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The Kind of Person that I Would Follow

The Kind of Person that I Would Follow

Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. Exodus 18:21

During the years of my drug use, I chaffed at following anyone. Self-obsessed, I was critical of all others. Everyone else was deeply flawed, and no one was worthy of leading me. Being critical made me feel better about my own secret struggles. Being critical excused me from the need to be shaped by anyone. If I believed that no one was worthy of following, then I felt better about being an island to myself. In recovery though, I’ve learned that I need those people in my life whom I respect, listen to, and follow. In AA they’re called sponsors. I often refer to them as my mentors. Whatever they’re called, these are the people in my life whom I respect enough to listen to and emulate. In pondering today’s passage, I’ve had to think about those whom I would consider mentors, asking – What do they all have in common?

I’d have to say that those I’ve followed are all individuals who themselves follow God. They do what’s right, instead of what’s easy. They’re people of integrity, living beyond reproach. They do their job well, not for selfish gain, but as if doing it for God himself. These are the kind of people I want to be like. These are the kind of people that I want to follow.

This is the message of today’s passage, which is a lesson in good leadership. In it, Moses’ father-in-law Jethro, gave him some much needed advice on delegating the responsibility to rule his people. Moses couldn’t do it alone, but neither could he grant authority to just anyone. Moses had to identify those who were capable and virtuous enough to uphold God’s law. These men were to follow God’s will, not their own. They were to be men of integrity, who could be trusted with power. They were to be incorruptible, not influenced by greed or their own selfish desires. These were the kind of men who were to lead Israel and to lead, they must be worthy of being followed.

I’ve never been overly interested in being a leader. For most of my career, I’ve excused myself from that responsibility by telling myself I just do my job, seeing patients. Lately though, I’ve been realizing that’s simply an excuse to avoid being kind of man God wants me to be. Frankly, I still don’t desire power, but I do desire to be the kind of man described in today’s passage. When I look at those whom I consider mentors, I must admit that I want to be like them. I desire to be the kind of man that I would follow.

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