Have you ever thought about how suffering is a leadership gift? Meaning, if you suffer without leading yourself through it, you may not suffer well. When a person is suffering, they must know how to lead themselves through it or become victims of their suffering.
Sometimes folks expect others to do the primary leading. You may hear them talk critically about how someone did not come through for them when they suffered. They are probably correct, but the issue at hand has needed more in-depth insight.
If the only focus is on what others did wrong through your suffering, you will take on a victim’s role, which will blind you to your responsibility before God during trying seasons. Here are three illustrations of what suffering and leadership look like in the life of Christ:
Jesus suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane (persecution)
Jesus suffering at the death of Lazarus, His friend (grief)
Jesus suffering when the rich young ruler rejected Him (rejection)
I’m not suggesting you don’t grieve, because you would not lead yourself well if you don’t let yourself grieve. Because we’re “ditch people,” the temptation could be to pretend you’re fine when you’re not or stay in perpetual grief.
Rick Thomas leads a training network for Christians to assist them in becoming more effective soul care providers. RickThomas.Net reaches people around the world through consulting, training, podcasting, writing, counseling, and speaking.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology, and in 1991 he received a BS in Education. In 1993 he was ordained into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, CA. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).