One of the key realities of human nature is that we are preoccupied with self-preservation. We dislike stress, inconvenience or pain of any kind, and so we do everything in our power to avoid or minimise it. Leaders are not exempt from this tendency. However, one of the key characteristics of a servant leader is the capacity to feel secure, allied to a readiness and willingness to sacrifice for the cause.
We see an example of a truly sacrificial leader in Abraham. We read that after he and his wife, servants and herdsman, along with his nephew and his herdsman had come out of Egypt, much wealthier than when they had gone in; on their arrival in the place they had originally got to between Bethel and Ai, there was a quarrel between Abraham’s herdsmen and those of Lot, his nephew.
The intensity of the conflict was such that Abraham called asked Lot to choose which part of the land he wished to possess; who looked at all the land that stretched out before them and chose to set off in an easterly direction. He journeyed towards the land of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham, or Abram, as his name was, continued to live in the land of Canaan.
Now, the leadership and general question that arises here is:
- How do you deal with a conflict situation?
- How does a leader resolve a potential flashpoint?
One of the key lessons that comes out of how Abraham handled the situation is that he was secure in himself, hence the reason why he deferred to his young nephew, inviting him to choose, even though it was he who had brought his nephew on the journey.
The leadership lesson is this: often it is better, particularly in Christian ministry, to allow people to choose where they want to move, provided the leader is secure as a person.
Abraham knew that the seed of promise and blessing was in him, and anywhere he went the seed went, and would manifest.
The second leadership lesson is seen in the humility with which Abraham handled the situation.
He did not say to Lot, ‘Look, I brought you along with me. Your wealth is because of me. You would be nothing without me; therefore drop all and leave’. Rather, humbly, he allowed Lot to make a choice. He was able to do this because he was secure in himself as a leader.
Copyright Emmanuel Mbakwe 2017©
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About the Author:
Emmanuel Mbakwe is a Pastor, an apostolic leader, business advisor, leadership coach, mentor, and published author. He is the immediate past General Overseer of the Apostolic Church UK. His vision and heart’s desire is to help people realise their God-given potential and fulfil the purpose of God for the life.