Read Luke 20
Focus on verse 46-47
People aspire to lead for many different reasons. Some are honorable reasons, others, not so honorable. It usually does not take too long for the motivation to become evident in the manner by which people lead. Those who aspire to lead for honorable reasons tend to be leaders who add value to whatever organization they lead. Those whose motivations are not so honorable tend to use the organization they lead to add value to themselves. It is not uncommon for leaders to enter into leadership initially driven by honorable motives, to find they are compromising these values as they gain influence and power.
In today’s reading Jesus warns His followers to be wary of the religious leaders who attempted to appear to be honorable, but who inwardly were self-seeking.
Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation. (v. 46-47)
Very few prominent leaders have succeeded in walking this narrow, often lonely, road of wise and honorable leadership, while the examples of leaders who have succumbed to the lure of the unbridled abuse of power are sprinkled liberally throughout human history. I believe it takes a combination of a firm reliance on the grace of God along with the honest accountability of a trustworthy friend or two for a leader to consistently resist the temptation to abuse power once they have acquired it.
It is typically not difficult to identify leaders whose motivation is less than honorable, as they typically leave a trail human carnage in their wake. On the other hand a leader with honorable motivation leaves a legacy of adding value primarily to the people they lead. If you have ever had the opportunity to serve under such a leader, you will understand, as you can readily identify how that leader’s influence in your life has caused you to become a stronger and more honorable person.
Beware of the leaders who love the attention they get just because they are leaders. They are the ones who will use you to advance themselves and when you are no longer of use to them they sell you off like a used car for whatever they can get.
When dishonorable leaders assume power, everyone under them suffers. When honorable leaders lead, everybody wins!