One of the stories in Exodus that is most beloved by leadership folks is Exodus 18, where Moses learns how to delegate. It’s a great story and today’s reading focuses on it. But I don’t want to read all that story today, just the first portion. Listen to what it says in Exodus 18: 13-17:
13 The next day Moses sat as judge for the people, while the people stood around him from morning until evening. 14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, while all the people stand around you from morning until evening?” 15 Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16 When they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make known to them the statutes and instructions of God.” 17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good.
Moses is leading the people as best he knows and is led by God. It’s a big job. He’s got a ton of things to attend to; lots of things that he has to do. And then his father-in-law comes up to him and says, “hey, what you are doing is not good.”
Moses could have gotten very defensive. He could have said, “I’m the one called by God, not you!” and not listened. He could have ignored the advice. He could have been offended. He could have been angered. There were a million different things that could have happened to Moses in this.
But you know what he chose to do? He chose to listen to wise words. He chose to consider the words of his father-in-law. Because his words had wisdom. He was right. Moses was doing too much. He couldn’t do it all. He needed help.
He listened to good advice. He took it and applied it.
Today, are we listening? Sometimes, someone may have something really important for us to hear, that we don’t want to hear. Sometimes, someone may tell us something that we may not see, may not want to do, may not be something that we’d do on our own.
But they may be right. And we need to listen.
Today, are we listening? Are we listening to what others are saying? Are we seeking wise council? Are we listening to folks around us that have good things to say?
We aren’t islands. We need folks around us, speaking into our lives. Who do you have speaking into your life? Are you listening?
Today, may we have ears to hear.