People in leadership, whether it is by their example or their position, have people who are follow them. That means leaders have a moral obligation to the people they are leading.
As a Christian leader I understand that obligation is to show those following me the way to life.
Peter wrote; “For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.” (1 Peter 1:18-19; NLT; italics are mine)
Peter reminds us that the life we receive from the world is an empty life. The sad reality is that this life is the only life most people know. That is why I am obligated to show, through teaching and by example, that there is a better way to live life.
William Barclay in his Daily Study Bible wrote; “The real leader, if need be, dies in loyalty. He shows men how to live and is prepared to show them how to die. Jesus, having loved his own, loved them to the end; and the real leader having loved Jesus, loves him to the end. His loyalty never stops halfway.” (The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 195)
Wow! This adds another layer to the obligation I have has a leader. I need to be completely loyal to the One I am following.
The question I need to ask myself is this: “Am I prepared to show other people how to die?”
This is one way we can truly measure life. A life well lived is a life able to face death with peace, confidence, and hope.
I have to admit that this is a hard pill to swallow. There is more to life that I want to experience, that I don’t want to think about death just yet. I would rather ignore it as long as possible.
How can I prepare for the reality of death? I prepare for death by being loyal to Jesus. Loyalty is an extension of faith and declares that I will stay committed through the thick and thin of life.
The true Christian leader, the type of leader the Church needs, is the person who is loyal to Jesus. Doubts may come, hardships may arrive, and persecution may be present, but the leader remains committed to his/her Lord. Through it all he or she becomes an example of what it means to live by faith, because they have a commitment to Jesus that they will die to maintain. There is no force on earth that would cause them to forsake the King who has lovingly sacrificed himself for them.
To be a the leader God has called me to be requires that I remain loyal to Jesus. This is essential, not only for my faith, but also for my example. There are people who need to see what it means to follow Jesus through all the ups and downs of life.
God, grant me the faith to remain loyal to Jesus through both the joys and trials of life.