Monday, July 28, 2014

Jethro's Advice

This morning I read Exodus 18.  In this passage, Jethro, the father of Moses' wife, meets Moses as he and the Israelites are traveling through.  Jethro watches Moses' leadership style and then gives him advice regarding how he can delegate the heavy responsibility he is under.
"What you are doing is not good.  You will surely wear yourself out, both you and these people with you.  For the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.  Now listen to me.  I will give you counsel, and God be with you!  You should represent the people before God, and you should bring their cases before God; teach them the statues and instructions and make known to them the way they are to go and the things they are to do.  You should also look for able men among all the people, men who fear God, are trustworthy and hate dishonest gain; set such men over them as officers over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.  Let them sit as judges for the people at all times, let them bring every important case to you, but decide every minor case themselves.  So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you.  If you do this, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people will go to their home in peace."
Moses follows Jethro's advice.  I wonder if we follow Jethro's advice; if not, why not.  What might have been Moses' alternative answers?

  • "That sounds great Jethro, but I'm the only one who can do this.  I must keep control of this."
  • "Great, except I don't want to do that.  I like what I'm doing - I find joy in all of this responsibility, and I don't want to give it up."
  • "No, thanks, Jethro.  No one else knows how to do this the right way except me."
  • "I would love to do that, Jethro, except this is a responsibility that God has laid on my shoulders.  It is my duty."
  • "Jethro, great idea, except no one would do it.  They are too busy, and if I asked them, they would say 'no.'"
  • "Jethro, who has time to do that?  I don't have time to recruit volunteers, determine their worthiness, train them correctly.  It's just easier if I do it."

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