Give a shepherd’s care to God’s flock among you, exercising oversight not merely as a duty but willingly under God’s direction, not for shameful profit but eagerly. And do not lord it over those entrusted to you, but be examples to the flock. [1Peter 5:2-3 ISV]
I have a memory of a pastor who, when I was young, told me that my job as a leader was to submit to his leadership. To the damage of my soul I said yes thinking that it was my responsibility to follow his leadership. I so want to point the finger at people like him who have lorded it over me. And yet.
I have learned that such people, those who demand loyalty, are the ones who least deserve it. Those who have earned it are the ones that, as Peter put it, give a shepherd's care to God’s flock. In truth, we all lead by influence. And the best way to lead is to influence by genuine love and care.
Lord, I pray for those who have been called to lead. Help them to be divine examples to your flock.
... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the epistles of Peter.