Life-Giving Leadership: A Life-Giving Clarity
by Karen Hodge, Guest Writer
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor? Or who has given a gift to Him that He might be repaid? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen -Romans 11:33-36
When our children were little we let them make a list of all the places they would love to visit should the Lord allow. It was a big list and we lived on a small pastor’s salary. Providentially, the Lord has actually allowed them to travel to some of the grand and far off places on their lists. They have been to the Holy Land, England, Alaska, the Grand Canyon, and even Disney World. All of these places grew their understanding of God and revealed a different dimension of His glory.
We become what we behold. Women are products of their doxology. The etymology of the word comes from “dox” meaning glory and “ology” meaning to study. It is our chief end to glorify and enjoy Him. To worship Him in all His glory and grow in our doxology. The etymology of the word “worship” finds its root in the two words “worth” and “shape”. In other words, what we hold as worthy, what captivates us, or we treasure profoundly shapes everything about our lives. It impacts all our decisions, attitudes, and actions.
Life-taking leadership is myopic. Life-giving leadership is comprehensive. Paul who helped train the early church fathers had a rich doxology. He brings clarity to the bigger picture of who God is and who we are in relation to Him. Paul climbs the great theological mountain of Romans 1-11 and reaches the top and his first word showcases his doxology- “Oh!” He is overwhelmed by the depth of God’s wisdom and knowledge. He sees it as stockpiles of His grace to us. He praises the God who knows everything and everyone. God is the One who knows exactly what we need and what we do not need. We can rest because our Father knows!
Paul then asks us a bunch of rhetorical questions. “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to Him that He might be repaid?” Of course, the answer to all of these questions is a resounding NO ONE! You see when our doxology grows the corollary growth is a recognition of our depravity. The more we see our Savior, the more we see our sin and our need for a Savior. Instead of seeing the bigger God-sized picture, we are tempted to shrink things to a man-centered view. We try to figure out His thinking. We are tempted to counsel Him as to the best plan for our lives. Then when we are truly aware of our desperate need we try to repay God for everything. The last line of Chapter Eleven brings crystal clarity. He brings cohesion to life and answers every question or concern we might have. Where will I find the answers, strength, or time? It is from Him. How is everything going to work out? It will be through Him. Where do we direct the glory when it does? It will be to Him. Amen, may it be so!
Lord, when everything seems to be coming apart at the seams, You bring cohesion. When questions swirl in my mind You bring wisdom and clarity. When I try to trace out Your path for my life, You remind me of Your sovereignty. When I try to pay You back, You graciously remind me You paid it all on the cross.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karen Hodge serves as the Women’s Ministry Coordinator for the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America). Her joy is to connect women and churches to one another and to sound resources. She is also having the time of her life serving alongside her husband Chris Hodge, Senior Pastor at Naperville Presbyterian Church in Naperville, IL. She is the mother to two adult children Anna Grace Botka and Haddon. It is from the perspective of a wife, mother, leader, and fellow pilgrim that she hopes to bring the hope of the gospel to the hearts of women. Karen, along with Susan Hunt, authored Transformed: Life-taker to Life-giver and Life-giving Leadership.
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