December 26, 2007
Are You My Leader?
by Meghan Kleppinger, Editor, Christianity.com
In the classic children's story Are You My Mother, a baby bird falls from his nest and spends the remainder of the book approaching various animals, from dogs to cows, asking if any of them are his mother.
When asking the cow, her response is: "How could I be your mother? I am a cow."
Yes, this story about birds, cows, dogs, and so forth reminds me of human nature. By design, we humans desire someone who will step up and tell us what to do. We want someone to say “Don’t worry, I have things under control.” We crave leadership!
Children often look to athletes ...
Teens look to celebrities ...
Adults look to political and spiritual leaders.
Unfortunately, and only too often, there is news about an athlete abusing and killing animals, a celebrity heavily involved in alcohol and illegal drugs, or a political leader using power for unscrupulous gain. Even more unfortunate, our Christian leaders aren't immune from earthly temptations and failings.
It's enough for us to cry out like that little birdie, "I want my mother!"
In a fallen world, humans will make mistakes, and leaders will fall. We all fall. It's not wrong to have role models and people to look to for leadership. I'm sure that bird learned a lot of interesting things in his travels, but he was not going to learn how to be bird from a cow, a dog, or a cat.
Don't get me wrong. I'll be the first to admit that much of my spiritual growth has come under the mentorship of godly leaders, and that's a good thing. Paul was used as an example of Christ-likeness throughout scripture (2 Thessalonians 3:7; Philippians 3:17) to). We, too, are called to be examples (Titus 2:7; 1 Timothy 2:12).
God uses leaders to point to Him, but we must never forget that they are not Him. He sent a Perfect Example to earth, not only to die for us, but to show us how to live for Him. We learn best to be like Christ from Christ himself.
"For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps." (1 Peter 2:21)