God had a rather simple message for Ezekiel, “The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, speak to your people’” (Ezekiel 33:1–2).
I find that pronoun “your“ intriguing because you would think that God would say, “My people.” They are indeed God’s people, but God had set Ezekiel apart as His watchman (vv. 7–20), so Ezekiel had to take personal responsibility for the people. They were to be treated and spoken to as though they were indeed his people.
This idea of responsibility gets a little tricky for some leaders because, with the responsibility to their people, they usually feel they are accountable to their people as well.
But in the next few verses, God makes it clear that Ezekiel must be accountable to God alone.
Responsible to his people. Accountable to his God.
Notice that when Jesus spoke pleasing words to people, everyone spoke well of Him. But when He pointed out to them the words of God they were ignoring, they were ready to kill Him.
People are fickle—they sing praises when they hear those words they like, and they are ready to attack the messenger when the words are upsetting.
A mark of a godly leader is one who has a clear understanding of his responsibility and his accountability.
When you are God’s leader, He will entrust people to your care and He will entrust His message for those people to you. You are now responsible to deliver His message to your people. You are then accountable to God alone for delivering His message. Be responsible to people, accountable to God, and be careful not to mix the two.
This is part 66 in my series on godly leadership. You can check out all of my posts in this series by clicking here.
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