I love how any snapshot of a biblical figure can make them look like a hero, yet another passage might show a much less flattering side of them. Sounds just like us, huh? We can have moments of absolute, solid obedience and faith, and then turn around and just blow it.
Last week, I referenced how Aaron failed to hesitate and consider the consequences of the Israelites’ request to make a golden calf. As I made my way through the rest of Exodus 32, I couldn’t help but doubt there was another chapter in the bible that better represented the greater extremes of the best and worst of leadership.
If you have influence over anyone, you’re a leader. So, whether you’re an executive, a stay-at-home mom, or a student, I challenge you to learn from both the highs and lows of Moses and Aaron in this crucial moment in history. Today, we’ll look at the first 3 keys to being a godly leader.
1. Put the needs of your followers above your personal gain.
Moses was still up on the mountain when God got wind of the shenanigans going on back at base camp. God told Moses to leave Him, “that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.” Moses was golden, pun intended. Those complainers at the base of the mountain were going to get what they deserved and Moses was going to come out of this situation with a nation. It would’ve been so easy for Moses to forget the people God had called him to lead, but he didn’t. Instead he put the welfare of the Israelites over his own desires and begged God for mercy upon them.
2. Never take your leadership lightly.
As soon as Moses could get back to his brother, Aaron, he confronted him with a haunting question: “What did the people do that you have brought such great sin upon them?” (Exodux 32:21.)
The Israelites may have asked for the golden calf, but Aaron had the ability to protect them and the responsibility to help them make the right choice. Aaron’s response to Moses’ question was the classic victim’s response. He deflects and criticizes the Israelites: “You know the people, that they are set on evil” (Exodus 32:22). What Aaron didn’t know at the time he was collecting gold was that his careless leadership would cost 3,000 men their lives.
Is there somewhere you’re taking your leadership lightly? Are you doing what’s easy rather than what’s right? It’s so normal to choose the path of least resistance in an organization or a family. Unfortunately, the path of least resistance often requires you to ignore your responsibility to lead others to do what is right.
3. Pick a side. Every day.
When Moses got back down to camp and confronted the people, he asked a profound question: “Who is on the Lord’s side?” (verse 26). These were the Israelites he was addressing. They all followed Yahweh at one point and yet, despite God’s protection through the wilderness, His provision of the manna, and the countless other miracles, some of these Israelites had strayed.
While we cannot lose our salvation, we do need to make a purposeful choice every morning as to whose side we’re on. No one lives in neutral. Each day, our choices speak louder than our words as to whether we are on the Lord’s side or if we’re aiding the enemy.
I hope you’ll join me on Thursday for Part 2, as we look at how we can be a force for good in a culture hungry for healthy leadership.