Monday, May 21, 2012

Matthew 14: Peer Pressure

"Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered John a prophet...The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted." (Matthew 14:5, 9 NIV)

Herod didn't do what he wanted to do and did what he didn't want to do because he was afraid of what others would think. I think we all feel like that sometimes, but the pressure must be greater for leaders; everything they do is scrutinised under a microscope by the public and deconstructed mercilessly.

I had planned to write about the importance of following your convictions no matter what, but 1) There are probably enough writings on that and 2) I'm stuck on an interesting thought -

If we look at Herod's actions from the reverse angle - that is, instead of blaming his poor leadership skills and lack of integrity - and look at those whom he led, what will we find? In other words, if we look at Herod's constituency, did they make it easy or hard for Herod to follow his convictions?

I know, here is where some of you will protest and point out that each man is responsible for the choices he/she makes; the blame cannot be shifted onto another. I agree with you. I'm just wondering, though, how hard or easy do we make it for our leaders to do the right thing? If they have to deal with constant in-fighting, special interest groups vehemently pushing their agendas, and criticism around every bend, I think I'd cave to the pressure as well!

But what if we showed a measure of humility, support, encouragement, and stepped into being respectful followers of our leaders (yes, I know none of them are perfect, but neither are we) who honoured their vision, trusted their judgement and submitted to their authority? What if we made it a joy for them to lead rather than a burden?

This filters down the workplace and even the home:  Do you make it easy for your boss to lead you? Your spouse to partner with you? Your children to follow you?

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