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Lessons from Hannah: Part 4 (final)

As a result of Hannah’s servant leadership example, we learn that if we confess our emotions to God and rid ourselves of selfish motives, then He can use us to do His will for His glory.     In the course of our leadership within the church, we should encourage leaders to confess their faults and limitations to the Lord, and ask the Lord for His help, mercy, and guidance as we seek to do His will.  In all things, we must remember that all we accomplish is by His power.  Ministry belongs to the Lord, and He promises to be with us when we seek to do his will. 

 

The second thing that we learn in light of Hannah’s servant leadership is that there is truly greatness in service and we should take up the towel of service whenever we can.  This principle is also expressed in Matthew 25:35-40.  Jesus instructs us that when we care for those who would be considered the least among us, we are demonstrating our love for Him.  Within church leadership, leaders can first demonstrate this principle by humbling themselves to do work that might seem beneath their capabilities.  This can encourage others to service and to the realization that no task is too small in service to the Lord.  In addition, church leaders can also reinforce this principle by encouraging people to serve, not out of self interest or to gain popularity, but out of the love we have for the Lord.  Leaders are identified because they can be trusted to have right motives and to exercise authority in love. 

 

Finally, one last important lesson that we learn through Hannah’s experience is that we should always maintain integrity in all that we do.  God is just and rewards those who walk with integrity.  After Hannah kept her vow to the Lord, she was blessed with three more sons and two daughters (1 Samuel 2:21).  As church leaders, when we make a vow, we should see to it that we keep our promise.  We should seek the Lord so that our vows line up with His will and not our own.  As leaders, we should encourage those under our guidance to do the same. 

While in the short term, Hannah’s goal was to bear a son, from a larger perspective, we see that in essence, what she was seeking was love and wholeness.  Hannah felt incomplete without a child.  In seeking to fulfill this void, Hannah learned that only God could complete her.  Hannah may have expressed that she sought the Lord for a child, but in reality, she was asking that God be glorified in her life.  When she asked the Lord to give her a son, she was offering herself as a willing vessel to display the glory of the Lord and what God can do when we are wholly surrendered.  As servant leaders, there is no greater honor than to be used by God to bring forth transformation in a situation or in the lives of others. 

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2010 in ASK magazine, bible study

 

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Lessons from Hannah: Part 3

Hannah’s weaknesses in leadership were primarily due to her letting the negativity of others influence her actions and her sometimes highly emotional reactions.  In 1 Samuel 1:6-7, when Hannah is provoked by Peninnah, she is irritated to the extent that she is tearful and cannot eat.  Hannah’s highly emotional tendency is also demonstrated in 1 Samuel 1:8-10, where she is described as downhearted and bitter. Being influenced by negativity and being highly emotional is a negative for a servant leader because it is during these times when someone could seek immediate solutions to their problems instead of being steadfast and resolute to seek God’s plan.  As a servant leader, one must be able to limit the influence of negativity and control emotional impulses which could delay or even hinder the manifestation of a long-term vision. 

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2010 in ASK magazine, bible study

 

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