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"Not So With You":
A Call for Christlike Leadership!
Victoria Boyson
www.boyson.org

God is calling His leaders to model His heart!

In Mark 10:42-45 Jesus said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

True authority in leadership cannot be forced, but it is the God-given ability to influence others, to raise others up, and lead them by example. It is not condescending or intimidating, but temperate. And even in cases where correction is needed, Christlike leadership is firm, but kind. Many people in positions of authority use intimidation to rule over others. But as the Lord said in verse 43, "Not so with you." Intimidation may get quicker results - it may get you what you want - but it is not Christlike authority and it will not produce His likeness in others. And it is not what our Lord desires of us.

The Purpose of Authority
James and John had asked the Lord if they could sit at His right side and left when He reigned over His kingdom. This caused an argument among His disciples.  They were still thinking only of Christ's ruling on this earth, and wanted to be a part of that. They did not realize yet that authority is given to serve others, not to rule over them.

The Lord shared with them in verses 42-45 what it meant for them to have positions of authority over people. It was His intention to show His disciples the true purpose of authority. He knew that they would have great authority in the church, and His desire was for them to use that authority to serve His church, not to lord over them.

Jesus told them that even He, the Son of God, did not come to be served, but to give His life as a ransom for many (see Mark 10:45). He was trying to show them that He was sent to them with the purpose of serving them, even to the point of death, and that they should model His example of leadership.

Laying Down Our Lives
Though He had created man, Jesus gave His life to serve and die for those He had created. Everyday He woke with an eternal purpose in His mind: To raise up His church! His life was not lived to serve Himself, to go where He wanted, and to do what He wanted. No, He laid down His own desires to follow the will and plan of His Father.

Not only was His death a sacrifice for us, but His life was a living sacrifice. Every moment of His life on earth was lived for us. He could have been enjoying the splendor of heaven, but instead gave it up to become a sacrificial gift, a "ransom for many."

Like Christ, our lives are not our own. And though we are given positions of authority in this life, we must never use those positions to fulfill our own plans and agendas. For if God chooses to bless us with power and authority, it is for the purposes of heaven and not our own gain.

Power to Serve
In the world's system, it seems to be the powerful who rule over the weak. But we are not to pattern ourselves after the world's system, but after God's. It was His desire that power be used to serve, not rule; to raise up, not to push down.

Jesus knew that a great leader must have no regard for his own life, but must lay down his life for the sake of others. The Lord said in John 15:13, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Every truly great man or woman in history has regarded his life as less valuable than those he served.

Our Purpose
Our purpose as Christians must be to lay down our own will to do the will of our Father. It is His will that we serve others and see them as more important than ourselves. So often we have seen power corrupt the hearts of men and make them useless for the kingdom of heaven. But if we can keep in mind that power is given to serve our Lord, not ourselves, then we have a safeguard around our heart, keeping it safe from the corruption that power can bring with it. If we can see that all we accomplish is for the Lamb of God, not for ourselves, then we will have access to the power and authority of the God.

As the Body of Christ, we must recognize that we all have the same master, and He did not come to this earth to be served, but to serve. If you have been given authority, then remember His words, "Not so with you." Do not use your authority, whatever its capacity, to control, manipulate or intimidate those placed under you, but use it to liberate them.  To love, not hate; to forgive, not judge; to redeem, not to condemn.

Authority is given to us so that we can do for others what God has done for us. We must live our lives openly before those we seek to raise up so they may see the genuineness of our lives. If we fail to treat those under our authority with the proper respect, then we should apologize to them and ask for their forgiveness. If we cannot humble ourselves to do this, it may lead to their resentment of us and cause them to stumble. For their sake and our own, we must humble ourselves.

If God has placed people under your authority then He must think very highly of you, because He has given you something that He cherishes very much. Each person He gives you is a gift as well as a responsibility. These gifts must be appreciated and loved. We must treat them with respect, even when, in their immaturity, they disrespect us.

If you have been given authority, don't use it to lord over others, but to inspire them!

Scripture references NIV

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