The Gift of Leadership


As I have crafted and written this book it has been a challenge and a joy to write. Looking at the life of someone as world renowned as Jesus is humbling and empowering at the same time. Seeing the situations He faced and then observing how He chose to work with people was enlightening.

I am thrilled to say the release date is February1, 2021.

I will be offering some 'leadership development bundles' in the next few Blogs. Feel free to contact me at the email below.


In the meantime, here is an excerpt to enjoy.


From Part 4, Risk Management; Chapter 15: Dinner With Scum.

"Then Jesus went out to the lakeshore again and taught the crowds that were coming

to him. As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector’s

booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Levi got up and

followed him.

Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along

with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people

of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) But when the teachers of religious law who

were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his

disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?”

When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—

sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those

who know they are sinners.”

(Mark 2:13–17)15

"JESUS HAD JUST finished teaching by the lakeshore again and as He

walked along, He saw Matthew at his tax collection booth. Matthew

scowled as he counted his collection for the day. Would there ever be

enough? Tomorrow he would up his prices.

Jesus passed nonchalantly, turned to Matthew, raised His hand in

the air, and said, “Follow me and be my disciple” (Mark 2:14). It was

a clear and simple invitation. No fanfare, no convincing, no arguing.

Matthew simply got up and followed Jesus.

Just as casually and calmly, with a shrug of his shoulders, Matthew

invited Jesus and His disciples to a banquet at his place. The dinner

guests were other tax collectors and several notorious sinners.

Some Pharisees also followed as Jesus and His disciples headed

towards Matthew’s place. They questioned, “Why does he eat with such

scum?” (Mark 2:16). The Pharisees’ view of people didn’t reflect the way

Jesus saw those who needed Him. When Jesus heard that question, His

response was that He hadn’t come for the healthy; He’d come for the

sinners, not those who thought they were already good enough.

The phrase “good enough” intrigues me. What does it mean to

consider myself good enough and why would it include the sick and

sinners?

Many times as I sat in board meetings, controversial topics were

put on the table. I’d sense some kind of clarity around the topic in my

mind and then think, Who do you think you are to put that thought on

the table? You simply aren’t good enough. I came to understand that when

the focus of a thought becomes all about me rather than about the issue

at hand, determining whether it’s “good enough” becomes a matter of

pride. In other words, Jesus once again was hitting at the Pharisees’

prideful ways.

In Matthew’s account of this story, Jesus challenged the Pharisees

to figure this out. He wanted them to show mercy rather than demand

sacrifices. He reiterated that He hadn’t come to call the ones who already

thought they were righteous, but rather those who knew they were

sinners.

Jesus didn’t call Matthew to the church. He called Him to a personal

relationship with Himself, and that relationship shook and transformed

Matthew’s life and those he lived and worked with.

Growing up in a small town, my parents were well known for their

hospitality. It spilled from their hearts, through our home and out into

the streets. I remember one Sunday in particular. After the final “Amen”

had been said at church, everyone gathered their belonging. The sounds

of chatter began to rise.

Dad was ushering that day and had moved to the back of the

sanctuary to make sure everyone had what they needed as they left. I

always kept track of where he was, since he had handled some interesting

situations at times.

I saw him stop and lean into the last pew. I couldn’t see anyone

there, yet as I got closer to Dad I noticed a rather foul odour. I pressed

into him and he motioned for me to go out to the foyer. That’s where

I found Mom, who asked where Dad was. I pointed around into the

sanctuary and she slipped over in that direction.

Mom and Dad spoke to each other for a little while, and then Mom

came over and indicated that she and I would head home.

“Where’s Dad?” I asked, bouncing up and down. “Aren’t we waiting

for him?”

She just took my hand and said that he had someone to look after.

Later that night as I was all snuggled up in bed, Mom and Dad

came in to say goodnight and pray. That’s when Dad explained that he

had brought someone home who didn’t have a home and needed some

food and a bed for the night. He explained that this new friend of his

would be late for breakfast and needed to get to the bus depot in the

morning for a ride back to Calgary.

Half-asleep already, I reached up to give Dad a kiss. “See you in the

morning,” I said before turning over and diving deep under the cozy

covers.

Over the years, I heard this story and many similar ones about the

times my parents reached out to meet the needs of those less fortunate.

In this case, the man needed food, a bed, and a ticket to get back to his

family.

At times in our lives, my husband Brian and I have done the same

thing, and later we watched our adult children do it too. I wasn’t taught

to gauge how we’d be taken out of our comfort zones for reaching out

and helping others. I simply saw it lived out. I also read stories like this

one in the Bible and came to understand that this is what it means to

love Jesus and love others as myself.

It’s not without risk, but it’s also not without wisdom and love.


See also Matthew 9:9–13 and Luke 5:27–32.


KALEIDOSCOPE REFLECTIONS

1. Generally speaking, how would you describe the guests you most

commonly have in your home?

2. When was the last time you had someone over who was outside your

comfort zone, someone who perhaps believed differently or appeared

to be lesser-than?

3. How do Matthew’s actions align with the concept of loving your

neighbour as yourself?

4. What are some risks of exercising hospitality in today’s culture?

5. Brainstorm some ways in which you can express hospitality to those

who aren’t normally in your circle of influence.

6. Why do you think Jesus put those who think they’re already good

enough in the same category as the sick and the sinners?

7. Have you ever felt like you were “good enough”? Did this cause you

to be a better servant or a lesser servant? How did it change the way

you behave or think?


What a challenge as we enter a season of hospitality - Christmas. May your hearts and homes be filled with grace and goodness this Christmas Season.


For further information:


Ruth@InspiredtoLead.ca


WWW.RuthEsau.ca



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