Generally speaking, we people are more natural followers than leaders.
From the beginning when we enter into this world, we learn to follow our parents. Gradually as we grow up, we enter into school where we learn to follow.
For the men in Singapore, we enter into national service where we are trained to follow. Eventually, we enter into the workforce and again we follow our bosses.
Taking it further, we are consciously or unconsciously subjected to the dictatorship of our government. And you guess it right… We follow again.
Why be a follower
Being a follower is not necessary a bad thing. In fact, being a good follower is important for any system or organisation to function and progress.
In the Bible, scriptures teach us to submit to authorities placed above us as purposed by God. And in the Body of Christ, we are encouraged to obey our leaders and submit to their authority so that their work would be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage for us (c.f. Hebrews 13:17).
Hence, we can conclude that to submit and to follow is not just about loving and respecting your “neighbour”, but it also concerns the advancement of God’s work and purpose through the Body or any system and organisation.
Biblically, unity and cohesiveness leads to godly and optimised performance- His results.
Therefore, understanding and embracing our respective roles and purpose will help us to follow and contribute to the common vision or goal of the Body.
Don’t be a blind follower
Paradoxically, we as Christians are called and destined to be leaders. As we follow God and His word, leadership becomes a responsibility to undertake as we grow in our service to God and people.
But as followers of Christ, we lead by example with a Christ-like life and setting the standard for morality, character, attitude, competence in our field of work and excellence in how we live out God’s will.
However, knowingly or unknowingly, we have become natural “followers” with our “herd” mentality shaped by our environment and not the word of God. This is the go-with-the flow mindset or the go-with-the-majority approach.
Below are some of the wrong reasons of following:
- To gain acceptance by fitting in and by not being seen as out of place or deem different
- To feel secure with the sense of belonging developed by “going with the flow” or maintaining the status quo
- To win love by pursuing the approval and meeting expectations of others
- Just plain laziness, ignorance or out of fear in order to avoid hassle, trouble or conflict
Following God first
Personally, following for the wrong reasons is not only unhealthy, but unbiblical. God commands us to love Him with all our hearts, our soul and our MINDS- to know why we do what we do. It may seem safe or the easy-way-out by just following, but eventually it will lead to disastrous consequences.
For certain, this will not produce true leaders in the Kingdom of God. And we can also observe this problem in the corporate world with our government encouraging entrepenuership among Singaporeans.
Therefore, if not careful, we may find ourselves following for all the wrong reasons with God not even in the picture in our obedience. And this is what we usually term as “blind obedience”.
Ultimately, you and I need to know and to be fully aware that we need to follow God first. And that is by obeying His word and walking in His ways first before anything or anyone else.
“We love because he first loved us” ~ 1 John 4:19
Our obedience has to spring from our love-relationship we share with God. And of cos, our following plans and actions has to be undergirded with His love.