John the Baptist on Leadership

 

Daily Readings: Genesis 5-6, Psalm 2, Matthew 3

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’” –Matthew 3:13-14

Imagine John the Baptist being born today. Here is a man with a massive following. People are fascinated by this prophet. They are flocking in large numbers to hear him preach. His message is clear, After me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.”

Then Jesus actually shows up.

This is the moment. John has been preaching this and it has finally come to fruition. Jesus approaches him to be baptized along with the others. Prophets throughout the centuries preached that this day would come without ever seeing it come to pass in their lifetimes. Not John the Baptist. John paved the way! John was the one the prophet Isaiah spoke about! The moment is finally here!

Get out the cell phone! Get Facebook Live ready. Make sure to get a picture from the right angle, with the right lighting, and just at the right moment as Jesus is about to be submerged in the water. Get one as he is coming back out as well. We are going to break all Instagram records on this one! The Messiah has arrived and John the Baptist knew all along!

“But John tried to deter him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’”

This wasn’t about John. It was about Jesus. This wasn’t John’s time to shine, prove that he was right all along, build additional credibility with his followers, and increase his own star power. He was simply a humble messenger.

It got me thinking, “How I would respond if I was John the Baptist?” We live in such a narcissistic society. It is extremely challenging to not get caught up in the culture of today. How many shares, likes, and comments? Am I viewed as an authority on this topic? How can I gain more of a following? This may seem worse now then ever, but this is exactly how the Pharisees and Sadducees thought back in the time of Jesus. It was all about them. John the Baptist was ready and willing to step aside.

The world needs more leaders like John the Baptist. Whether leading a project at work, running a seminar, or preaching the good news, the world craves humble leadership. Today I want to model John. The world already has enough Pharisees.

Thought to ponder

Where are the biggest areas of my life where I tend to make it all about me?

Seeds of Doubt

Daily Readings: Genesis 3-4, Psalm 1, Matthew 2

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?’”

–Genesis 3:1

“Did God really say…?” How often has that been the start of a wandering thought, whispered in our ear, that has started us down a different path in life? For most Christians this is a constant battle. There have been many times in my own life where I was completely unaware that the battle was even taking place. There have been times I can look back and see God forcefully shutting a door that I was about to walk through unaware it might lead to destruction.

It never ceases to amaze me how easy it is for the enemy to sow seeds of doubt. I have had more conversations than I can remember where someone truly felt that God was leading them down a certain path while they were at a good spot in their life, only to abruptly change course when that path becomes hard, frustrating, inconvenient, etc.

It starts with a whisper. “Did God really say…?”

In my life I want to attribute God’s voice to my own emotions. What would be easiest for Aaron? When those thoughts start leading me away from a path I previously felt God had clearly put me on, I want to believe that God is pushing me in that new, easier direction instead of admitting this may be the enemy using a moment of weakness. This goes for decisions big and small.

“Is that actually a big deal? Do you really need to do that? God would want you to be happy, right? Did God really say…?”

In Psalm 1 today we read: “Blessed is the one…whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.” -Psalm 1

This is the reason it is so critical to be spending intentional time with God every single day and allowing God to speak to us, quieting our minds to give him space to respond. I want to be a tree planted by the stream. I want to give God’s voice so much space that the enemy can’t wiggle his way in. God wants that for us as well.

Thought to ponder

What are frequent thoughts I tend to dwell on in my life currently that may be subtle whispers from the enemy? How do I feel about these things when in a good place? What is God’s truth about this issue?

The Beginning of Knowledge

Daily Readings: Genesis 1-2, Proverbs 1, Matthew 1

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” – Proverbs 1:7 

What an amazing nugget of wisdom from Proverbs to kick off this yearlong journey! Throughout my life as a Christian I have heard this verse more times than I can remember and yet it still maintains the same level of potency every time I encounter it.

How often do we despise wisdom and instruction? If you are anything like me, the answer is probably, “More often than I care to admit.” We are hardwired as human beings to be incredibly self-assured. If you do not believe this, try having a political conversation with someone. Immediately you will be confronted, 9 out of 10 times, with someone who has no interest in gaining wisdom. We all have it all figured out.

“Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

This plays out constantly in our work lives as well. I know that I consistently have to fight against my normal tendency towards self-reliance. If it was my idea, change is good. Everyone else should welcome instruction! If it was not my idea, the ego almost always steps in. “I should of thought of that. Will it hurt my credibility that we were not already doing things this way?” Sometimes it takes a different tone. “Who do they think they are? They have barely even been here and they are already trying to reinvent the wheel! They are never going to reach their potential if they are not willing to be humble enough to embrace the systems we teach…”

There might be truth in those thoughts. There might not be. One thing that is certainly true, fools despise wisdom and instruction, and no one enjoys being around a fool for long.

So whatever your role at work, regardless of your level of leadership, seek knowledge and come with a humble heart. Truly listen and try to understand where the other person is coming from before seeking to be understood. You will be amazed at the results. Sincere curiosity is an extremely attractive quality in a person young in their career as well as in the most experienced leader. We all want to be listened to, understood, and appreciated. Once we are willing to let down our guard and genuinely seek after further knowledge, great things happen.

Thought to ponder

What is an area in my life where I despise wisdom and instruction?

The Marketplace Missionary

A 365 day journey 

If you are reading this initial post, thank you! Sincerely, thank you. When you write there is always the hope that someone will find your work valuable and worth taking the time to enjoy. I hope that this blog speaks to you in whatever way God has designed.

We will tackle the entire Bible over the next 365 days and I will be blogging daily about what struck me from the readings that day. All of this will be done through the lens of how we, as Christians, can do a better job of living out the Great Commission in our daily lives in the marketplace. This is a “Christian Business Blog”, but I believe that the word “business” typically applies to almost every career. We will be discussing leadership topics, handling conflict, Christ centered business practices, how to be “on mission” in whatever our career, and more.

Each post will begin with a list of the scriptures for that day followed by thoughts for the day. I will keep each post at 5 minutes or less since I know you lead busy lives! I started this blog because I personally need the accountability to spend time with Jesus daily and to truly seek to take something from our time together. Too often I find myself slipping into the trap of simply reading a chapter or two so that I can check it off for the day and feel like a good Christian. Perhaps you can relate!

Jesus wants so much more from us and so much more for us. If you feel led to join on this journey through the Bible in a year, I would love for you to read along with me! Community is a powerful thing!

I would also love for this to be a dialogue and not simply a monologue. So please comment! I would love to hear what you liked from the post, critiques, and general thoughts. If you enjoy what you read please subscribe and if a particular post ever speaks to you, feel free to share it.

Thank you again for taking the time to engage. I hope that it proves worthwhile and helpful for you in your walk!

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