Reflection: Tyrant or Clown?
You may know leaders who operate like self-absorbed tyrants. They want to have the final say in every major decision (and every minor one!), and veto those that they miss.
In contrast, there are clown-like leaders. They are people pleasers who exist to serve others for the sake of securing their votes of confidence. These panderers are tolerant and accepting, dreading the thought of speaking the truth in love. They would avoid unpopular decisions that potentially polarize people. They lead out of convenience rather than conviction.
Jesus taught and exemplified a radically different approach during his ministry on earth. He was neither a tyrant who seeks to be feared, nor a clown whose preoccupation is to be loved. Because Jesus was full of grace and truth (John 1:14), he led with grace and truth. Not 50% grace and 50% truth at each time. Or 100% grace half of the time, and 100% truth the other half. Rather all grace, all truth, all the time.
He was often very forthright to his disciples, calling them out, warning and rebuking them, yet extended incredible patience towards them when they were too slow to learn, or simply clueless.
Being simultaneously full of grace and truthful is key for guarding leaders from shapeshifting into tyrants or clowns. Truthful leadership without grace will result in tyranny, and grace-filled leadership without truth will result in anarchy.
Prayer: Father, I am thankful that Jesus is not only an example to follow, but my Saviour who saves me. As he died in our place and was risen to reproduce his life in us, enable me to die to my sins and rise to follow him with grace and truth.