Leadership

The Proverbial Fool and the Importance of Avoiding Him

Scripture is clear—Proverbs in particular—that there are such things as fools and these individuals are nothing but trouble. We shouldn’t be in their company more than necessary—much less, put important responsibilities in their hands.

Though the English word “fool” appears 60 to 65 times in most English versions of Proverbs, the book doesn’t offer a concise definition. That leaves us with some ambiguity. How many of the traits of fools does someone have to have to be rightly classified as a fool? Are we supposed to take the qualities of fools only as way to gauge the degree of foolishness?

Though we’re all foolish at times, the fool is consistently spoken of in Proverbs as belonging to a distinct category. There may be degrees of severity, but either someone is a fool, or he isn’t.

It’s probably best to approach the question of who’s a fool sort of like a disease: how many symptoms do you have to have in order to be diagnosed as having, say, rabies? Though I’m often a little photo-phobic, cranky, and confused, the probability remains low that I’m rabid. On the other hand, if somebody has six of the usual symptoms of rabies but is not oversensitive to light, probability remains high that they’re infected.

The more symptoms, the more confident the diagnosis, and you don’t need all of them to be pronounced a fool.

A high-level summary of Proverbs’ take on fools:

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How to Lead in a World of Distraction: An Interview with Clay Scroggins

"What are the three villains of leadership?.... To put them simply they’re the appearance of success, the allure of progress, and the attraction of certainty. Everyone experiences these things, whether they’re in a position of leadership or not, and they have the ability to really keep us from moving forward in our lives." - Bible Gateway

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The Comparison Trap

By Daryl Neipp

In his book Satisfied, Jeff Manion describes a fictional interaction to which we can all relate. It’s a warm evening. A dad calls to his son, who is playing in the backyard, “Would you like some ice cream?” The son bounds into the house, where he finds a large scoop of ice cream in his bowl, and life is good (especially if it is mint chocolate chip).

However, what if there are two boys? The dad calls them both in from playing. What if they find their ice cream but the scoop distribution is not exactly equitable? It wouldn’t be long until the dad heard, “That’s NOT fair!” from one of the boys.

We can conclude that the issue would have nothing to do with what one boy received; rather, it would have everything to do with what the other received. This is how comparisons work: we look at what someone else has, then become discontent with what we have. While this little story is something we can all smile about, the problem of comparison is not something we simply outgrow. Well into adulthood we carry this tendency to always search for the greener grass, which can be particularly harmful within ministry contexts.

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Why Leader’s Time Management Skills Depend on Large Blocks of Time

"Meetings, emergencies, and time with people are a given. But what about preparing messages, planning ahead, and crafting direction? Some leaders have excellent time management skills because they set large blocks of time for that work while others attempt to 'squeeze that work in' to their busy schedules." - Church Leaders

330 reads

Life Lessons for Leaders: Echoes from History

Cyrus the Great. 18th Century Tapestry.

Leadership, especially in our Lord’s vineyard, is a challenging call. The same is true of Christian leaders who serve in society, secular work, government work, the military, etc. At first glance, leadership looks like it would be fun. You speak, people do things. The reality is much different. God-honoring leadership is servant-minded influence, empowered by the Holy Spirit, where the leader encourages those who serve with him toward the completion of a unified goal—a goal typically broken up into smaller strategic and then tactical objectives. Biblical Leadership demands that the journey towards completing the goal is just as important (maybe even more important) than the completion of the goal itself.

So much of what Jesus tells us in the Gospels impacts a healthy view of leadership. On top of the red-ink sections of the Gospels, we have equally inspired teachings from the Old and New Testament. Powerful applications can be made for leaders from Moses, Daniel, King David, Noah, Joseph, Deborah, Rahab, and more. As we transition into the New Testament we learn much about leadership from the likes of John the Baptist, Peter, the Apostle Paul, the Apostle Barnabas (my favorite leader in the early church), Epaphroditus, Aquilla, and Priscilla (to name just a few).

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