Proverbs 19:12 (ESV) “A king’s rage is like the roar of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass.

When someone is in a position of authority, those under his or her authority can either quake in fear or be refreshed every morning. All of us are given realms of authority. It may be as a teacher, a manager, a church ministry leader, a husband, an uncle or aunt, a mother or father or in some other area of life. Sometimes the authority is temporary and other times it lasts a long time.

It is far to easy to read this proverb and despise a bad ruler or leader and take a liking to one that treats you well. I have memories of several Vice Presidents at Universal Foods who were lions. They often left destruction and fear in their wake, and that fear and destruction was often excessive and unwarranted. They had cowering followers. I suspect many followed their orders more out of fear than a sense of purpose or a desire to please their leader.

Other lions, thankfully, were much more kind, patient and supportive. While they expected results, they did not seek results using intimidation, threats or great roars. They mentored, coached and encouraged. They rebuked gently. When they did, you knew they were serious, and you wanted to change so as not to disappoint them again. They were lions who refreshed.

I suggest you ask yourself: “do those under my authority fear me?” or “do those under my leadership find following me refreshing?” Perhaps we would do well to think carefully about the way we lead and the impact our leadership has on the lives of others.

You may be wondering why I used the picture of the Indian man as the featured image. He was a captain in the Indian army. Had he not shared his story, I would have never known he was a man of valor or someone to fear. I suspect those under his leadership respected him. He was severely injured in battle, but in his later years he went on to serve others in his leadership at the retreat center where I met him. But I know of an even greater example of that type of leadership.

Jesus set a good example. His leadership was as a shepherd.  The Good Shepherd laid down his life for the sheep. John 10:11