Handling Authority

Handling Authority

Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem and said to the reapers, “May the LORD be with you.” And they said to him, “May the LORD bless you.” Ruth 2:4

Almost every time I turn on the news, I hear a story about how a boss has abused his authority. Those under him cry out for better leadership. But here’s the catch: If we want better leaders, then we need to be better leaders, right where we are.

Can you imagine if your boss walked in the room and you, and all your coworkers, shouted, “May the Lord bless you!” If those shouts were sincere, I don’t know of anyone who wouldn’t want to work for that person. We find out quickly in Ruth chapter two that there were a few secrets to Boaz’s successful leadership. First, Boaz obeyed God with a tender heart. We know that he chose not to leave Israel when the famine hit. His kind heart is evident in how he treated people, no matter what their status. That leads us to the second trait. Boaz paid attention to detail without micromanaging. He noticed a young woman gleaning in his field and instructed his workers in how to help her. Ruth was able to eat and drink in the shade with the other women workers. Third, Boaz did not abuse his authority. On the contrary. He told Ruth to continue to glean in his field so that she would be safe. Boaz warned Ruth that if she worked in other fields that men would “fall upon her” or bring bodily harm to her. Other men in authority would take advantage of poor, hungry, foreign women, knowing that they had little recourse. The men wouldn’t get caught. And even if they did, very few in authority would ever do anything about it.

May we all learn to be wise leaders with integrity. May we always remember what it’s like to be a subordinate so that we wear our authority with grace.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for sending You Son to model what it’s like to be the perfect leader. Help me to be both gracious and wise as a person who is both a leader and a subordinate. In Your Name, Amen

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