We begin a “New Year,” but it sure feels like a continuation of last year. The worldwide response to the “coronavirus” has varied from country to country since it first appeared in Wuhan, China in December 2019. In the United States, a fierce struggle has emerged between those insisting their rights are being infringed upon by restrictions and vaccines mandates; while others justify these actions in the name of “public health.” Companies that were counting on their workers coming back into the office have instead had to extend tele-work and remote working. Schools have started to close again; travel restriction and mandatory mask policies are going back into place. In communities throughout the country, people are finally heeding the warning to get vaccinated; yet others continue to resist.
We have seen increases in road rage, domestic violence, mental health crisis, and substance abuse. It has become common to hear of violent attacks and shootings in places previously consider “safe,” like our schools, malls, and churches. There are no shortages of opinion, for or against, proposed medical and public health strategies, actions or policies implemented by government or businesses. Some argue the rise in aggressive and violent behaviors is a result of the stress caused by the pandemic; others argue that hatred has always existed but has been emboldened.” As Oswald Chambers (2015) said:
“Christians presume they would rise to the occasion
if a spiritual battle confronted them, but most would fail. It is not the crisis that builds something within us – it simply reveals what we are made of already.”
I don’t know about you, but it feels like there is a leadership vacuum, a lack of focus and vision, and a loss of civility. Today, our dedication, strength, and resilience are being tested, but these times aren’t “unprecedented” or “historic.” These terms, used so frequently by “experts” and “other pundits,” that they’ve lost their meaning. It’s like the ads on television or newspaper announcing the “biggest,” “best” or “unprecedented” sale of the year; at least until the next “biggest sale ever.” Let’s be clear, things are pretty dismal right now, but we’ve seen tough times before. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 tells us:
“We have troubles all around us, but we are not defeated. We often don’t know what to do, but we don’t give up. We are persecuted, but God does not leave us. We are hurt sometimes, but we are not destroyed.”
As bad as these times may seem, we shouldn’t lose sight of God’s love and faithfulness (Deuteronomy 7:9, ESV). Think about the things we’ve faced and overcome:
- When threatened by the Philistine army, deliverance came as a young shepherd with a slingshot (1 Samuel 17:37, ERV).
- When serving estimated 350 – 420 years of enslavement, Moses delivered freedom (Exodus, 3:10, NIV), and of course
- He sent His only son to save us all (John 3:16, NTE).
We’re not David or Moses; but we can lead like Jesus. As leaders, we can inspire others by translating “faithfulness” into “consistency.” The Power of Consistency (Leader’s Edge, Sep. 2020) tells us:
“A leader must be predictable, as consistency and predictability are positive traits that provide stability for the organization. Most work environments are very dynamic, involving a virtual whirlwind of change, and the leader must provide stability “anchors” wherever possible.”
The article suggests that consistent leadership requires the ability to:
- Monitor yourself.
- Focus on critical areas.
- Communicate clear expectations.
- Explain your reasons.
- Encourage open communication, and schedule regular check-ins.
- Plan dates for reviews well in advance.
- Maintain the message.
- Celebrate success.
I’d like you to do something for me, call it the “Consistency Challenge”. Checkout the Lead Like Jesus Blog, you’ll find “consistency” embedded in every article. You might not find the word, but I’m sure the concept is there. How can I be so sure? Easy, because Jesus is consistent. He models each of these strategies, especially training His disciples. In fact, Hebrews 13:8 says:
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
Here’s a little trivia to end things. There are the more than sixty-four translations of the Bible, not only is Jesus described as consistent, but the same exact words are used to describe Him. If you grab your calculator, that equals 81.25%. How’s that for consistency?
Challenge: Whenever you find the pandemic, or any situation weighing on your mind. Remember, that you’ve been there before. Yes, things may look bad but remember that “weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:5). In the morning remind yourself, like the song say, “I’m still standing.”