Go Ye Therefore

Leadership Issues: Compassion Part 2

Leaders Must Empathize-Jeremiah 4:19-26

Compassion drove Jeremiah. He empathized with the flaws of his people, and even though he warned them of coming judgment, his proclamation sounded far from cold and sterile. He identified with the Israelites and anguished over their plight. This enabled him to lead over the long haul.

Commitment to Vision-Lamentations 2:20

For years Jeremiah predicted the captivity of his rebellious people. He wept when his prophecy came true. He asked the Lord to have pity.

While the prophet has a passion for righteousness and justice, at the same time he has compassion for the very people who so anger him. Like Moses, Jeremiah often displayed one face to the people – usually judgment and threats – but another to God in prayer. Compassion enabled Jeremiah to remain committed to the vision that one day God would restore His people.

This is what makes a godly leader great: clear and firm leadership, yet a compassionate heart as an intercessor. Reggie McNeal writes,”One mark of genuine spiritual greatness is compassion for one’s tormentors.”

Leaders must first feel burdened for the people’s needs; only then will they commit themselves to a vision of their deliverance. Jeremiah’s compassion kept him in the game when it would have been easier to walk away. He teaches us that while people may reject your message and oppose your arguments, they remain helpless against your prayers.

Join me next time for Leadership Issues: Compassion Part 3