Monday, July 23, 2012

Love, Live, Learn, Lead, Laugh

I’m spending part of my week, this week, in a leadership conference.  As some of you may already realize, leadership is one of my favorite topics.  So, I took note of a recent Erwin McManus tweet.  He said, “Love like a poet. Live like a warrior. Learn like an apprentice. Lead like a servant. Laugh like a king.”.  Each of those applies to the Christian leader.  Take a look at what I mean.

Love like a poet.

When you look at the great poets of the ages, even if the topic wasn’t romantic, there was a consistent reality.  The poet made love to his topic by the choice of the words he used.  The subject matter was better after the poem than it was before.  When Romans 14:19 says, “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.”, Paul is suggesting that our words to other men ought to be used to draw out the best.

Live like a warrior.

We’ve recently discussed the whole armor of God and some aspects of spiritual warfare.  There are a couple of things that this thought can add to that discussion.  A good warrior always takes opportunities to train.  Because that training could make the difference between winning and losing the battle.  A good warrior is always vigilant, ready for battle (see 1Peter 5:8).  Nothing can give his opponent an edge like the element of surprise.  And a good warrior lives simply, carrying only the armor, weaponry, clothing, bedding, and food to keep going in battle.  Anything extra beyond that might only use up strength and energy needed for the battle (Mark 6:6-9).

Learn like an apprentice.

“Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.” – 1Corinthians 3:18.  “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” – Galatians 6:3.  One of the issues of leadership is ego.  People believing they are wiser than they really are, not needing to continue learning.  And thinking they’re greater than they are, limiting who they’re willing to learn from.  When that kind of mindset takes over, the Christian leader limits God in what He can teach us and who He can use to teach us.  Great leaders start with a premise that they “knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.” (1Corinthians 8:2).  And heed Jeremiah 10:23, “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.”.

Lead like a servant.

Wow!  I think enough books have been written on this one to fill a small library.  But there’s a modern movement called “What Would Jesus Do” or WWJD.  And I think they miss the point.  Jesus taught.  But, even more, He led by example.  We not only get to focus on what He did for us, we can learn from what He did.  There’s no guessing, no wondering.  Jesus led by sacrificing Himself for others.  Sometimes it was dramatic like the Cross.  Other times, it was merely taking the time to draw, edify, and heal.  But Jesus’ leadership was always for the benefit of others.

Laugh like a king.

Laughter is an interesting topic in the Bible.  It’s often mentioned as a sarcastic, doubting response, like Sarah’s.  It’s suggested that mirth without God should turn to mourning.  Making merry often spoke of a response of joy for things God had done.  Think with me on what Erwin McManus tweeted.  You might think of a king laughing in ridicule of an enemy making empty threats.  We might think of God doing that to Satan and the fallen angels.  But I don’t see that.  I can’t believe that the “thrill of victory” takes precedence over His love for His creation, including the angels.  So, no joy there.  A real king laughs because things are going well in his kingdom.  A relaxed joy that his servant leadership has benefitted all. 

Jesus prays in John 17 that His followers might be one as the persons of the Trinity are one.  As part of the Body of Christ, we’re one with the King.  And we can laugh because of the joy and peace that unity brings.  Because we’re who God wants to bless and, at the same time, we’re who He uses to spread the blessings.

Which of these things spoke to your heart?  And how?


  1. Sorry it has taken me so long to post a comment here Bill, but better late than never!

    It is a great and encouraging post - I love your taking these aspects of attitude and applying them to our lives as believers.

    As a poet I can testify that the love and passion a poet holds for words and expression is a good standard to surpass in our love for the Lord.

    Thank you for posting these thoughts.

  2. Glad you were blessed by those thoughts. There's just so much God has for us.