In my book Shepherd Leadership, I take five chapters to unpack the lessons we can learn from the health of Jesus. Yes, Jesus was mentally, physically, spiritually, and relationally healthy.
On the 200churches podcast with Jeff Keady we talked about a chapter in my book called “The Pinnacle of a Shepherd’s Health.” In that chapter I wrote—
The phrase Dr. Luke uses about Christ’s growth is, “Jesus grew in favor with men” [Luke 2:52]. People liked having Jesus around. The word Luke uses for favor is from the same root word that is also translated “grace.” Jesus was a graceful Man. Or we could say that He was a Man so full of grace that when He was jostled, only grace spilled out of Him.
What does it mean when someone is graceful? It means they are pleasant to be around. It means you feel safe around them, knowing they will never belittle you or put you down. It means that their focus is on your agenda, not their own agenda. It means they are a “there you are!” person, not a “here I am!” person. The bottom line: grace-full people are full of grace for others.
The way we react as leaders says more about our health than our planned actions do. Once again, let me share with you a passage from Shepherd Leadership—
Let’s return to our perfect example in Jesus. He was treated rudely and spoken to condescendingly, even by people who should have been His allies. Then there were those on a constant mission to try to trip Him up or get Him to say or do something that would have undermined His credibility. Yet Jesus never spoke inappropriately nor acted childishly. Jesus never had to say, “My bad, I misspoke there,” or “Sorry, I shouldn’t have done that.”
We can make all of our plans to behave in loving ways toward the sheep under our care, but what happens when the sheep ignore us, bite us, or leave us? As boxer Mike Tyson noted, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Surely the best indication of our overall healthiness and servant-like attitude is not so much our actions but our reactions.
If your reactions are less than what you would like them to be, I believe you will find a lot of excellent content in my book that can help you.
If you want to catch up on some of the other clips I’ve already shared from this interview, you can find them here, and I’ll be sharing more clips from this 200churches interview soon, so please stay tuned. Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter is available in print or ebook, and in audiobook through either Audible or Apple.
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