13 The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?”
14 The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.”
In the last chapter of Eugene Peterson’s wonderful book, ‘Christ plays in ten thousand places’, he writes about how he and his wife went to hear the famous Swiss psychiatrist, Paul Tournier, give a lecture at the ‘John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He says it was life-changing, and describes how, as Tournier spoke, he got a sense from him of what he could only describe as ‘congruence’: he felt the genuineness of the man -that his life and words were completely at one; that he lived what he said. (He says he also got the same feeling from reading his books). The man was authentic. He had obvious integrity.
It is a problem for leaders when people perceive there to be a ‘credibility gap’ between their talk and their walk. ‘How can you tell me to do such and such, when you don’t do it? How can you expect me to live one way when you live another?’ They no doubt think it if they don’t actually say it.
This was the problem Moses ran into early on when he first tried to step up to a leadership role. It was a painful lesson to learn. He was going to have to learn to lead by example, and not just by words.
PRAYER: Lord, we know we cannot expect perfection of any human leader. We are all sinners living in a fallen world. But we do pray for leadership integrity in every area of life.