Leaders desire to influence and deeply impact those around them. Kingdom leaders want to do so for the advance of the gospel and to bring glory to Christ.
In 1 Samuel 16:7 the Lord reminds Samuel as he is selecting from among Jesse’s sons a replacement for Saul, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV 1984).
There are two truths in this advice. Primary is the truth that the Lord’s criteria for leadership selection is based upon what is internal – the heart of a person. But there is also a second truth – people do look at the outward appearance. Many a leader has neglected to consider the importance of the ‘exterior’ image that they project. So much so, that the message that God has given them and their leadership influence is muted because the ‘packaging’ of the messenger is distracting.
This is not to suggest that Kingdom leaders must wear designer clothing or be modeling the latest trend or cultural fad. But wisdom says that we don’t want our exterior to detract or confuse the message that God has given us to deliver.
That’s why Paul said, “To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” (1 Corinthians 9:20-23 NIV 1984)
So how’s the ‘packaging’ of the message and the messenger? You might consider asking your spouse or a trusted friend for any suggestions they may have on how you can improve or change.
The task is too important to neglect this!