Boundaries of a Caring Leader
So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. — John 10:7-10
Sometimes we have this image of Jesus as a gentle and weak man, but when we read the Gospel of John, we see two sides of him. Yes, he's welcoming to the lost, confused, broken, and desperate, but he's also a bold, protective, and challenging spiritual leader. This theme continues in this metaphorical story. Jesus cares deeply for his sheep and protects them from outsiders. And that's a great model for us as men. We should be caring for our flock and guarding them against those who might harm them.
Now, let's bring this message into our present reality. Recently, companies like the LA Dodgers and Target have made marketing decisions that some people find concerning. Look, they have the freedom to do whatever they want. They can support ideas that we might see as demonic or satanic. But here's the thing: they're not going to get my support. This isn't about "economic terrorism" or anything like that. It's simply me being protective of the people I care for, the people I consider my flock. As men and spiritual leaders, it's our responsibility to set boundaries around the ones we love and guide.
So, fellas, I hope this stirs something inside you, urging you to step up even more as spiritual leaders. And remember, part of being a spiritual leader is establishing boundaries. We can't just let the people under our care roam free without any guidance. That wouldn't be caring at all. These boundaries work in two ways. First, there's a fence that separates insiders from outsiders, and we all live within this boundary. Secondly, there's a gate, and that gate is Jesus himself. He says, "I am the gate," meaning he is the access point. It's like the shepherds of old who would sleep in the gateway of their sheep pens to keep thieves out and protect the flock. That's the level of care and protection we should strive for as spiritual leaders.
Given the times we're living in, we need to be even more caring and protective. It's our duty to guide and guard our loved ones. So let's embrace this role of spiritual leadership, setting boundaries and following the example of Jesus, who is the gate.
- How can I actively demonstrate both the welcoming and protective sides of spiritual leadership in my relationships with others?
- In what areas of my life do I need to establish clearer boundaries to protect myself and those under my care?
DO THIS: Care and protect your flock.
PRAY THIS: God, guide me as I seek to be a spiritual leader. Grant me wisdom to set boundaries and protect those in my care. In Jesus's name, amen.
PLAY THIS: Protector.
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