Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Following Well

I've been thinking lately on the need for followers. Sure, everyone wants to lead, or see their children lead - being a "follower" seems so mediocre. But far more people will be in positions of needing to follow the leadership of another, and we need to know how to do it well.

Regardless of who we are, all of us need to submit to some authority over us: parent, husband, employer, pastor, etc. But how do we do this, and why?

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. ~ Hebrews 13:17

Though this passage refers specifically to pastors, I think that it applies across the board that my husband, pastors and even government leaders will one day have to give an account for the care they have given. That is part of the responsibility of being a leader. But what about me? It would seem that my job, as a follower, is to make their job easier, even joyful. Am I making their decisions easier to make? Is my heart's attitude one of respect and support, or do I fight tooth and nail, making them earn my respect?

But what does this look like? For me, it means not complaining when I'm unimpressed by the decisions that are made. It means speaking up in thoughtful ways when my counsel is sought. It means not being snide or sarcastic about my leaders to others. Ultimately, it means being aware that anyone in a position of authority in my life has been sovereignly placed there by God, and while I may not be able to trust in man's fallible wisdom, I can trust in God's infallible wisdom, power and grace.

I am fairly certain that as leaders will be held accountable for their leadership, I will be held accountable for how I have followed, and I want to answer well for it.