Leadership Lessons from Luke 4.31-37

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The power of words.

Before Luke records the first of Jesus’ miracles he draws our attention to the authority of Jesus. As Jesus speaks the man with the unclean spirit is confronted with this authority. Jesus commands the demon to depart and the man is set free.

Do your words as a leader bring freedom to others? Do we fancy ourselves more with catchy phrases, one-liners, or echoes from others or do we aim to speak words of freedom?

Our words have immeasurable power. One word spoken can alter the future of someone. We are cautioned to speak less and listen more (James 1.19). It’s in our listening that the words we eventually speak do so with more authority.

This is the first miracle Luke records and it has to do with Jesus’ authority. From here we see Luke record in verse 37 that reports about Christ travelled into the surrounding region. In other words our words go before us.

Our reputation precedes our arrival.

Most of the time our reputation is explained through others by the words we speak. People will quote you as a leader. We do well to guard the words we speak about others.

Be known more for the words of compassion you speak than the words of criticism. Criticism never built a relationship or ushered in a vision.

Allow me to challenge you to spend the next week focusing on speaking less and listening more.

Be known more as a person who encourages other than someone who degrades.

Friends You’ve Never Met

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So many of us go through life, passing friends we haven’t met on the streets or sitting next to temporary strangers at the local coffee shop, never bothering to exchange so much as a greeting. Yes, I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to avoiding people. My life is marked with far more people I’ve ignored than those I’ve engaged in conversation. I’m not suggesting that we get all weird and go through our day saying hello to every person we see, but I’ve often wondered if one single conversation, with a stranger, could lead to a life-long friendship.

Everyday we encounter people who may be a future friend. Someone who simply doesn’t yet know that they are a friend in the making. As I think about my current friendships, each one began with a simple, “glad to meet you.” Four words that laid the foundation for a meaningful friendship. What if we offered those words to one new person a day…and then watched to see if that simple encounter led to a relationship that lasted a lifetime.

As I think about the holidays it occurs to me that many people will spend the final days of 2013, alone-without so much as one caring friend. I realize I can’t be best buddies with the world but do I have room for one more friend? Can I give a greeting to people I pass by, encourage someone unexpectedly, or strike up a conversation in order to brighten someone’s day?

We don’t put pictures of things in a photo album. We put pictures of people. As I look back on my  life it’s not the amount of money I’ve made or the things I possess that I remember most. Rather, it’s the friendships I’ve made and the people who have offered themselves to me as a trusted friend. For this and for them, I am eternally grateful. It’s during difficult times that a friend shows the depth of the relationship.

I love this video. It shows us the dynamic potential for future friendships. Some may think this risky or uncomfortable in it’s approach. But aren’t all relationships? With each  encounter we face the possibility of rejection or hurt. Yet with each new encounter we open ourselves to meeting a new friend.


Would you be willing to greet one new person each day?

How will you brighten someone’s day during this holiday season?