Sometimes we, as leaders, have unrealistic expectations of those placed under our charge. Our propensity to live by the motto, “Do as I say, not as I do!,” is unacceptable if we truly intend to help them to navigate through the insurmountable circumstances of life. In other words, we cannot expect them to do anything that we, ourselves, would not be willing to do.
This lesson is taught to us in the Book of Leviticus, wherein God is instructing Moses on how Aaron is to prepare for the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) (Lev. 16). Aaron was responsible for, first, bringing…
“…the bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make an atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself: And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the Lord, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the veil: And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony (the Ark), that he die not…” (vv. 11-13).
After Aaron presented the sin offering for himself, then, he was instructed to present the sin offering for the people.
How would it have looked if Aaron only presented an atoning sacrifice for the people without, first, presenting a sin offering for himself? Was the Levitical priesthood without sin and above reproach? The answer to this question is found previously in chapter 10, wherein Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, were killed by the “fire from the Lord” for violating the sacred order of the things of God (vv.1,2). Therefore, we are to understand from this example that leaders are just as capable of falling into error as well.
The point being made here is this: whatever God is instructing the leader to present to the people must, first, be applied to the life of the leader before he or she can present it to the people. We must never fall into the error of thinking, and subsequently believing, that we are above the law. The people who have been placed under our charge must know and understand that their leaders can identify with and relate to them on every level and are “…subject to like passions…” (Jam. 5:17).
Lead by example…or else we may turn around and discover that we are not leading any one at all…#thinkonthesethings