A Tale of Two Perspectives

Image of boy who is afraid

As I’m learning as a young leader, I’m noticing the more I do it, the more I realize how hard leading is.  I’ve written before that when you lead a person, family, church, or organization TO something, you’re leading them away from something else.  More often than not, the push back on the leader is similar to Moses when he led the children of Israel out of Egypt.  They were begging to be brought back to slavery, criticizing Moses’s leadership, and lost sight of the destination.  It was hard going for all parties involved.

A book I’ve been reading lately re-told the story of Joshua and Caleb.  The perspective is different and I found it refreshing from a leadership perspective.  It revolved around pride.

Giants, Or Giant Opportunity?

Remember the story?  Twelve were sent to spy out the promised land.  Ten of the twelve came back and did the responsible thing.  They told the people how there would be no way they could take the land.  There were giants, strong armies and skilled warriors with more powerful weapons.  Yes it was beautiful.  Yes it did flow with milk and honey.  But there was just no way they could take this land – even if God did tell them they could.  They needed to be more realistic about the situation and think logically about their families, limitations, and “what-ifs”.  It just didn’t make sense to them.  Caleb and Joshua came back with a different story.  They said, “Wait a minute!  God told us we could take this land!  We need to go now!”  Joshua and Caleb were branded as egotistical and irresponsible.  The other ten were branded as wise and humble leaders who had the best interests of the group at heart.  One group thought – led with their head.  The other group obeyed – led with their heart.

The ten’s rationalistic approach was really lack of faith and pride in their own knowledge.  Sounding familiar yet?  Then God lays the smack down by saying:

“How long will these people treat me with contempt and refuse to believe?” Numbers 14:11

Ten or Two

As a leader, I have to be able to lead into uncharted territory – beyond what they thought possible or safe.  That’s another post all together.  As a leader, I have to be able to look at the territory and believe we can take the land – lead with my heart connected to the Father.  As a follower of Jesus, I wonder if I’ve gotten into the pattern of rationalizing the movement and promptings of the Holy Spirit.  Leading exclusively with my head.  There has to be a balance and it needs to be leaning more toward a heart connected to the Father’s heart.  What about you?  If you were to honestly check your heart, how many times would you be in the ten or in the two?  If we were all honest, most of us would probably say the ten.

Leaders are the two – they are the Joshua and Caleb who can see beyond what’s safe, reasonable, and sensible to break into new territory.

Everyone agreed and sided with the ten.  And it cost them.  Sometimes we need to listen to the two to enter into a promised land.  But it won’t happen if we play it safe.

Who Do You Listen To?

Spend some time evaluating the voices you listen to.  Who is challenging you to take risks, move forward, and break into new territory?  If nobody is, you may want to re-read this story and see where you are.  If you’re a leader, don’t be afraid to stand up and announce with faith the direction you need to lead.  We need more of Joshua and Caleb and less of what’s sensible and safe.  Don’t be afraid to lead with the heart and not the head.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.