It was about this time of year, 25 years ago. Some friends and I were driving home from a movie. There was a car in front of us and my friends shouted “pass ‘em”. The road was dangerous and my resistance was weak. They shouted again, “pass ‘em or you’re not a man”.

Just this past weekend I was traveling a country road. The car in front of me was 5-10 under the speed limit and in my mind I heard the message, “pass ‘em”. I looked for traffic, calculated distance, watched for passing zones but I did not pass.

Conversation with family that weekend turned to leadership. “Who do you choose to follow?” was the question at hand. When organizations undergo leadership changes a series of relationships can be changed, you can feel disoriented in places that used to feel like home, and it can cause you to question why you are committed to an organization that is becoming something you don’t recognize.

Having been through this type of scenario years ago; my wife and I grew up. We broke from following pastors or personalities and committed to following Jesus. We decided that no one was going to take a position in our lives of being “high and exalted” when we knew they were likely to sin, let you down, and abandon you.

The counter balance is that God places people in leadership positions as authority over you. He does that for your protection and benefit. I had bosses at work, leaders at church, people that I was expected to give an accounting to about what I was doing and the results I was getting.

The key to navigating these scenarios is to know when it is time to “pass ‘em”. Here are 3 things to look out for:
1. Don’t pass if the urge is based on insecurity. If your manhood is being called into question a big ballsy move may not turn out well. If the situation calls for bold and decisive leadership, then count the cost and consider the sacrifice. Leaders make personal sacrifices.
2. Leaders who self implode due to character issues, illegal activity, unrepentent sin need to be passed as soon as the opportunity arises. They have a different road to travel.
3. Organizations that bring out the best in people create leaders. If the organization does not work hard to bring out the best in you and give you plenty of opportunities to grow, then it is time to go.

These types of changes are disorienting, unpleasant, stressful, and exhausting. The consequences can impact every area of your life including work, family, free time, financial obligations, and your future. Don’t rely on a blog for BIG decisions. Get some counseling and let the Lord lead you.

Author: Todd Davis, PhD, MFT, LADC

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