- “The ultimate measure of leaders’ success is not that they were always successful but that they made a difference in the lives of the people they led.” _Henry & Richard Blackaby, Spiritual Leadership, p. 276
I have the highest regard for Henry & Richard Blackaby; their books have blessed me immensely, but having said that, I still must scratch my head in puzzlement at the above quotation. I’m afraid it is a classic example of how Christian principles can sometimes become disconnected from the “real” world. That type of “Spiritual Leadership” would never fly in the corporate board room, on the assembly line, the classroom, or in the locker room…or in our homes and churches, for that matter.
“Making a difference” is not the goal.
Hitler made a difference in the lives of his people.
Kenneth Lay, president and CEO of Enron, made a difference in the lives of his people by destroying a Fortune 500 company costing thousands of employees their jobs and wiping out their retirement.
I could name some ministers of God who crashed and burned; their devastating moral failures made a difference in the lives of their people—for sure.
Just like a deadbeat dad, you can do nothing and that will make a difference in the lives of those under your care.
Though well-meaning, I’m afraid the admonishment to comfort ourselves with the fact that we are making a difference is loaded with a lot of downside.
In the parable of the talents, the man who buried his talent made a difference in the life of the Master—he robbed Him of a return on his capital! Don’t let that be you. Early on this year get settled on the fact that you’ve got something to do—something to actually achieve, produce, and follow through on.
Hearing Jesus say, “Well done good and faithful servant” will require more than faithfully stirring the air by breathing; it will require bringing with you a return on the investment He has made in you.
Years ago, in some boardroom somewhere, officers of Nike Corp. were sitting around trying to come up with a slogan to describe their products and company. Somehow I think things would have went a lot different for this company if they had rejected “Just Do It” and instead had went with “Just Make a Difference.”
And the same is true for you and me.
The ONE THING for today: “2015: Just Do It.”
Romans 12:11 (NKJV)
not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord…