In looking at leadership I will cover a few areas. Again they are focused first on leading our own lives. Some areas I am going to cover are to some extent my adaptation of topics addressed in a leadership course I attended. They are however greatly informed and influenced by my own life experience and reflections on leadership.
Vision is often introduced as a foundational part of leadership, which it is. In Christian circles we often quote Proverbs 29:18 from the King James Version, “Where there is no vision the people perish.” However that is not the most accurate translation, and often the application being touted is the need for vision. This can easily miss the point of the verse. It isn’t about having vision, it is about having Yahweh’s vision.
18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law. Proverbs 29:18 (NKJV)
The centre column note in my bible says the word ‘revelation’ here refers to prophetic vision. I believe that is accurate. The best way to understand the scriptures is to let scripture interpret scripture. Let me illustrate. The phrase ‘cast off restraint’ or ‘perish’ in the KJV is a single Hebrew word. It is used twice in the verse below and is translated as ‘unrestrained’ and ‘not restrained.’
25 Now when Moses saw that the people were unrestrained (for Aaron had not restrained them, to their shame among their enemies), Exodus 32:25 (NKJV)
This verse comes from the golden calf incident. What is important is that the people in this incident were not unrestrained from a lack of vision. In fact they weren’t even unrestrained in the sense of a lack of focus. They were very focused, just on the wrong thing. They had a clear vision, they wanted to continue their journey and wanted a visible ‘god’ to lead them. They even held a feast to Yahweh to celebrate their golden calf. Their problem was they had a wrong vision around the how. Their vision was to have gods like they knew in Egypt and as a result 3,000 of them died. The scriptures are not clear on what happened in terms of their behaviour in ‘worship’ but the inferences are not good.
What is the conclusion we can draw? I coached basketball for a decade and during that period the concept of ‘practice makes perfect’ shifted to ‘practice makes permanent.’ I presented this in my own way and used to tell the boys that they could get really good at doing the wrong thing. We don’t just need a vision. If we are going to follow Jesus we need His vision! What vision are we presenting with our lives? What vision do we have for our lives?