Have you ever been in a bad situation, one from which you could not escape or see any reason for being there? I have and so did King David. We have been talking about servant-leadership these past few weeks, so let's continue with that theme as we discuss the answer to the question I raised.
A BAD LEADER
We can all agree that King Saul wasn't a good leader. While he started strong, he ended miserably. Saul quickly became David's nemesis after David had served under his command. While David faithfully served Saul, the king was increasingly envious of David and actually tried to kill David on three separate occasions. When that failed, Saul spent years using the armies that should have been devoted to fighting the Philistines to try and hunt down David.
Although David knew he was to be the next king, he had to endure persecution at the hands of the current king. Many urged David to take matters into his own hands to remove Saul and some tried to act on David's behalf. David resisted each temptation to do so, choosing rather to wait for God to put him on the throne rather than put himself there.
Why did God put David in such a position? Why did David suffer so long at the hands of a man whom God had rejected as king? What was God doing during that time?
It's clear what God was doing. God was teaching David how to lead from the firsthand example of a bad leader. David learned more about leadership from Saul than from anyone else. What did he learn? He learned how not to lead!
Could this be the answer to your current dilemma, which finds you far away from the fulfillment of a purpose that you understand and think you are ready to embrace?
TALK IS CHEAP.
There are many who say, "If I was in charge, this would happen or that would not happen." That kind of talk sounds good. Even the leaders in Jesus' day said the same thing:
"And you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets" (Matthew 23:30).
The problem is that this talk is cheap. If you don't decide what kind of servant-leader you will be before you have money and power, you are doomed to replicate the same miserable leadership style that you had to endure to become a leader yourself. You don't believe me? Read what Jesus said in response to those potential leaders:
"Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue them from town to town." (Matthew 23:34).
God will eventually give you a chance to lead, just he did David. David learned his lessons well and decided what kind of leader he was going to be while Saul was still pursuing him. What's more important, David actually became that kind of leader. He learned his lessons well. Jesus' contemporaries duplicated the same mistakes of the past because they didn't learn good leadership skills from their bad leaders. When they refused to learn, they were doomed to repeat history.
Why are you where you are right now? Why is your situation so tough? Part of the reason may be so that you will learn how not to lead when you finally get the chance. If people are being stingy with you, learn to be generous now. If no one expresses thanks to you now, remember how it feels and say thank you when you are in charge.
If that's what God is teaching you, then you can embrace your current situation more enthusiastically because it simply part of your servant-learning training. When you learn the lesson, God will move you on. Just don't be guilty of saying today that things will be different when you are in charge. Make it happen tomorrow when you have the chance. If and when you do that, the hard lessons of these days will be well worth the price you are paying to become the servant-leader that God wants you to be. Have a great week!
KENYA UPDATE: $2,630 has come in to date for the Crisis in Kenya fund that I began collecting a few weeks ago. I depart on July 28 with a team of 10 and have determined that $5,000 is what we need to meet the crisis. Thank you for your help in this matter. You can give through my website or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. I thank you and more importantly the children and orphans thank you, too! You can also read Alice's thank you for the money I wired three week's ago here.
LATEST BOOK: My latest book was released four weeks ago, entitled Faith Files, Increasing Your Faith for Daily Living; Volume Two. This book focuses on every verse that refers to faith in Paul's epistles; Volume One focuses on the same in the gospels. You guessed it, Volume Three will focus on faith verses outside of the Pauline epistles. You can order this helpful devotional through Paypal for $15, or you can mail a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8881, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0881. Order today and be among the first to receive your autographed copy. Until July 27, get both Volume One and Two for only $20!
RADIO SHOW: Did you know I have a weekly online radio show? I broadcast live every Tuesday at 5 PM my local time. Or you can listen to any of the past shows by going to the archive and downloading to listen as a podcast (or just listen on your computer).
TWITTER: I am building up my Twitter following. If you subscribe, then you can follow me @johnstanko.
HOME PAGE: I made a few adjustments and additions to my website home page, archives and what's new link. Check them out when you have a chance here. All my social media, websites and radio broadcast are now easily accessible with one click from my home page.
ASSESSMENT: You can also take the free purpose assessment on my home page and receive a score that let's you know where you stand in your PurposeQuest. Why not take (or retake) that free assessment today?