My second daughter, Vivian, is in Pre-K this year. As a member of the class, they share different roles. Each person will get to be a door holder, line leader, photographer, etc. She gets so excited when it is her turn to have one of the leadership roles for her class. I think her favorite is photographer.
Life is full of leadership roles, even at a young age. What leadership roles do you have?
Whether it is when you get a rebound and are the one dribbling the ball, deciding if it will be a fast break or a slow walk up, or you are a boss at work, parent at home, husband to a wife, a door holder, a dog walker or whatever other kind of role you play as a leader, we all play the lead at some point. When we live out those opportunities, we can either lead unselfishly, for the sake of those we are leading, or we can lead for our own gain.
In Micah 3:1-7, the prophet is calling out the leaders of God’s people for leading in an un-Godly way. He says they “are supposed to know right from wrong, but are the very ones who hate good and love evil.” They have taken the power of their leadership roles and used it to lead the people away from God. They were living out Romans 1:22-23, “Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-loving God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.” In today’s culture, we worship idols like money, power, sex, people’s opinions, behavior, our agendas, politics, science, psychology… The leaders of Israel were pointing their followers to worship everything but the one true God.
I’ll be honest, as a leader, dad, husband, pastor, friend… my biggest fear is that I will lead someone away from God or God’s truth. There comes huge responsibility to God who gave me these roles. What if as a dad, I tell my kids to live a certain way, but the way I live represents something else and they start to question living for God? What if by my not leading out of self-sacrifice, they come to believe getting their way and getting what they want is the most important thing? What if I don’t keep God at the center of my life and I give modern culture advice to someone seeking Godly counsel and they seek comfort and solace in something other than God?
Am I responsible for those I lead in an un-Godly manner? Micah is making the case that, yes, the leaders of Israel are responsible. Jesus himself said, “If you cause one of these little ones who trust in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea,” and, “What sorrow awaits the world, because it temps people to sin. Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting” (Matthew 18:6-7).
Un-Godly leadership leads people away from the one who created them, away from the precious blood of Christ, which allows them to have a way to know and be known by God. Through Jesus, we receive forgiveness of sins, grace, mercy, a new beginning, new life. If my leadership leads people away from this, whoa to me!
This may sound heavy, but Micah gives us some hope:
But as for me, I am filled with the power-with the Spirit of the Lord. I am filled with justice and strength to body declare Israel’s sin and rebellion. – Micah 3:8
Because Micah was filled with God’s Spirit, with knowledge of God’s truth, he was able to lead people to God, even when the other leaders were doing the opposite. If we are filled with God’s Spirit and His truth, we will be able to lead those who follow us to God as well.
Paul, in 1 Timothy 4:12, says to Timothy, “Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live in your love, your faith and your purity,” and in verse 16 “Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.” If you as a leader will keep God first in your life, if you will read His Word so you know His truth, if you will lead out of these truths and principles, and if you will follow the ultimate leader, Christ, in sacrificing your wants and desires for the sake of others, you will be a great leader who embodies Godly leadership. And those who follow your lead will be drawn to God, not away from him.
I pray that you and I will take this seriously!