The young man was frustrated. He truly sought to serve his team as a leader.  His wisdom had been gained from surviving some of the toughest mental and emotional testing known to man.  It had been refined in the crucible of war.  When he spoke, men listened.  Their very lives depended on it.  His motives were pure:  To complete the mission and to save lives, making sure these men came home to their families. They all did. 

Now it was a different time and a different “team”.   He was leading from a place of influence not position and what he knew was not only not being maximized, in some cases it was being marginalized.  He was frustrated and it was warranted.  He needed to learn a hard truth and I felt woefully unqualified to be the teacher in that moment. 

Then the real Teacher showed up.

Matthew 7:6 says:

“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”

The world is full of men who could explain this verse better but in this moment this was the verse I was given and it was mine to use to comfort. 

Inside the Jewish society dogs were not pets.  They were the lowest of the low and pigs were even worse.  A dog would turn on you and a pig rolled around in its own excrement, seeing no difference between a priceless pearl or a valueless pebble.  Neither could be trusted with your best.  They would never see the value of your “contribution”.

You may see where I am headed here.

As leaders many times we seek to have our leadership validated by those we have been called to lead.  We seek the “atta boy”, the recognition of our “value”.  We want our “pearls of wisdom” to be absorbed, acted on and even repeated back to us. It says our leadership is being recognized. 

This desire is dangerous for leaders.  If we don’t receive this validation many times we begin to question the role God has assigned us. Stay in this place too long and it will affect your ability to lead well.          

My advice?  Stop. Don’t allow those who do not see your value and do not understand your calling to determine your worth or effectiveness as a leader. 

Only God can truly validate you and He knows exactly what you are worth because he paid the price.                Kevin Anderson-General Manager 94 FM The Fish Nashville                                          

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