Snap out of it!
Women's Leader Devotional
Posted September 19, 2016
I thought we would take a few minutes to learn from one of those small things that we probably don't pay too much attention to—the rubber band. I looked it up and the rubber band was patented in England way back in 1845 so it has been with us for a very long time.
The rubber band is a tiny little thing but I think as leaders we can learn some lessons from it.
Stretch your Faith!
One of the first characteristics we see in a rubber band is that it is stretchy because it is made out of rubber. It's the best quality about it because if it didn't stretch it wouldn't be so useful to us.
I think as Christian women, especially leaders, one of the first things we need to learn is to stretch our faith. Stretching our faith helps us grow. As leaders that is so important.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6
We see in this verse in Hebrews that it is impossible to please God without faith. We've got to do a little stretching where our faith is concerned. It's like when we stretch our muscles before exercise. It helps us become more efficient. The three things stretching muscles helps is our muscle control, flexibility, and our range of motion.
Stretching our faith makes us become more efficient Christians and more efficient leaders. Wow! What a range of motion we can have where faith is concerned. What marvelous things we can accomplish through just a little faith. I'm reminded of that verse about the mustard seed.
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Matthew 17:20
There is something to be said about not budging on the Word of God and biblical principles, but in other areas we have to learn to be flexible. Leaders that are never flexible can fast become a hindrance to the very things they are trying to accomplish. You don't want to become the brick wall that is unmovable.
Are you open to new ideas? Can you embrace change when it is needed? Can you adapt to the variety of personalities within your group? Can you see the reality of a situation compared to what you would like it to be?
I think one of the things I've learned about being flexible is that I have to remember that passage in Philippians 2 where it talks about how we are to look on others. I just have to make myself go back sometimes and read the entire chapter to put things into perspective.
Verse 3 says,
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
When I start putting other people's needs above my own, I am more apt to be more flexible. I start looking at things with other points of view than just my own.
Hold it Together!
Rubber bands are great little tools for holding things together such as index cards and other things. The postal service has been using rubber bands on stacks of mail for years.
How good are you at holding things together as a leader? Are you able to keep calm and keep your ladies calm when unforeseen or upsetting things arise?
Do you wrap your arms around your team leaders and the ladies in your group by praying constantly for them? Are you taking charge and leading with confidence?
You were not dropped into a leadership role without help. You have the Lord to rely on.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13
Don't Stretch till you Break!
We've seen that rubber bands are great little useful items but what happens when we stretch them beyond what they are made for? Snap! They break.
One of the biggest issues I have found in working with women's leaders over the years is that many have a tendency to overcommit themselves.
Overcommitting can cause you to stretch yourself too far and too thin. Just like a rubber band that has went past the stretching point, you will end up snapping and maybe breaking altogether.
When we put too much on our plate we are in danger of some breakdowns coming. They might be physical, emotional, or spiritual. Sometimes it could be all three. Don't put yourself into that position.
Are you trying to do it all? Are you making all the decisions where your women's ministry is concerned? Are you allowing others to use their talents and gifts for the Lord? Are you making a point to spend quality time with your husband and family?
Have you ever read that passage in Exodus 18 where Moses is judging the people day and night? The people would stand with him from morning to evening while Moses settled their disputes.
Moses' father-in-law, Jethro, comes for a visit and sees what is happening. Look in Exodus 18:14-15
And when Moses' father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?
And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God:
I've been in the Moses situation before where women's ministry is concerned, trying to do everything by myself, and believe me it seemed like it lasted from morning till night every day. Sometimes I'd go well into the night.
Notice what Jethro said to Moses in Exodus 18:17-18.
And Moses' father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good.
Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.
Moses was stretching himself way too thin. If it kept it up he was going to snap like a rubber band. If we continue reading through that chapter in Exodus we see that Jethro encouraged Moses to set up rulers under him to judge the people and to take care of matters.
This passage in Exodus taught me a valuable lesson about ministry which I wish I would have learned much earlier in my life. That lesson is that you cannot do it all by yourself. Even when you think you are doing something for good, you cannot do it all alone. Moses needed help!
Remember Moses was doing good. All his efforts were for a good cause. After all, the people came to him wanting wisdom from God. Still Moses couldn't do it alone. If he kept up at the pace he was going, Moses was eventually going to wear out. He was headed down that path of thinning before the snap and the break.
It is always a good idea to slow down from time to time and really evaluate what we are doing as leaders. I'm hoping that the insignificant rubber band can help us do that.
I hope it will remind us to stretch our faith, to be flexible, and not to stretch beyond what we should.
We all have the potential to break down but if we are going to snap, we had better snap out of it! We need to come back to reality where working with women's ministry is concerned. We have to remember the end goal.
Here are four things that help me when I feel like I'm a crusty old rubber band that won't stretch anymore and has lost its flexibility. Or maybe I feel like that rubber band that has to be discarded because it is broken and isn't quite so useful anymore.
1. First I have to remember that I am serving Christ.
2. I have to remember that it is not all about me.
3. I have to remember that my strength comes from the Lord.
4. I have to remember not to get hung up on small or big things but I must keep moving and serving the Lord.
So, are you ready to snap out of it?
Copyright ©2016 Julia Bettencourt
Scripture References are from the King James Version.
Wrap a rubber band around a pen or your datebook to help you remember to snap out of it!
Need a Bible passage to share for a team members meeting? Share the story of Moses and Jethro from Exodus chapter 18 concerning how Moses needed help.