Titus 1:10-11 “For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, . . . They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.”
Gift and character are both needed to lead. Gifting has to do with talent, personality, intelligence, abilities, and even spiritual gifts. Character is internal integrity, honesty, humility, teachableness, accountability, ability to treat others well, ability to honor authority. We must require character equal to or above the level of gifting. We have all seen the bad consequences when someone is elevated because of his gift, but lacks good character. Regardless of how gifted we are, we still need a healthy marriage, the ability to handle money well, the ability to work with others on a team, and the ability to sustain long-term relationships. And regardless of how amazing we think we are, we all need to be humbly accountable to other leaders.
Do you ever have people around you who are frustrating or disappointing to you? Do you resent how their choices and lifestyle affect you? I think this, of course, is true for most of us.
Some time ago I was reading a book by Brene Brown in which she asks the question, “Do you generally think that people are doing the best they can?” I immediately said to myself, “Of course not, the world if full of slackers!” But Brene then proceeds to say that her past research showed that participants who answered “no” were also people who struggled with perfectionism and expected more of others perhaps than they did themselves at times.
After praying for others for hours, at the close of ministry time, I would ask others from our team to pray for me. I will never forget one particular time when I had fallen out in the Spirit, and I was still resting on the floor when I heard God say these words: “Barry, you need to learn to lead without controlling.” I couldn’t believe this as I never felt I was a controlling person. If anything, people said I was weak and indecisive at times. But God challenged me to learn to lead by example instead of control and manipulation.
I was deeply grieved when I saw that a group of US Congressmen was shot at. But sometimes people think the best way for change is to get rid of their leaders. Who will want to lead a nation that assassinates its leaders? While we all see this act as violent and severe, many people fail to realize the less violent but equally severe ways in which they take “shots” at their leaders.
Sometimes a one-line prayer is all you need to keep you going. Here is one for you to think about: “Lord Give Me One More”. I am writing this on my iPad about half way across the Atlantic, traveling from London home to Pennsylvania after a two week ministry trip in Europe. My computer battery died so I could not do any more work on my doctoral