Leading is not telling

Share this!


He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His Name Sake” (Psalm 23:3).


Whether we are already a leader or want to be one, the task before us includes leading those under our care.


Psalm 23:3 gives us direction as to just how the guidance takes place.


Look at the pathway cut into the mountainside by years of grazing. 




If you look closely, you will see that these tracks have actually cut a rut into grassland. 


Shepherds have been leading their sheep along these same paths for generations. 


The path of righteousness is one well-worn and much traveled. (Hebrews 12:1)


As a leader, we intentionally think through the pathways that we want those we influence to either walk or avoid. 


But, just telling them about the trail isn’t nearly as effective as leading the way. 


Do we stress truthfulness with their mentees, while we ourselves deceive our boss?


Do we scold our children for talking back to us, while we resist the authority God has put into place in our lives? 


Do we tire of hearing others whine, while all along we are bitterly complaining about our own situation? 


Are we surprised when we have no influence over others?


Maybe the problem is not who they are, but who we are.


We have authority only in the areas in which we are submissive.


Leading others in a pathway of right living means we have become a good follower ourselves.


And once again, we find this Hebrew verb “nachah” (guides – Psalm 23:3) to be in the unfinished and imperfect aspect; it needs frequent repetition. We cannot just point to the path and expect others to get into it.


We must continue to guide as we ourselves continue to be led.


I’m praying for you today – praying that you will see the relationship between what you submit to Him and how others submit to you. 


May you know the pathway well, so as to introduce it to those coming behind you.