In my book Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter I talk about a man named Baruch. You can check out his story in Jeremiah 45 (it’s just five verses long).
Baruch was a faithful scribe and friend to Jeremiah. Not only did he transcribe all of Jeremiah’s dictation (twice!), but he also read all of Jeremiah’s words at the temple when the prophet was under house arrest. By identifying with Jeremiah, Baruch became the target of the false prophets’ vitriol.
Perhaps Baruch had big plans for his life, but those plans seemed thwarted because he was obedient to Jeremiah and to God. He was having a bit of a pity party which seemed to stem from his unrealized plans for himself.
I love the juxtaposition between two phrases in this chapter:
- “You [Baruch] have said…” (v. 3)
- “The Lord says…” (v. 4)
Baruch said, “My plans are failed.” God said, “My plans always prevail.”
Baruch said, “I’m done for.” God said, “Wherever you go, you will live.”
I have to stop listening to me. When I listen to me, my thwarted plans bring about a pity party. I have to keep listening to God. When I do, He brings life wherever He sends me.
I believe that shepherd leaders can learn a valuable lesson from Baruch’s life. In fact, in my book I talk about a time that God and my wife had to deal with me about my own pity party.
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