It takes great humility to be a great leader. Moses was a great leader because he was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth (in his own words! See Numbers 12:3.). It takes humility as a leader to listen to others’ advice, especially when they tell you that the way you are leading is not right, and even more especially when that person is your father-in-law!
“Moses listened to his father-in-law’s advice and followed his suggestions.”
– Exodus 18:24
Earlier in this chapter, Moses had recounted all God had done for the Israelite people. Moses’ words focused on God’s provision, not his own greatness, but still, Moses knew that he was the man God had chosen to lead the people.
If that would have been me (and probably you!) standing there before my father-in-law, I’m not sure I would have been so quick to listen to his unsolicited advice. After all, Jethro was not one of God’s people. He had not been “through the wilderness” with Moses. He was not a certified organizational strategist. Moses had every reason to say, “Hey Jethro, why don’t you take your high-falutin’ sixth-grade-educatiun double-naught-spy-actin’ five-gozinta-ten-countin’ britches back the hills …” Oh, sorry, wrong Jethro.
My point is, we can learn something from Moses here. He listened and followed Jethro’s advice because he was humble enough to know that he did not know it all. Moses was flexible to change “his” way of doing things, so he could be more effective and productive in his leadership.
Lord, I recognize that I lack this kind of humility. I need your help to become the person you want me to be. Help me to be flexible and to adjust my “organizational structure” and way of doing things so that the ministry you’ve given me will grow and flourish. Send me a “Jethro,” Lord, who can help me see better ways of carrying out the work of which you’ve given me stewardship. Help me to delegate responsibilities and share the ownership and leadership of my group, ministry, church, whatever you’ve called me to.