Wednesday, August 9, 2017

leading by accepting guilt

O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens.
Ezra 9:6

Ezra prays this prayer of repentance on behalf of the people he is leading. He was not personally guilty of the sins he was confessing in that he did not intermarry with gentiles in violation of the covenant. Yet as a leader, he assumes responsibility for the wrong within the remnant in Jerusalem. He feels the guilt for those he leads, and so he prays this prayer of confession and repentance.

Good leaders acknowledge where things aren't going well. Great leaders will confess the wrong they find within their organization, taking full responsibility for it and leading in the hard work of necessary change. This is exactly what made Ezra a great leader. He humbly repented before God for the wrongs in Jerusalem among the returned remnant. He leads the people in repentance and change before God. He accepts the shame of the sin and leads the people to change, turning from sin and back to God.

I see in Ezra one of the hardest parts of leadership. And I humbly ask that You help me to lead in this way... quick to confess sin, to repent of it and to return to Your grace, truth, and love.

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