Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 43/260: Jethro

Read Exodus 18

The Wisdom in Delegation

When Moses’ father-in-law Jethro came to visit, he saw the amount of stress Moses was taking upon himself. Jethro gave Moses some advice: let somebody help you! Leading the people as Moses had been doing was sure to lead to disaster, but by involving other men, he could avoid the burnout that was sure to come.

Jethro also instructed Moses to select a certain type of person to help. He should not just randomly hand out assignments, but look for those who are “able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness” (Exodus 18:21). Further, Jethro did not tell Moses to do this without first consulting God, but said, “If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people will also go to their place in peace” (Exodus 18:23). Ensuring that God approved of this procedure was of utmost importance, and Jethro knew that.

We see the very same thing happen in the early days of the church in the New Testament. The church was growing rapidly, and problems arose, so the apostles told the people to select “seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom” (Acts 6:3). The apostles understood the wisdom in delegation. There were problems that needed to be addressed but did not necessarily need constant apostolic attention or oversight. Other men could handle the task.

Notice again that the apostles did not want just anyone involved in this work, but men who were mature and responsible. It is the same when it comes to deacons. Paul gave Timothy a list of qualities that a man should possess before he is entrusted to serve in the capacity of a deacon (1 Timothy 3:8-13).

The common thread in these three situations is the wisdom of delegation. There is simply too much for one man to effectively do everything, and others must be involved in doing the Lord’s work. It was true in Moses’ day, and in the days of the early church, and it is true in this twenty-first century. There is wisdom in delegation.

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