Adam was the first natural leader commissioned by God. As Genesis describes, he was charged with naming the animals, subduing the earth, and bearing fruit with his helper, Eve. Adam’s leadership was intact until something went wrong, something within the scope of what had been given to him to oversee. Deceived by the Enemy, Eve disobeyed God, came to Adam, her mate and leader, and he joined her. Without taking any gravity away from the original sin, I argue that Adam’s identity as leader was not tarnished until His Divine Leader, confronted him. In other words, prior to the fall, Adam was sinless yes, but perfect…no. Let’s look at what happens when God approaches Adam, His commissioned leader.
“He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?’ The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.’”
Adam’s response to God depicts exactly how his leadership broke down in a moment. He (1) avoided personal responsibility for his actions and (2) shifted blame (albeit factually correct) to Eve.
There is no way around personal responsibility as a leader. Scripture could not be more clear about its importance! For example, when someone wrongs/hurts/betrays/offends us, when things go wrong, the Word instructs that we take the initiative.
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone.”
More than that, if circumstances escalate to physical violence or legal action, scripture maintains taking personal responsibility by exhibiting patience and peace!
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.”
Accordingly, when we are the offender, we are instructed to step up.
“So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
There is another way to think about personal responsibility: a spirit of repentance. In the Kingdom gospel Jesus preached, repentance and the Kingdom are inextricably linked. Thankfully, as believers we are no longer in Adam but in Christ. Therefore, we have access to all of the grace and fruit of the spirit necessary to be a leader whose foundation is personal responsibility, who embraces repentance.
“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
As we dive into the theme for this month, Transformational Leadership, each principle we share will rest on the leadership foundation of personal responsibility. As a believer and leader, I urge you to consider your heart position on the matter. Remember, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand and repentance is the path to salvation, healing, deliverance, miracles, favor, transformation, and faith (which pleases God, Hebrews 11:6).
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
Lindsay Fleming is the State Administrator for the North Carolina Christian Chamber of Commerce (NC-C3). At heart, she is a God-inspired expressionist. Her driving passion is expressing revelations of God through prayer, writing, and design. Lindsay’s work can be found at PropheticGrounds.com. Lindsay can be reached at office@NC-C3.org.