While reading my Bible, I came across a scripture that I have read many times. It was the story of the paralyzed man by the Pool of Bethesda that happens in the gospel of John.
The paralyzed man was at the pool to be healed of his paralysis. He believed this would happen if he were to be the first to enter the water after it had stirred. Being paralyzed, he never made it into the pool.
On this day Jesus came by and told the man he was healed. To take up his mat and go home. Your sins are forgiven.
This is the part of the story that I have always heard and knew. Jesus had healed the man and forgave him his sins.
Jesus was being responsive in his actions towards the paralyzed man.
What I read next surprised me. He then told the man to ‘Go and sin no more. Lest something worse come upon you.‘
Check it out for yourself. This happens in John 5:14.
For the life of me, I do not remember hearing and reading this part of the scripture until that fateful day.
Jesus placed a DEMAND on the man. There was a condition placed upon his healing.
You can see this situation occur in a similar manner with the woman at the well.
In John 8:1-12, there is an adulterous woman who has been surrounded and was about to be stoned. Jesus steps in and asks “What has this woman done?” and when the people answered, he told them “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” All the accusers left and it was just Jesus and the woman.
He then tells the woman “Your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more.”
Once again, there is that pesky demand.
Now, what can we as leaders learn from these two sets of scripture?
- We need to be RESPONSIVE to the needs of those we leadWe will fail and stumble. Those under us will fail and stumble. It is a fact of life.But when these failures happen, you need to be able to respond to the situation.Look at the mess. What needs to be done? Figure it out and do it.
- We need to be DEMANDING of a followupAfter Jesus performed these acts, He made a demand on those that received his response. There were times of ‘Go and sin no more.’ Other times it was ‘Tell no.’ A demand almost always followed after Jesus’ response.Jesus gave demandsto those He healed because it would be benefit them. As He said ‘Go and sin no more, lest something worse befall you.’ It is in love Jesus told them this.In the same manner, you must follow Jesus’ lead. The demands you will set forth are not for your benefit but for the one that the demand is placed on. If there is no consequence in falling into the same failures, they will be repeated.
This is why a demand is necessary. What might the demands be in your line of work? Here are a few examples:
- Theft: Someone has betrayed your trust and stolen from the company. You must respond to their action. Do you fire them or do you keep them on? If you keep them on, one of your demands would be ‘You must not steal from us again.’
- Lying: One of your followers has started to tell lies about the company. If you keep them on, you may tell them ‘Stop spreading lies. If you do not, you will be terminated.’
- Sexual Immorality: You find out someone in your ministry has been caught in sexual sins. After you have responded and shown them the Biblical backing on why sexual immorality is not accepted, you will have to give them a demand. The demand could be ‘We love you. We want the best for you. But your actions are not aligned with our ministry. You must stop living this way. If you do not, we will have to let you go.’
Your leadership needs to be tempered, just like it was modeled by Jesus.
You need to respond to the situation. You need to make sure the issue has been dealt with. Once it has, you need to move into the next step.
Place the demand. Be willing to place the demand that there is improvement. If you cannot, you must likely will see the same issues reoccur time after time.
Are you ready to lead like Jesus?
Question: How could being Responsive and Demanding improve the quality of your ministry? Are you willing to take the steps and implement this technique? Please share your answers in the comments section below.