by Colonel Larry and Bobbie Simpson, USAF (Ret.)
“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword’ ” (Matthew 26:52).
Jesus wielded His influence, not his power, to accomplish the prophecies concerning Him. Man’s natural inclination is to think: He who carries the biggest stick wins. Instead of condoning Peter’s protective gesture, Jesus healed the servant’s injury and told Peter to put away his weapon (John 18:10-11).
Jesus could have responded to the arresting entourage with a show of His mighty power or through a simple appeal to his Father and the thousands of angels standing by for Jesus’ use. Instead, He identified Himself as the one they sought (John 18:5).
A good leader leads best with actions reflecting decisions arrived at through calm, calculated, inspired thought rather than reckless displays of power. Jesus command to Peter reveals that leaders who use overwhelming displays of power are not always effective at accomplishing the mission. His leadership style was that of influence and not the use of “shock and awe.”
Faith and leadership are more appropriately modeled through keeping sight of how to achieve God’s purposes through godly influence, using softer tones, quieter approaches and direct resolve to see the mission through. Simply acting or reacting is not necessarily an effective leadership quality. Leading entails helping people see the bigger picture when “it must happen this way.”
3 Points to Ponder
- How do you respond to inaccurate or injurious comments? Do you fire back with insults, or are you exercising servant leader restraint? (1 Peter 2:23)
- How effectively do you take the spiritual high road when resolving conflicts? (James 1:20, Proverbs 15:1)
- When project goals are seemingly being thwarted, do you entertain the idea that God can also work through this opposition? (Romans 8:28, Acts 8:1)
More leadership articles on the website
- Courageous Command: Beyond Battlefield Boldness
- Lessons in Leadership…from a Squadron Janitor
- Leadership Q&A