God is calling you and me to be strong Christian leaders who make a difference in the world.  I’ve shared recently how the head of a leader is filled with wisdom and understanding. The eyes of a leader see the potential for a better future. The ears of a leader know what to listen to and what not to listen to. And the nose of a leader can smell when something is fishy.  Today, I’ll discuss the shoulders of a leader.

The shoulders of a Christian leader willingly carry the calling of God. That is called responsibility, one of the most important characteristics of leadership. Leaders must see their role as a responsibility more than a right or a privilege. Jesus Himself explained, “To whom much is given, from him much is required” (Luke 12:48, NKJV).

Certainly, with a gift comes responsibility. And with responsibility can come both joy and stress.  What often makes the difference is how we look at our responsibilities.

Too many times we focus on the negative aspects of responsibilities. Since leaders usually have many responsibilities, they often complain about being over-stressed.  While some degree of stress is healthy, we must be careful that our stress does not become distress. As a leader, it’s important not to get burdened underneath the weight of responsibilities. Instead, we should understand that God gives people responsibilities in order that they would enjoy them.  Therefore, we should see them as blessings, not as burdens.

Think about it.  It’s a blessing to have children, but any parent will admit that raising children is very stressful at times.   It’s a blessing to have a job, but the demands of work can certainly be taxing. It’s a blessing to go to college, but the classes can be very difficult.  It’s a blessing to own a house, but constantly keeping it cleaned and maintained can be stressful.  So, it’s important to keep the right perspective; never forget that those responsibilities are blessings God gives us to enjoy. 

The main key is to trust God to help you effectively carry out your responsibilities. We feel the weight of burdens when we try to carry responsibilities by ourselves. However, if we will allow God to help us, we will experience His grace and be able to enjoy the responsibilities He has given us.

Jesus offered, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest … For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28,30).  Peter proclaimed, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7, NIV).  David declared, “Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you” (Psalm 55:22, NKJV).

We have to get to the point in which we acknowledge that we cannot handle our responsibilities on our own. We must cry out to the Lord for His help; when we do so, He will sustain us, strengthen us, and help us.  But we have to admit that we need His help.  “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).

Indeed, being a leader can feel overwhelming at times. But in those times, our declaration should be like the psalmist’s: “I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2).  Let’s be thankful for the responsibilities God has given us instead of complaining about them.  In all areas of responsibility, let us be leaders who willingly and humbly carry the calling of God.

Leadership Lesson: You can enjoy the responsibilities of leadership when you allow God to help you carry them.