The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
Whether you know it or not, someone looks up to you. If you have younger siblings, it’s probably them. If you are the youngest or an only child, there are plenty of those around you, both older and especially younger, who see you as a role model. They acquire your words as their own thoughts. Your implications become their inferences. Your attitude affects their actions. Your actions become the very template by which they live their lives. Whether or not you want to, you are leading others in some capacity or another. So, knowing that others follow you, what should be your reaction? How should you live? Well, Peter addresses that very point in today’s text. Understanding that he himself was a leader of others admonished others that they too should strive to lead well. A few of the points he gave were: don’t lord over others as if you are an emperor and they are your slaves, rather, become an ensample (meaning “example in life and deed”) to those who follow you for how they should live. He goes on to explain that the heart that leads well doesn’t do so simply from duty or obligation. He says that instead of duty, you as a leader should actually want or personally desire to lead well. You should have it as your own personal will to see them grow in the Truth. He says, furthermore, not that you are trying to earn anything out of it, but rather that you are of a “ready mind.” The idea of a “ready mind” is simply the concept that you are eager and jumping at every possible opportunity to lead others towards Jesus. This is what you have been given favor from God for, not so that you can serve yourself, but rather that through the influence that you have, you can serve God and serve others. Now, take your little brother towards Jesus. Grab that classmate and point them towards godliness. Live it out, so that they will have the opportunity to grow in God.
Food For Thought: According to 1 Peter 5:1-4, in what ways are we supposed to lead others well? Give two examples of how not to lead others.