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TRUE POWER

Bethany, Sarah, Richard, Jori & Gracia

How might we reflect the attitudes and practices of Christ when we take on leadership roles?

[Christ Jesus] did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, . . . he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
Philippians 2:6-8 (CEV)

If you become a leader, take time to consider what is best for the group. Let Philippians 2:3-4 be your guide. Be humble, helpful, and kind. Think about how you can make things easier for others. Encourage people to do their best; give advice only when needed. When we are in a position of power, we have God as our example—a strong and loving leader who cares for us and gives us the guidance we need.

—Bethany Acker, 24

 

stand up for what is right

When teens fight for what is right, some people try to quiet them. They are afraid that things will change because speaking out is one way change happens. But do not be silenced. Stand up for what is right. You are creating the kind of world you want to live in. Throughout history young people have fought hard for progress. Teens had a part in fighting for America’s independence, the end of slavery and segregation, and the adoption of women’s rights. What change will you help to create?

—Sarah Klauda

 

create positive change

The Old Testament describes God as being angry about injustice and greed. In the New Testament Jesus gets mad when people treat the temple, a house of worship, as a marketplace. Jesus also cautions us: “Be angry but do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26, NRSV). So how can we express our anger in healthy ways?

We can channel our anger to create positive change. If we’re angry with a friend, parent, teacher, or boss because we think they’re doing the wrong thing, we can speak calmly with them. If we are angry with the government, we can take action—not through violence but by lobbying, writing, and trying to persuade. God can help us to use our anger to build up rather than tear down.

—Richard Lawton

 

be a servant leader

On an impossibly hot summer day, I was weeding a flower bed at the church where I worked. I was wearing gloves to protect my hands from the thistles and stickers. The pastor came outside to be sure I had water. Then he bent over, stuck his bare hands in the dirt, and began pulling weeds to help me finish my job. He wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty as he demonstrated God’s love to a sweaty maintenance worker.

Jesus does this as well, showing us love even when we don’t feel we deserve it. He joins us in our messy lives and treats us as precious gems. As we follow Christ, let’s appreciate the God-given value of those around us. Let’s humble ourselves as we serve our community.

—Jori Hanna, 21

 

DIG DEEPER

be like Christ

So often the world sends the message that power must be oppressive. Kindness and gentleness are not qualities we usually associate with those in charge. Yet Christ dealt gently with his disciples and deals gently with us. As we follow Christ’s example, may we be kind and gentle leaders in whatever positions of power God places us. May we work not for our own selfish benefit, but for the benefit of the people around us.

—Gracia Oletsa, 21

—from devozine (September/October 2019). Copyright © 2019 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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