Remember Your Leaders
Heb. 13:7 ¶ Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.
We are admonished to pray for those who are in leadership. These are the ones who have brought to us the word of God. Without them way may not even know the way to salvation.
The lives of our leaders also speak volumes to us and we are to look at the way in which they live, dedicated in service to the Lord. We are to “imitate their faith.”
Being in a position of leadership has never been an easy thing. Once someone steps into that position there will always be those who are unhappy with some of the things that they do. There is simply no way for everyone to be happy with everything and so we have a tendency to be critical. We live in a culture that seems to cultivate this idea of being critical of leadership. The same was probably true in the early church and so we find these comments that I believe are useful to us today as well.
Our religious leaders (local pastors, superintendents, etc.) have poured out their lives in service to God and the kingdom. We may not always agree with them and yet they are dedicated servants of the Lord. We need to pray for them and be grateful for them and the ways in which they have led us to know the Lord. Their passion and desire to know Christ and to make a difference in the world should be imitated. Do they always do everything right? Probably not — but that should not negate the good things that they have done.
We are challenged to imitate their faith. What would happen if that were our personal focus, rather than focusing on the negative? We are not told to pick apart our leadership and point out every one of their faults. No, we are told to pray for our leaders. Oswald Chambers reminds us that we are allowed to see the weaknesses in others not to criticize, but so that we can pray. Thank God that you can see some of their faults and then use that as an opportunity to be in prayer because God has revealed to you the area in which they need his help.
Don’t judge leadership for one single moment in which their best may not have shone through, but “consider the outcome of their way of life.” What does the whole story tell you? We are to look at the beauty of the entire portrait of one’s life and the overall impact they have had as they have faithfully served in the kingdom.
My husband and I were in an art gallery the other day and as we walked from room to room looking at the beautiful paintings we stumbled upon a large Monet from his later years. If you would look at this painting up close you wouldn’t really see much and one might interpret it as some mistakes or missteps. It looks like a bunch of blobs of paint on a huge canvas. However, if you step back and look at it from a distance it is absolutely stunning and beautiful. The big picture comes together. People have been critical of this work because they were looking at the tiny little details and missed out on the beauty of the large canvas.
If we do not consider the entire life of the leader, we will get hung up on some small detail and miss the beauty of their life’s portrait. Remember our leaders. Pray for them. Look at the big picture and imitate their faith so that God may use your life to be painting the next masterpiece.
Lord, I pray for my leaders today. Please be with them, lead them and guide them and especially protect them both physically and from harmful words. Amen.