Leadership & Self-Deception, A Jesus Perspective

As I listened to today’s Gospel reading at church, it occurred to me that no one has better described being “out of the box” in our conflict and relationship with others than Jesus. As I reflect on the significance of Leadership & Self-Deception, I think that the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount effectively describe what the authors mean by being “out of the box” in our relationships. It means that we take responsibility for our own behavior and feelings in our relationships, and we feel and act “out of the box” when others are still in theirs. Listen to the words of Jesus from Matthew 5 paraphrased by Eugene Peterson:

38-42“Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.

43-47“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

48“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”

Grow up. That’s another way of saying: get out of the box. Live generously. When you live out of the box, others will get out of their box too with you. I think that is the wisdom of Jesus, and the way the best leaders lead.

5 Responses to “Leadership & Self-Deception, A Jesus Perspective”
  1. John says:

    Hi Todd

    Why don’t you write a fairly lengthy essay on the leadership style of Jesus. That is one of my interest areas. I sometimes say that you can learn what you can through a MBA, or you can study the life and teaching of Jesus. Nothing wrong with doing both, but I believe that a lot of the things taught on leadership can be traced to the life and teaching of Jesus.

    I would love to read your thoughts on that subject.


  2. toddbouldin says:

    John, you’re great for suggesting this, and I obviously am interested. I try to infuse Jesus values throughout my leadership writings, even when it is not explicit. For example, I encourage you to read the whole series on my blog on Leadership & Self-deception which includes many underlying themes such as sin, brokenness and forgiveness.

    I’ll consider an upcoming set of entries on the leadership of Jesus. There has been significant work in that area already by John Maxwell and in the book Jesus CEO too. I’m always a bit hesitant because I’m not too sure that I want to equate Jesus with leadership understood as position or power, which is contrary to most everything about the nature of Jesus’ leadership. I do believe that his leadership style and values are in line with the rules of the universe and life, and therefore they always are applicable.

    I’ll think on this some and see what bites. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. Thanks for blogging and i enjoy the weblog posting so no public comments.,,,,,,,,,,,

  4. website says:

    Im having a little problem. I cant get my reader to pick-up your rss feed, Im using yahoo reader by the way.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. Christopher Wilson says:

    Christopher Wilson…

    […]v Wonderful post, thanks! Maybe you could do a follow up post about this? 10- wv[…]…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: