Sunday, July 5, 2015

Blind Versus VIsionary Leadership

UV 1461/10,000 Blind Versus Visionary Leadership
Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
Matthew 15 v 14
We may not be visually impaired but suffer from blindness of the spirit. Spiritually blind people cannot lead people as they will not have a sense of direction or a sense of right and wrong. They will not be able to know what paths to take, what hurdles to avoid or overcome and what lies ahead of them. The spiritually blind people will blindly follow such leaders to their own fall and destruction. We have many instances of such leadership across the globe and across history. One glaring example is that of Hitler who being blinded by hatred and a mistaken sense of his own destiny and that of his race lead Germany and a whole lot of people in several nations into destruction. Thankfully, ever since Germany was defeated and the people saw the sheer folly of their ways, she has had sober leadership. Currently, the extremist religious forces of the Middle East are following such a policy of extermination and eventual self-destruction. Only Jesus as Commander- in- Chief of the armies of heaven and saints or saved sinners of the earth led by example and from the frontline. He went ahead of us and embraced death, a cruel painful death. All other commanders or leaders embraced safety by either remaining behind their troops like Napoleon or Hitler in his bunker. They would give the excuse that they need to remain safe to provide leadership. Blind leaders might also espouse high ideals of sacrifice, love and service but it would be as a camouflage, disguise or figleaf to delude their blind followers and to cover the nakedness of their pursuit of power for power’s sake. We see in the current and former races for presidency in the USA and elsewhere when candidates suddenly claim to be Bible believers for long. Blind leaders have an excuse for every misleading action while visionary leaders have a conviction driving them to take risks, to place themselves in the line of fire. Jesus in the first words in this uni-verse -
“let them alone”- asks us to ignore or reject blind leadership. Visionary leaders convert the teachings of Jesus into values, the values into principles, the principles into actions and habits and the habits into influence and legacy. The values are the guideposts that light up their paths on this earth. The principles are the paths they take. They have set their eyes like flint on their destination- divine and eternal. Yet they do all they can to leave the people they lead better in every way and this is their legacy of blessedness.

Each of us has blind spots that make us “strain a gnat and swallow a camel” as Jesus put it. We ignore the huge beams that blind our vision of life and take pride in pointing out the specks in our neighbour’s or colleagues’ eyes. The Word of God holds an accurate mirror to us that enable us to see our hidden blind spots. The followers of a person pay a great price for the faults and failures of their leader. It is therefore very important that the light of God’s Word is focussed on the dark areas of leadership- our weaknesses of pride, desire and ambition. When the light of the Word is focussed long enough and we heed it, giving priority to His leading over our own feelings and thoughts, the dark areas of leadership will be lit up.

Only the Lord is qualified to lead us by example and precept. He knows where we are, what our strengths and weaknesses are and where we should go. He knows the exact direction in which we should move and the pace at which we should move. Instead of leaning on our own or others’ blighted intellect and limited vision, we should daily seek the direction the Lord wants us to take in our lives. We should seek His guidance at every step and turn. We need His help and enablement as many of the things affecting our lives are not visible to the naked eye but have deep and invisible spiritual dimensions. We need His help to prevent and pre-empt us from pressing our own self destruction buttons. We need His help to prevent us from being deluded or deceived into following others who knowingly or otherwise are leading us up a slippery garden path to a pit of folly, destruction or loss. The implication is that only godly leadership that is dependent on God’s grace and wisdom is dependable. Such leadership seeks His kingdom and His righteousness or give topmost priority to doing God’s will on earth. Such leadership will not take people on the path of red herrings but on the straight and narrow path that leads upward into eternity. Such leadership is visionary leadership. Such leaders display a singleness of mind and are not easily side-tracked or distracted. Their heads are on their shoulders and their hearts are in the right place. They are conscious and mindful of their great responsibility to lead and not to mislead or misguide those who follow them sincerely and faithfully.

Prateep V Philip

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