As leaders, we are bound to our calling. Yet, we also have the freedom to do what is difficult to do. In this episode, Pastor Joe Bonifacio talks about the five freedoms a leader has.
As we have talked about in Episode 19: Why are you still leading?, we feel, in some ways, that the leader is stuck, bound by calling.
We talked about having no choice. Other people can make a different choice, but you know you can’t.
You are called to lead a certain way, so you are not as free as other people are.
Where others quit, you stay.
Where others backbite, you confront directly.
Where others give full vent to their anger, you look to stay calm and reconcile.
So in some ways, leadership means being less free than others seem to be.
But today I wanna balance out that idea with the flipside: that leaders have freedoms that others don’t have.
So my basic premise is: leaders are those who are free to do what is difficult to do. This is possible because Jesus has set us free for that.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
“But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.”
In Jesus Christ, we become slaves of righteousness.
Yes, we are still slaves, but if you had a choice, would you rather be a slave of sin–always angry, always anxious, always fearful, always insecure, always boasting–or a slave of righteousness–brave, kind, patient.
AGENCY: In social science, agency is defined as the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
God gives us a choice how to respond. The Holy Spirit enables us to do what we can’t do alone.
Christians make amazing leaders because we have been set free from sinful responses. We can bring healing and reconciliation in places where people only see brokenness and anger.
9:28 Five Freedoms every Christian leader has:
The Bible says we are free to respond differently in the following ways:
10:02 Free to respond in the opposite spirit
“Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Run, run, the law commands
But gives us neither feet nor hands.
Much better news the Gospel brings,
It bids us fly and gives us wings.
– attributed to John Bunyan (author of Pilgrim’s Progress)
16:57 Free to think for yourself and not be driven by what other people say
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
19:15 Free to overcome your worst habits
23:31 Free to love and serve others, because Jesus takes care of you.
25:31 Free to rest.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
As leaders, what if we act according to our freedoms?
Imagine that! Imagine an entire society permeated with leaders who are not driven by fear, insecurity, guilt, obligation, shame, anxiety, or peer pressure. Imagine leaders in every sector of society who are running around not for themselves but to serve others, acting in the opposite spirit, overcoming their worst habits, and stopping to rest as they get direction from their Lord and Master. That is what we’re part of and it gives us hope for humanity.
On one hand, we are slaves to righteousness, bound to the calling God has for us. But you are free in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be a child of God. You’re free to be the leader that you are, making an impact to society and changing the world.
So, world-changer, be free!
The ENC Leadership podcast is hosted by Pastor Joe Bonifacio.
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