Without an understanding of leadership, our lives can take a wrong turn. If we are confused about our current situation and wondering how to escape leadership gone wrong, or trying to quit our position as a leader, we need a fresh perspective on leadership. The idea of learning about leadership actually began many years ago when I was a young student in Bible College. I heard a sermon that was entitled “Women’s Biblical Leadership in a Man’s World.” At the time, the women’s movement was beginning to attract a lot of media attention and droves of women were responding to the new accolades of the movement that promised freedom from the tyranny of men’s leadership in almost every single area of life. Women wanted to be treated as equals in the home, in the workplace, in the community and every other place that counted. The pastor and teacher, Dr. McLean, who delivered the sermon, was, in a real sense, treading on thin ice by approaching this subject. At the time, I was one of those women who believed whole-
At the time, I was still coming out of a backslidden Christian life, and gradually learning many truths from the Bible. When I was still an adolescent, I was drawn to the hippy movement. I liked their laid-
I had my own fallout, and never fully recovered from the terror of a car accident that nearly took my life (the other car was at fault). I narrowly escaped from trouble many times when me and my girlfriend hitch-
So here I was at Bible School, resisting change, but going to classes, doing my homework, following (most of) the rules, and keeping to a busy schedule. But in my heart, I was angry at God since He didn’t seem to be answering my prayers; I was confused, and I was filled with fear. Plus, I was still deeply depressed as part of the breakdown, and frustrated because I knew there was absolutely nothing I could do to be free of the constant sadness I felt. I was also going through withdrawal from the drugs. I have to say that, during this time, the staff and other students must have had an understanding of what I was going through, because, like the hippies, they completely accepted me, and I never once felt condemned by them for the lifestyle I was obviously hanging onto. All I remember are their smiles and friendliness, their support and their concern. God was already trying to reach me in a most gentle, unthreatening way, and the many truths in the Bible were beginning to seem real to me and longer just words on a page. So in spite of my inner struggle and rebellion to resist God and His ways, my strong resolve was beginning to crumble little by little, and I was beginning to develop a real interest in the things of God.
Still, the night I heard Dr. McLean’s sermon, I was ready to defend my position about equality, rights, and the freedom to escape the tyranny of any authority, that is, if he said anything that would make me feel less of a person because I am a woman. I was in for a big surprise! One of the things he said (using Proverbs 31 as the basis), was that a women’s role is so multifaceted, that a man could never perform all the many things she does. In fact, a man could scarcely survive in the home, if it weren’t for his wife. She is the success behind his success. He also said that a man, especially if he is a leader in any capacity, is never a “boss” over anyone, but rather a “servant.” He said that God’s ways are exactly opposite to man’s (see Isaiah 55:8-
For me, I was profoundly affected by leadership as a teenager. While the hippies may have started out with good intentions in trying to make a difference in the world, they used all the wrong methods to do so. In many ways, and for many people, their ways ended in death. The following verse says it well:
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Proverbs 14:12
I learned that true freedom does not mean you can do whatever pleases you whenever you want. True freedom is something you can’t obtain on your own no matter how hard you try. It happened for me when Jesus Christ became the Lord of my life, and I no longer felt controlled by my own sinful desires. Only Jesus can set us free, found in John 8:34-
Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. “ If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
They may not be judged today, but far worse, they are reserved for the “day of judgement.”
But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; 2 Peter 2:12
Freedom doesn’t mean resisting authority, rather, it means submitting to it as unto the Lord. Some may be reading this right now and going through a very difficult situation with an obstinate husband, a stubborn boss, or even a pastor of a church whom you don’t see eye to eye. Perhaps political decisions have been made that are having a negative impact on your day to day life. Like me, maybe you are frustrated and confused, knowing you can’t change things the way they are. Perhaps you’ve tried many times and failed. In the next chapter, we’ll discover leadership that is life changing, and from this discovery, we will have a much better understanding of what leadership should look like.