Wednesday Devotion: Leading with Flexibility

Flexibility in Leadership, by Laura Masoner
Isaiah 64:8
Yet you, Lord, are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
Have you ever offered a recommendation that was met with the response “because that’s the way we’ve always done it”?  Have you ever met a suggestion with that same response?  If so, read on.
What does it mean to be flexible, and is it biblical?  We cannot be adaptable or flexible when it comes to morality, this is the one area about which there can be no compromise.  This type of flexibility will usher us straight into sin.  Biblical flexibility, however, is about changing our methods not our morals.  It is having a teachable spirit, a willingness to be instructed, and a readiness to act.  
A one size fits all approach cannot apply to every person or to every situation.  Our adaptability and willingness to allow ourselves to be molded by the master craftsman and to think out of the box yields for us delight in the Lord.  Being flexible and stepping out of our comfort zone challenges us, bends our will, and grows our faith.  The apostle Paul understood this when he wrote, “Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.“-1Corinth 9:19-23
Flexibility was how God used Paul to meet people where they were and present the good news.  Thousands were saved because of Paul’s willingness to submit himself to God’s will, be adaptable in each situation, and to relate personally to the people around him. Christ Himself used different methods to accomplish His goals when He walked on this earth.  For example, He healed by touch, by His word, in person, and from afar.  The truth is that bending to God’s will is not only about what He wants us to do, it is also about how He would have us do it.
In a leadership role, we have to let go of our will and learn to allow those around us to contribute.  Failure to do so results in a stubborn spirit.  Refusing to follow reason and logic or to be dismissive when hearing a differing opinion can cause others to stop participating, withdrawal, or even feel bullied into following our leadership.  To lead, we have to learn how to follow, and demanding our own way, always expecting others to follow our plans is not true servant leadership.  We have to ask ourselves, are we looking for our own glory and allowing our pride to lead us, or do we want the glory for God?  Arduousness, stubbornness, self-Importance, and pride are all fruits of inflexibility.
Pray for a willing spirit, a servant heart, and an open ear.  Look for opportunities to allow those around us to contribute and realize the fruits of their contributions.

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