‘It is because of what Adonai did for me when I left Egypt.’
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
Saturday April 12, 2014
Mostly we think of people with great authority as higher up, far away,
hard to reach.
But spiritual authority comes from compassion
and emerges from deep inner solidarity
with those who are "subject" to authority.
The one who is fully like us, who deeply understands our joys and pains
or hopes and desires,
and who is willing and able to walk with us, that is the one to whom we gladly give authority
and whose "subjects" we are willing to be.
It is the compassionate authority that empowers, encourages,
calls forth hidden gifts,
and enables great things to happen.
True spiritual authorities are located in the point of
an upside-down triangle,
supporting and holding into the light everyone they offer
their leadership to.
Spiritual leadership is the leadership of the Good Shepherd.
As Jesus says, good shepherds know their sheep, and their sheep know them (see John 10:14).
There must be a true mutuality between shepherds and their sheep. Good leaders know their own, and their own know them. Between them is mutual trust, mutual openness, mutual care, and mutual love. To follow our leaders we cannot be afraid of them, and to lead our followers we need their encouragement and support.
Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd to show the great intimacy that must exist between leaders and those entrusted to them.
Without such intimacy, leadership easily becomes oppressive.