Find your real strength
Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 1:9–18
Oh, the effects that testosterone has on the male human brain! God created it for a reason, and it pumps through all of our veins with a vengeance. Because of it, men have climbed mountains, explored exotic locations, even set foot on the moon. A few of us have even ventured to figure out the women in our lives, with mixed success.
From the time we’re little boys, we’re rugged individuals. Anyone who has ever lived with a two-year-old boy for any length of time can see a reflection of himself in the face of that toddler. “I can do it MYSELF!” little Johnny cries. He doesn’t need anybody, and woe to anyone who tries to tell him what to do. These feelings will follow him throughout his entire life—from grammar school through college and into marriage and his career. We know it will, because that’s where it has followed us.
But within this speech from Moses we hear a different idea. Moses here speaks to God’s people with openness and honesty. He is willing to admit to the gathered throng that at one point in his career he couldn’t be Superman anymore. His workaholic tendencies in resolving disputes were killing him, and the more overworked he got, the less effective he was in carrying out his tasks. To put it bluntly, his customer service was terrible, and his approval ratings were dipping. So, following the advice of his wise father-in-law, Jethro (see Exodus 18:13–27), he decided to strengthen his position by using other trusted individuals to carry some of the load for him.
I guess you could say that Moses was one of the first political figures we know of to learn the benefits of delegation. He strengthened his position among the people by giving up control and training others to work with him and for him. He fought against that two-year-old inside and in so doing served his people much more effectively.
What makes a guy a guy? It’s more than a simple matter of hormones. God has created us with drives and passions and ambitions that we can’t deny. But sometimes we have to take a step back and realize that we can’t do our job alone and still do it well. We need to do less in order to accomplish more. We need to form a team around us. We need to be a part of a larger group that accomplishes something we couldn’t do on our own. We need to relinquish control for the greater good.
Make no mistake, there’s a time and a place for little Johnny to speak up. And then there’s a time to put that little guy into a “time out.”
To Take Away
- What are some areas of life in which you feel confident handling situations by yourself?
- When have you learned that you need to relinquish control and ask other people for help?
- When you pray, ask God for the wisdom to identify the areas in which relinquishing control could make you a stronger person.