“But select capable men from all the people--men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain--and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.” -- Exodus 18:21
There are times in our lives and we need someone with great wisdom to step in and give us advice which will lead us down a path of greater fruitfulness and efficiency. Moses reached a point where he was taking upon his own shoulders a load he could not long sustain, so his father-in-law Jethro wisely advised him towards the discipline of delegation. We don’t know much as to how easy or difficult the decision to release his judicial responsibilities ended up being, but for many of us we simply do not want to give up control. Some of us struggle with trusting others to “get the job done,” and entrusting others with power to influence that which we care deeply about.
It’s important for us to take note of the kind of people Jethro has in mind, who are good candidates for delegated authority: people who are capable, who revere God, and are trustworthy. The genius of Jethro was simply to point out the obvious. Folks worthy of delegated authority are those individuals who are capable; that is, those who can get stuff done, who are efficient, and who have a track record of productivity. Furthermore, folks who are worthy of delegated authority ought to be individuals who demonstrate a walk with God. Those who “fear God” understand their place in the created order and will walk circumspectly. Their work will become a product of seeking to honor their Maker. Finally, individuals who are worthy of delegated authority will be trustworthy. Integrity of heart and character is irreplaceable, especially in terms of jurisprudence.
When Moses followed Jethro’s advice, he was freed up to be who he was designed to be, released into his true calling. Had Moses been prideful and power-hungry, refusing to give up control as judge, he would have become burned out and died, falling way short of God’s intended purpose for him in his generation. We would do well to emulate Jethro, in that we should be open to giving wise counsel to those we love. We would do well to model the humility of Moses in accepting the wise counsel of Jethro and letting go of undo leadership burdens. We would, of course, also do well to be the kind of person of whom Jethro speaks: a person that is capable, revering God, and trustworthy.
Question for the Day:
In what ways can I delegate authority to other capable persons?