by Sandra Pate
In 2017, it is challenging to find examples of great leadership. Yet despite all the political turmoil, racial division and intolerance towards the message of the Gospel, we just witnessed amazing Christians pulling together to rescue others and patiently taking time to stop and inspire the people around them with the love of God in the aftermath of devastating hurricanes.
Because of the scope of the storm and torrential rains that came with Hurricane Harvey, the scale of the rescue and recovery efforts is overwhelming. Fortunately, thousands of people demonstrated personal leadership and both the courage and compassion to fill in the gaps. Neighbors, volunteers, first responders, law enforcement, the National Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard led the charge. What great examples of putting into action the Christian values upon which the United States of America is based. The stories of need and the responses to them should remind all of us of what unites rather than divides us. What better time for everyone who calls on the name of Jesus to rise and lead?
Sincere and authentic leadership in action requires patience. The Bible shows us that Jesus took time to recruit disciples and to prepare them for the turmoil and tribulations to come. Then he patiently went about the work he was sent to do. Devoting quality time to develop others is an important task. It is impossible to do everything yourself, but when you hand off responsibilities, you need to make sure they are handed to a capable, talented and motivated disciple. You want to work with others who are generous with their ideas, time and talent. Taking time to teach, encourage and inspire your team will reap benefits that go far beyond the tasks at hand.
With patience, Jesus worked through disbelief, betrayal, neglect, rejection, spiritual blindness, persecution and death. He demonstrated gratitude by always acknowledging his Father in prayer. He also focused his time and attention to teach the truth and to stay the course for his assignment. Imagine what it took to face the ultimate sacrifice of his life on the cross so He could save all who confess him as Christ and believe in their heart that he was raised from the dead. Jesus encourages our hearts by telling us that “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.” – John 14:12.
We all desire miracles in our lives. As we lead others to Christ, the patience to demonstrate his love is part of every decision we face. History proves that great leaders literally love the people they lead. Make peace with that. Decisions are not necessarily made by the best person, the smartest person, or the right person. Salvation decisions are made because of the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit, and not because of our own human intellect and abilities. To think like a fisher of the souls of men, do not look for logic, rationality, or sanity. My prayer is that you will have the patience to trust GOD to provide more than you have and when you think you have given all to serve others, you will be amazed to find you have even more!
Remember that patience is just faith in slow motion. Patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. It requires much prayer to develop and grows in the presence of God. We must act with patience to not only love others, but to trust God and His promises to change the world in the name of Jesus “for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12
So, let’s stop wasting the time of our lives worrying about decisions that will not make a difference in the life of someone else. We cannot afford to get so lost in proving how smart and how right we are that we forget what we are here to do. We are here to demonstrate the patience it takes to love those who may seem unlovable so that they, too, can be saved. Let’s focus our time and energy on bringing more souls into the Kingdom of God and go beyond what we now see, think, and feel because nothing is too hard for GOD!