Daily Readings: Exodus 17-18, Proverbs 5, Matthew 24
The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. When his father-in-law, Jethro, saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?”
Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.”
Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”
I frequently need a Jethro in my life. I need someone that pulls me aside and tells me, “What you are doing is not good. You cannot do everything by yourself. I know you are doing it to try to help others, but you aren’t truly serving them if you just end up burning out yourself.”
I think most leaders could use the message of Jethro from time to time.
Not only are Jethro’s words wise in regards to maintaining our own energy level as leaders, but learning to delegate also has the amazing consequence of empowering those we lead as well! Most people would like more responsibility than they currently are given. I have found this fact to be true repeatedly in business, coaching, ministry, and family life. People want to do more. They want to grow and develop and serve the organization well. In many cases, those people may even be better equipped to do that task more effectively and efficiently as well!
There have also been many times in my life where I have felt called to be the Jethro or a judge in this story. I see a leader simply doing too much and know that it is a need I could easily fill or that someone else I know who be glad to help out with. It is something I know could probably be done even more efficiently than the leader because of the background, knowledge, and previous training that I possess or the person I have in mind.
Every Moses needs a Jethro and an army of judges willing to step up for the sake of the organization.
In some areas of your life right now, you might be Moses and need to learn how to delegate and trust others. In another area God may be calling you to be a Jethro for someone else to show them how their currently operating and the long term unintended negative consequences of these actions. Elsewhere, it may be good for you to step up as a judge to lighten the load for the leader within your organization and to serve the organization as a whole with your skills and abilities.
It takes all three.
Thought to ponder
Are there areas in my life, whether at work, at home, in ministry, or elsewhere, where I am Moses and need to delegate more? Is there someone in my life that needs a Jethro, where I could talk to him or her about letting other people step up? Is there somewhere that I currently feel called to step up as a judge to help my organization, ministry, team, or family operate more effectively?
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