I came across another great quote the other day. But, as I am getting old and didn’t write it down, I have to try to recall it from memory. The gist of it was the way that a soldier sees leadership. Leadership as a soldier sees it went something like this:
I do not follow orders, I obey them. Instead I follow a leader.
Let that sink in for a few minutes.
Now what does that mean?
Try as I might, I just cannot get some of the courtroom scenes from “A Few Good Men” out of my head. If you take some of the military bashing out of the film you are left with some riveting dialog. At some point along the way the characters Dawson and Downey lost sight of the impact of following an order from a leader who is not worthy. They followed an order and things went terribly wrong.
The premise of the movie is not a perfect analogy for me. But it does point out to me that we need to be clear regarding those that we chose to follow. And further, we need to be aware of the impact that we have on those who follow us.
And consider this as well. We don’t always get to choose our leaders.
Are you following, obeying or leading?
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In reading some of these articles there are a few Bible verses and stories that come to my mind that I would like to share with you.
The first story is found in Nehemiah 4:18 and surrounding verses. Here the Jews are rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. First I will point out that all the men were armed with swords (duh). But swords at this time were the most powerful hand held weapons that existed. It would be like carrying a tricked out assault rifle today. The workers went about their daily routines, but they were ready for war at a moment’s notice.
Does this mean we should all keep an AR-15 nearby? I leave that decision for you to make.
The second part of this story is the building of the wall itself. Walls serve to protect us from the outside. What is “outside”? It’s anything that would harm or threaten us. This could include storms or enemies or floods or anything we have never even thought of. Do we need to build cinder block walls 10 feet thick around our homes? Maybe. Maybe a good first step would be to fix that loose back door or that one window that never shuts all the way.
Now that that’s out of the way, the second part of scripture that I wanted to mention is one that almost everyone is familiar with. It is found in both Matthew 26:52 and also in John 18:11. Here, Peter is standing ready to defend himself and those he cares about. In the preceding verses we read that it was the priests that came with swords and clubs. Peter’s life was put in danger and I believe he acted in self-defense. Jesus told Peter to “put away” his sword. Jesus did not say “throw away”, nor did He say “get rid of it”.
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