The Nature of Loving Leadership

How leaders should show the love of God

There is a lot of talk today about God’s love and what it looks like. The nature of God’s love is important for every one of us to grasp, but it's particularly critical for leaders. By leaders, I’m not just referring to teachers and pastors but also to parents, husbands, and mentors. One of our greatest tasks is to show the love of God to the world with whom we interact.

In Exodus, God has given us a picture of two different leaders: Moses and Aaron. They had drastically different approaches to teaching the Israelites about God and modeling his love.

Aaron represents what many Christians define as loving leadership today. He essentially catered to the Israelite’s desire. Let’s set the scene: Moses was meeting with the Lord on Mount Sinai. He had been up there for 40 days and the people were getting restless. They started to wonder if he would ever come back. In their doubt, the Israelites grasped for the assurance of the gods they had known and worshiped in Egypt.

Come, make gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him. (Exodus 32:1, NIV)

To appease the people’s anxiety, Aaron told them to melt their gold jewelry and create an idol to worship. In one sense, Aaron was probably trying to avoid a riot, but he also led the Israelites into great sin. The whole purpose of their time in the desert was to learn to worship. The Lord, through Moses, told Pharaoh time and time again, “Let my people go, so they can worship me” (Exodus 8:1). Instead of guiding the Israelites through their fear, Aaron encouraged them to worship with the pagan rituals they had learned in Egypt.

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Juli Slattery

Juli Slattery is a TCW regular contributor and blogger. A widely known clinical psychologist, author, speaker, and broadcast media professional, she co-founded Authentic Intimacy and is the co-author of Passion Pursuit: What Kind of Love Are You Making?

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