All my life, I’ve heard people all over say at one time or another how easy they think it is to simply follow. What many of them really mean is that they are tired of following and they think that they can lead better than the person that they have been following. They truly have no comprehension of the arduous task leaders have in front of them, because for the most part, they have been following; oftentimes in discontent, resentment and even envy.
Looking back through biblical history, I’ve seen what people consider as following, and at times people truly do commit to following a leader. The problem for most though is that it becomes difficult when they aren’t privy to the why’s and how’s of a leader. Why is the leader going in this direction? Why did the leader making that decision? How are we going to get where we are supposed to go if we keep doing what we are doing?
When looking at the people who were following Moses out of Egypt, it must have seemed as though he was absolutely out of his mind. Here is a man, who forty years prior had been a prince of Egypt, had killed a man out of anger and fled the country out of fear. Who would dare follow such a man? What compels a person to say that this is a person worth following? Sure, he had performed miracles through the releasing of the ten plagues, but is that enough?
- True Followers Count the Cost of Following: There is nothing worse than to see someone who blindly decides to follow someone somewhere without first counting the cost of following. You have to understand that when you are following someone, there is always a cost attached. You are connected to that person in many ways; people associate you to whomever you follow, you begin to exhibit the same traits of the one you follow, and following someone means that there are certain demands that you must meet. You’ll remember that when Peter followed Jesus, everyone plainly knew it. He had changed. As much as he tried to deny that he was following Christ, it showed. Whether you are following a good leader or a bad leader, it will show and they will link you to that person. So if you have any qualms about being associated with someone, count the cost of following that person.
- True Followers Are Devoted: When you commit to follow someone, it’s hard to follow someone else. At the point to which your devotion becomes divided between one person and another, you cease to be effective. All throughout the bible you will see scriptures that are pertaining to the perils of divided loyalties; scriptures like no one can serve two masters, I’d rather you be hot or cold, and why halt you between two opinions.
- True Followers Will Learn Lessons: If you aren’t learning anything, you really can’t say that you are following well. Joshua couldn’t take over for Moses if he had not paid attention to how he operated. If Elisha had not stayed close to Elijah, not only would he have missed out on his blessing, he would not have been prepared to do double the works that his mentor had done. Timothy had to pay attention to Paul in order to function in the capacity that Paul had set out for him. Be willing to learn the lessons.
- True Followers Model What They See: If you aren’t modeling what you see, you don’t know if you’re growing. Sent out his disciples after a certain amount of time to allow them to put into practice the things they had gained. A true follower has to know that there is value in following. If you aren’t able to duplicate what you see, you’re not going to want to continue to commit to the following of that person.
If you are committed to calling yourself a follower, whomever it is that you’re following, remember to count the cost of following the person you are following. Understand that you must become devoted to following that person and that the moment your devotion becomes divided, you are less effective. Remember that you should always expect to learn something in the process of following the person you’re following. Finally, you will begin to model what you see when you are following.
QUESTION: In what ways do you consider yourself to be a follower?