Leadership, Gender, Humility

In some leadership teachings you’ll hear the speaker accent the
importance of leaders also being followers, that in fact the very best
leaders are the best followers.

There is a genuine need for humility and a “teachable spirit” in all
Christ-followers, but I’d say that those actually called by God and
gifted in leadership or in other giftings that place one in a position
of greater influence need humility that brings us to the Lord and
other wise disciples -perhaps even more. Why?

Not because any gift or call of the Holy Spirit is any more essential
or that those gifted with this or that are “better” or that the gift
commands any greater “rank” in God’s eyes (I don’t think the Bible
supports that, frankly). Not because a gift of the Spirit somehow
marks or assures those gifted with greater godly character (the fruit
of the Spirit is another matter and those with wonderful gifts may be
-and sometimes are- quite slack re. such fruit) but rather there is
greater responsibility due to greater influence.

This morning I read over Samson’s life story again. In Judges 13 it
seems Samson’s father believed his wife when she told him about a
messenger from God coming to visit her letting them know their son
would deliver Israel from the Philistines. Though he believed her he
wanted to meet this messenger (whether an angel or as some scholars
posit, perhaps the Messiah Himself) for more details on how God wanted
them to raise the child.

It’s possible he did not believe her and was basically trying to say
“When I see this guy I’ll believe your story Dear”.

In any case, when the messenger again appeared to his wife she asked
him to wait so she could fetch her husband. Manoah (her husband) came
and had a verbal exchange with him, they offered a sacrifice and the
messenger went up in the flame. Witnessing this powerful, supernatural
experience they both fell on the ground and Manoah said “We’ve seen
God… we’re gonna die!”.

Note two points: his wife said “If God were going to kill us for this
why would He have sent the messenger to tell us all this stuff? He’d
have killed us already!”

In our often patriarchal culture (even among Christians) there is
still an arrogance -among leaders as well as others- that women are
“less” than men, that they are “easier to deceive” and so forth.

I find it interesting that here as in other places in Scripture as
well as my personal life experience that often the woman, the wife,
the daughter “gets it” where the father, husband, or brother simply
does not.

Further, God heard both of their prayers. Why didn’t the messenger
directly appear before her husband, either the first, second or third
time? He appeared to the woman.

Lastly, when Manoah met him and asked about how to raise Samson as the
Lord would want, the messenger essentially told him “I already told
your wife. She knows what to do”. She has faith and he does not? How
is it she, rather than he, gets the details from God? A little
humility please 🙂 Trust your wife, bro..

Whether an angel or Jesus appearing in the Old Testament to Samson’s
parents, that messenger reminds me that leadership in ANY context is
not merely a gender issue, nor is it merely a matter of gifting but
rather a matter of listening and believing in faith and humility.

In the end I’d suggest Manoah may have been a bit humbled and that
such humility is essential when one wants to hear the Lord and please
Him. Sometimes hearing Him through someone else is exactly what God
wants for us.

I’d say there are plenty of times it’s the woman who has better
hearing and sense. Of course sometimes it’s the man. In any case
paying close attention and humility is truly core to pleasing God.

God used Samson greatly but the fact is he also should have payed
closer attention to God’s commands and walked with greater humility.

Some reading this may be tempted to blame Delilah or women in general
for Samson’s issues… but his lust problems brought him into plenty
of sin and temptation regarding women. The blame is his, not theirs.

May the Lord help us to walk with greater humility, to pay closer
attention and to obey His commands.

Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

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