One of those created phrases that has come into vogue in the last few years is push back. This much needed activity is essential in the development of teams and consensus. When a team is dominated by a leader who is the “boss”, creativity and ingenuity take a hike. Great leaders tap into the collective brilliance of the team or group they are leading. He or she strives to get as many people at the table as possible. The risk is that the leader will hear what we used to call alternative opinions or criticism, something insecure leaders have trouble with. Insecure leaders make up their minds then surround themselves with “yes-men” (and women), who endorse their ideas. If these leaders continue to foster a culture where push back is not welcome, those he leads will soon push away. You know of places where talented individuals just seem to find other places of service with little or no explanation. More than likely that place is dominated by an insecure leader who won’t allow push back.
Jesus always led his disciples by asking them questions. He knew the answer and he knew what they were going to say, but he also knew that the key to discipleship and greatness in the Kingdom is self discovery. When he met with Nicodemus at night the seeker pushed back on the proposal of being born again. Jesus wasn’t intimidated by that, he pushed right back and gently showed him the way to new life. I guess he could have just declared him an infidel and went on his way, but he knew that the pharisee was close to the Kingdom. When Jesus met a rich young man who pushed back, Jesus pushed back also exposing the man’s heart to all who were around. The young man went away sad because he was in love with his money. He too was close, but he just couldn’t give up his god.
So, push back helps define us. Don’t be surprised if the Lord pushes back on you some today. It’s his way of helping you define your discipleship. Also don’t be afraid to push back on the Lord. He can handle it. He knows that you have questions and doubts. That’s how Kingdom dwellers grow.
Kingdom dwellers have a King who is willing to take our questions and use them to shape and mold us. If you’re in an environment where you cannot ask questions and explore the details of this life, you’re not in a Kingdom fostering environment. Find such an environment and you will be closer to the Kingdom of God.
Push back a little. There’s no telling what God wants you to learn today.
Keep Lookin’ UP!!
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