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February 22, 1995

Effective Leadership

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Few Bible characters provide a better example of how to live than Job. He successfully managed his family, spiritual life, and career. Realizing how little control he had over life, he simply tried to do it right today and let tomorrow take care of itself. He also struggled with deep questions about himself, God, his friends, and his life. Because of all this, we can easily identify with him. In short, he is a peer.

God never intended us to live life alone. He intended us to live in the context of relationships and, more specifically, in the context of relationships with people who are our peers. Only a peer can provide the iron-on-iron type of connection that the writer of Proverbs recommends so highly (Proverbs 27:17). If we want to change significant patterns in our hearts or lives, we can't do it by ourselves. We need truth and accountability. And peers provide the greatest access to both of those.

If you put a surgeon in a room with an entrepreneur and the pastor of a megachurch, all three might have seemingly valid excuses for not doing what they're supposed to be doing. They can safely play the trump card of “You don't really understand my world” to explain away their behavior. But put a surgeon in the room with another surgeon, and the excuses evaporate. One cannot tell the other, “You don't know what it's like to deal with life-and-death issues every day,” because that's simply not true.

That's the value of a peer. We all have a penchant for excusing our actions and ourselves, and only a peer can bring to the table the sharp edge of accountability that says, “I understand your world, and there is no excuse for your behavior.”

Do you have a peer who can proclaim truth in your life and hold you accountable for your attitudes and actions?

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