-30, of a wealthy man who goes away and leaves differing amounts of money to three different servants, to manage it on his behalf. The master eventually returns and each servant is called to give an account of what he had done with what he was given. In the end, it wasn’t about the original amount given to them; it was about the their effort, or lack thereof.
When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required. Luke 12:48
The truth is we’ve all been given much. The rub is we often don’t want to “own” it. Scripture is clear we are each created uniquely, in specific circumstances, for specific purposes, with specific gifts. The question is whose kingdom are we seeking in the midst, God’s or our own?
Here’s the hard reality: That desk won’t always have your name on it, those stripes won’t always be on your sleeve, those kids won’t always be running the halls of your house, and the breath in your lungs will eventually cease. It’s temporary and your accountable.
Here is another quote from Andy Stanley in his book The Next Generation Leader: “Your people are exactly where you’ve led them to.” Let that sink in and twist in your gut. Your team is exactly where you’ve led them to. Your spouse is exactly where you’ve led them to. Your children are exactly where you’ve led them to. You are exactly where you’ve led yourself to.
You may ask, “Why should I ‘own’ circumstances out of my control? After all, Job asked it of God. His situation clearly wasn’t fair.” And God responded and said to him, “Get ready to answer Me like a man; when I question you and you will inform Me. Where were you when I established the earth? (Job 38:3-4, HCSB).
Ouch. What is God up to?
The Lord is doing a work in us. He is refining us as a silversmith refines silver. Through heat and pressure, as we submit and own His will as our own, we become more perfect (see James 1:2-4). It’s about the process, not the product.
A guy by the name of Inky Johnson said:
Many say, “Man why did this have to happen to me?” And I say, “Why not me?” It’s all about the process. And once we understand that life is a blessing and life is gift, and if you were to check out today, how would you be remembered? It’s bigger than you.
Ownership is about embracing the process God has in mind for you. It is about accepting the gift of Christ and allowing Him to drive the direction of your life. It’s not about the the product, so much as it is about the heart you bring to the process. God’s grace fills the gaps of imperfect, willing, faithful action.