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Leadership and Complaints

written by Asher Intrater
January 15, 2000

It seems that the more leadership authority one has, the more complaints he receives. Over the years, as I have watched the Israeli prime ministers (Rabin, Peres, Netanyahu and Barak), I have been amazed at the quantity of complaints that are directed at them.

Large portions of the books of Exodus and Numbers are descriptions of how the people of Israel complained against Moses (and God). The same is true for each one of us. As we grow in leadership, people will complain about us more. Why is this so? The answer can be found in two words: Resentment and rebellion.

When you have responsibility for people and activities, those people see you as responsible for the conditions and outcome of the activities. In other words, when something goes wrong, people think it is your fault. They become resentful against you for anything that is going wrong in their life.

By the way, people often extend this resentment toward God. People are resentful to God that they are too skinny or too fat, too tall or too short. They complain against God for their financial problems, car accidents, bad weather, and the holocaust.

The second area of rebellion refers to the human instinct to react against anyone who has authority. We have free will. We don’t want to obey someone else. If someone has authority, that means we are supposed to obey him. That makes us angry. The more authority you have, the more angry people will be at you. So what can be done about it? Today I want to offer one suggestion among many possibilities.

Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 Do not take seriously all the words, which are spoken (against you), lest you hear your servant cursing you. For you also know in your heart that you have likewise many times cursed others. The first thing you have to do is just not take it so seriously. It comes with the territory so to speak. People complain about leaders. That’s just the way it is. You have complained about others when they have been in leadership over you. Others complain about you when you have leadership authority with them. It’s not the end of the world. It’s just people complaining.

If your authority has come from God, then in the long run people are not actually complaining about you, but complaining about God. He can take it. For the time being, as his representative, so will you.

Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.

He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.

Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.

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