Leaders Are Bold
I haven’t always been the boldest leader. I held back when I should have asserted myself because I didn’t want to deal with the potential opposition I might have faced. Instead of walking in my position with confidence from God, I allowed fear and timidity to cripple me. People I should have corrected, but didn’t, caused even greater problems over time. Things I should have addressed, but ignored, caused bigger issues later on. Over the years I have become more comfortable in my leadership role but being completely confident in who God has called me to be is something I still strive towards on a regular basis.
The life of Stephen inspires me to lead with greater boldness. Stephen was a man who was elevated to leadership within the early church. When he got promoted, others came against him. They debated him, lied about him, mistreated him and eventually killed him. Yet Stephen never wavered, even as he took his final breath.
Stephen’s life shows us four things that will help us to become bold:
1) Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit and God’s grace and power. The Holy Spirit lives in us! He is our comforter, our guide, the revealer of truth and when we invite Him into our lives on a daily basis, He fills us with God’s grace and power. Knowing that we have God’s ability in us, should give us the confidence to lead well when others don’t approve of or appreciate our leadership.
2) Stephen spoke the truth even if it meant angering others. Valuing our responsibility to fulfill God’s calling on our lives above our need for the approval of others allows us to speak the truth regardless of the outcome.
3) Stephen kept his eyes fixed on Jesus. There will always be haters, critics, and naysayers but if we learn to fix our eyes firmly on Jesus, we won’t even notice when they speak. We must learn to tune out the negative voices and look to Heaven to find our worth.
4) Stephen was quick to forgive those who were hurting him. Hurt is never an easy thing to walk through. But if we can learn to say “Father forgive them” about those who hurt us instead of holding bitterness and unforgiveness in our hearts, it will set us free to be who God has called us to be.
By Liz Sarno