23 of 52 Voices June 19th, 2014
The C3 Leaders devotion is a peer weekly reflection from business leaders related to their journey with Christ. Each weekly devotion will be written by a different author from among the C3 Leaders community, 52 unique authors to be exact.
As we go through this next year together, we pray that these words and reflections will encourage you in your relationship with Jesus Christ.
When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening? “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.” – Exodus 18:14, 17-18
Some years ago, I placed myself in an unsustainable position at work. I had recently taken over the corporate marketing and research division (which was in dire need of restructuring) and also agreed to take the reins of a business unit. We were pulling the business out of a joint venture and retooling to grow aggressively. Essentially I had two full time leadership roles, and while I loved the challenge, I didn’t have much time to focus on other things in life. It wasn’t well received at home. I felt a bit resentful that my wife and family (that I adore) didn’t understand.
It always surprises me how God can meet us in our need. During a much needed family holiday that summer, we visited a little church. There were very few people and the poor minister was greeter, usher, music leader (not his gift) and speaker. I wasn’t expecting much. I was wrong. His sermon was based on Exodus 18 which speaks of Moses and his efforts to lead the people. While I’m sure well intentioned, Moses was failing. Everyone was looking to him from morning to evening. During this busy time he sent his wife and sons back to her father’s home. I’m sure the conversation was something like, “Why don’t you take the kids and go visit your dad. Give me a little time and it will get better in a few weeks…..I promise.” It wasn’t well received in his home either. His wife and sons soon came back with his father-in-law, Jethro, who sat Moses down for a talk. Jethro probably told Moses, “Are you nuts? You’ll burn yourself out. You aren’t doing anyone any favors by thinking you can do it all. You must delegate. If you do, you won’t kill yourself and everything will work better. You will be happier……your family and your people. Lean on God. Don’t try to do it all yourself.”
That sermon was a 2×4 to my head. My ego sometimes gets me in trouble because I think that if it is to be done right, I have to do it myself. It was time to shift my activities from “doing” to “causing”. Sitting here in this little church that moments before I had scoffed, I was moved to tears. Yes, it’s true, God does work in mysterious ways. Sure, I might be able to do it all for a while, but at what cost? The resentfulness melted into contrition.
I share this for the following reason: as leaders, you can easily find yourselves in a similar situation. I challenge you to consider how you conduct your business life. Are you giving your best to your relationship with God, your family and others; or giving it all to your work? Pray for wisdom as to how to flourish in all of your life. If you’ve been like Moses for an extended period of time and your relationships with your family has suffered, pray for reconciliation. True, I haven’t been cured by this experience. It’s a constant struggle. But I’m now able to see it much sooner than before.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says it all: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” What kind of leaders, fathers/mothers, husbands/wives would we be if we purposed to hit the ‘reset’ button every day, and chose to trust, lean and submit?