Exposing a Leader
And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;
What was it that made Phinehas so different from everyone else? The difference is that when everyone else saw what was going on, he was the only one who was bothered enough to rise up and do something about it. While others lived in safety, he put his life on the line to stop sin from spreading. It was his initiative, zeal, courage, and sacrifice to do what was right that exposed him as a leader.
Leaders are trained, but that is not what makes them a leader. Leaders are appointed, but that does not make them a leader. Many appointed leaders are followers of what the crowd wants because they desire to be popular, and in doing so, their lack of leadership leads people to do their own thing. Leaders are exposed in times of need. In other words, true leaders reveal themselves in times of need by rising and doing what needs to be done despite the consequences when others only want to sit with the crowd. True leaders do not look for a leadership position; they look to do right when right is in jeopardy. Let me share several characteristics that expose a true leader.
First, wrong bothers a leader. Everyone saw what was going on, but only Phinehas was bothered by it. When what you see going on does not bother you, and when you allow the wrong to continue after you see it is what keeps you from being a leader. A leader is so bothered by wrong being flaunted that it moves them to do something about it so that wrong can be stopped.
Second, initiative exposes the leader. Phinehas was exposed as a leader because he was the only one who took the initiative to resolve the problem at hand. Leaders take the initiative when followers must be told to do something. Leaders never have to be told to care for something when something needs to be cared for. Initiative is not something you can train or put into someone; it is something that an individual has because they are so bothered by truth and right not being followed.
Third, zeal for a cause exposes a leader. God said that Phinehas was zealous for a cause. Leaders without a cause are not leaders but position fillers. There is no purpose for anyone to lead if they do not have a cause. A cause is what drives the leader. A cause is the vision of the leader. The leader is a visionary with a cause that drives him to do more than others, and to do something when others won’t do anything.
Fourth, courage exposes a leader. Phinehas had the courage to rise and stop the attack against truth. Many say they are bothered by wrong triumphing, but they don't have the courage to do something about it. A leader has the courage to fail if he must to accomplish a God-given purpose to perpetuating truth. A leader is not afraid of failure, but is more afraid of truth dying and not being passed on to the next generation. You will never be a leader if you don't have to courage to fail in your attempt of faith.
Fifth, sacrifice exposes a leader. Phinehas put his life on the line to stop sin from spreading. You will never be a true leader if you are not willing to sacrifice all for the sake of truth. Only those who sacrifice pleasure and possessions are those whom God can use mightily to lead His cause.