TEXT: EXODUS 18:13-27
“Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God” (Exodus 18:19).
We take so much on ourselves, such that it is a miracle in itself that many of us do not break down often. We see ourselves as champions or superstars and come to the inexplicable conclusion that we alone are capable of handling things. In the process, however, we often create more problems than we tend to solve. Moses thought he was doing a great job as he sat daily from morning to evening, judging the cases brought to him by the Israelites in the wilderness. He didn’t know any other way to handle the matters they brought to him, and thought it was his sole responsibility to personally attend to their needs. But his father-in-law, Jethro, came on a visit and promptly told him: “The thing that thou doest is not good”.
But not stopping at mere criticisms, Jethro advised that Moses learn how to delegate responsibilities to other “able men such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness”. Their role was to handle the small issues affecting the people in sets of thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens, respectively. Only the difficult and delicate matters would be brought to Moses. This way, the assignment God had given him would be easier as he shared the burdens of leadership with others.
Quite promptly, Moses, heeding the advice of his father-in-law, chose other capable men and assigned tasks to them at different levels, thereby lightening the burden of his work both on himself and on the people of Israel.
It is not a mark of effectiveness to concentrate responsibilities on oneself. If anything, we run the risk of failing to live up to the expectations both of those who gave us the assignment and those we lead. We must never get to a point where we begin to think that without us, nothing can be done well. When we take so much on ourselves, we risk burning out. Worse still, we become ineffective and therefore, unsuited for the responsibility given to us.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “Wisdom is the principal thing… and with all thy getting get understanding.”
The Bible IN ONE YEAR: PSALM 19-23