So many of us are just followers of something. Maybe a musician, a sports team, a role model, a great father figure…Yet we are also leaders whether we know it or not. What do you consider yourself? Think about this question now and then again after you are finished reading. I’m curious to see if your thought changes.
I read some study results that a gosling will follow the first thing it sets its eyes on once they open. That is usually the mother, but if the mother isn’t around, you might find a little goose following a human around. The same thing happens with babies. Human babies that is. They start mimicking others within just weeks of their birth. We see this continue into the teen years and adulthood as well that people generally follow a crowd or they follow something. We even have names for it: bandwagon, poser, follower, whatever.
“Ok so I follow some things. I don’t have a ‘leader’ title..”
Consider someone fresh off a life change. Maybe they decided to give their hearts over to the way of Jesus and they want to focus on that. Maybe someone decides to stop doing drugs after years. Maybe quit smoking cigarettes? On the healthier side of things, maybe someone just decided to get married or go back to school. All of these things put this person in a new position. They are basically babies again in a given situation. Imagine you have experience in any of these areas and this person comes around you. Are you just a follower now to them?
You have now become a leader to them. You have the influence to shape that person’s view of that situation. If you are the first person trusted to give advice and your viewpoint is discouraging, that person will likely adopt the same view. If they are healthy and mature, they would know not to form their opinion after hearing just one from someone else, but the truth is that we’re not all healthy and mature like that. We are needy. We need to lean on each other. Your influence is powerful and you have it whether you see it or not.
This can only be done if we are self-disciplined in such a way that we anticipate this need from someone. It is a true servant and brotherhood mentality. If we expect a person to approach us for advice and we understand that we have the influence to sway them one way or another, we better equip ourselves to show love to this person. Maybe I show you love by not swaying you with bias at all. Maybe I sway you one direction because I think it might protect you, or the other direction because even though it would be hard, I know it would help you grow. One thing is certain though: that I thought about how my answer might effect you. I imagine the people that practice this have such a beautiful community. I want to get connected with leading people to peace.
How could you prepare to lead someone when the time comes?
Proverbs 11:14-Where there is no guidance the people will fall. In abundance of counselors there is victory.