The Best Leaders Are the Best Followers

​ “Don’t be a follower” is excellent but incomplete advice. Usually,
this is said as a negative response to following an evil, corrupt, or bad
example. Some people, friends, or relatives may not be good examples of how to
live and of what to think.

We will consider two examples for this edition of Every Day Carry Christian.
One example is someone not to follow, and the other is one we can readily
. Every Christian is writing the story of their life. You can choose
to be a leader, influence people for good, or influence people for evil.

The EDC Christian understands that the best leaders are the best followers.
The first example is Amnon, a lustful son of King David who is fixated on
a half-sister, Tamar. He wants an intimate relationship with her but cannot
figure out how he can get away with it. But, Amnon had a friend who influenced
him to make the wrong decision.

But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man.

2 Samuel 13:3

Jonadab thought he was more intelligent than everyone else. He was sneaky
and crafty and believed he could “get away” with whatever he wanted
to do. He offers Amnon an evil plan to get Amnon and Tamar alone together in a
bedroom. The evil plan works.

Jonadab proceeds to assault Tamar. In tears, she is shamed, physically and
emotionally. There is more to her story that you may want to study in 2 Samuel.
The point here is that this sin occurred because of the leadership influence of
Amnon’s evil friend, Jonadab.

In this case, “Don’t be a follower, be a leader” rings true. Amnon
was not a leader when, as the king’s son, he could have been. He could have
talked to his father, David, learned from David’s mistakes, and then personally
chosen to do right. Instead, he followed a lousy leader and evil advice.

Our second example is Joshua. For 40 years, Joshua served Moses. Joshua was
reliable, dependable, and faithful in following the leadership of Moses. Once
Moses dies, Joshua is called upon by the Lord – and the people of Isreal – to
become their leader.

Joshua is a good follower and was then able to become a great leader.

And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the Lord commanded Moses.

Deuteronomy 34:9

Here is a short list of “following qualities“of Joshua that become his “leadership qualities:”

  • Joshua was ready when Moses said, “Let’s go!”
  • Joshua was willing when the other ten spies said “No.”
  • Joshua was listening when God gave Moses the commands.
  • Joshua was helping Moses each step of the way.

Because Joshua was a good follower, He became the next leader of God’s people. The EDC Christain will choose to become a leader for good by being a careful follower of Jesus.

Paul summarized this concept when he said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Paul was following Jesus, and we can go as well.

I once knew a 21-year-old man who had a friend too. He had several friends. His group of friends said: “Let’s go get a drink and have a ‘good time.'” He drank his first alcohol that night. He became drunk and ended up in a bar fight. This man took the fight outside, where (with his military training) he ended up killing the man. With one dead, the man’s life will never be the same. Prison. Criminal record. Guilt. All it took was one choice. One moment, following some bad advice from a “friend.” He willingly let someone lead him astray. You don’t want to follow this sad example.

Another example is the 20-year-old who followed the advice of his “friends” and established a relationship with a female minor. His life was never the same. Prison. Criminal record. Guilt. His story was very much like the Amnon, Tamar, and Jonadab stories. Life may never be the same for you if you follow the lead of a poor example or evil advice. Instead of being like Amnon and Jonadab, be more like Joshua.

Ultimately, the best example is Jesus. The EDC Christian, who is following the example of Jesus, may become a leader for doing good and may become an example to others to know the Lord too. The best leaders are the best followers.

Published by Pastor Steve

Steve enjoys reading the scriptures and action novels, spending time with his family, listening to music, drinking Dunkin' coffee and watching New York Yankees baseball and Memphis Grizzlies basketball. He and his wife Natalie have been married over 20 years and are blessed with three children. Together, Steve and Natalie are thankful for each opportunity the Lord has given, and they desire to “serve the Lord with gladness” while seeing people trust Jesus and grow in their relationship with the Lord. The Lord has blessed Steve with several educational experiences including a Bachelor of Bible at Pensacola Christian College, a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Mid-America Theological Seminary, a Master of Ministry (M.Min.), and a Ph.D. of Religion (in Counseling) from Bethany Divinity Seminary. He is also a Board-Certified Christian Counselor (BCPPC) and a SYMBIS facilitator. He is available for special conferences and training sessions.

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