Tuesday, January 20, 2015

You must lead yourself before you can lead others

Hebrews 12:7 - "If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there that a father does not chasten?"

The writer of Hebrews reminds us that discipline is an outgrowth of love.  If a parent loves their child, they will "train them up in the way they should go".  That training will involve correction at various points, and at times that correction is not enjoyable to the trainee.  But if the priority was enjoyment rather than training, what sort of love would that demonstrate when our growth is stunted?  Does preservation of enjoyment show love on the part of the trainer, or does it show a lack of concern for the longer-term well being of the trainee?

When discipline comes our way, we are faced with a choice.  We can either retreat and exit the process, judging the discipline to be painful and the endpoint of the process not worth the near-term discomfort.  Or we can choose to endure, not because we enjoy the discipline, but because we value what the process will produce in us.  This introduces the concept of self-discipline.  We must have self-discipline in order to receive the gifts brought about by external discipline.

"People follow leaders primarily because they see a life they believe they can trust and one they want to emulate.  We are to welcome God's discipline and respond with self-discipline.  Once we yield both to God's discipline and our own, we produce a life worth following."

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