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.
As we go through this next year together, we pray that these words and reflections will encourage you in your relationship with Jesus Christ.
… while [Mary] was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her… As he considered this, an angel … appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph . . .” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child … was conceived by the Holy Spirit … You are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” . . . When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded … But he did not have sexual relations with [Mary] until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus. –Matthew 1:18-24, NLT
Joseph, the first hero in the story of Christmas, welcomed it in a way that provides a powerful example for leaders. Joseph’s principles shine through in his response. Although Christmas began for him with a great disappointment, Matthew declares that Joseph was a good man. Great leaders take their stand first as good men and women. No one becomes a “Level Five” leader without developing great character. As a good man, Joseph sought to protect Mary from the consequences of what seemed like a grave error or perhaps even an assault. Great leaders take the onus on themselves to protect people from the worst consequences of their errors.
Joseph gave Mary’s problem careful thought. Great leaders take time to think through situations involving moral dilemmas, and their character pushes them from thinking to dreaming. The rational mind can take us only so far, but greatness requires a two-sided brain that allows for creativity and revelation. As deliberation gave way to inspiration, Joseph did not fear to take on a promising project that implied personal risk. He obeyed the vision, though it implied a delay of gratification on his part. No leader gets far without accepting sacrifice as the leading edge of great reward. Finally, Joseph named the son “Savior”-declaring his faith in the success of the project. Great leaders go first in communicating to their organizations the benefits that sacrifice will bring.
Matthew certainly never thought of leaders in the Puget Sound when he described Joseph’s response to Christmas. But in telling the story, he gave us all a classic case study in what great leaders do every day.
~Joseph Castleberry is President of Northwest University in Kirkland. He is the author of The Kingdom Net: Learning to Network Like Jesus.