Opinion

Dag Heward-Mills writes: A leader does not waste opportunities

When you know the value of something you will not misuse it. Many people only value money! But it is important to know that apart from money, many other things are valuable. There are some things that you do not regard because you do not know their importance. A good leader recognizes opportunities and does not waste them.

Many people don’t realize the importance of valuable things until it is gone. All over the world, people are hailed after their death. Some presidents are insulted and ridiculed when they are alive. Many years after their death, some political parties struggle to identify with them.

Many great people are recognized and valued after they are gone. When my father died, I wept like a baby. Suddenly, I realized his value in a way I had never known when he was alive! When you lose something forever, you realize how valuable it has been to your existence.

During the funeral of Ron Brown (the American Secretary of Commerce, who died in a plane crash), his son read his tribute which was carried live by CNN. He said something which struck me as underlining the principle of timely valuation. I think he said something to this effect: “I have no feelings of regret. I have said all that I could have said to him. There is nothing that I could have said which I didn’t say. I have had the best of relationships with my father. On the day that he travelled I kissed him goodbye on his lips.” This was a son who probably had little to regret after he lost his father. Little did he know that this would be his last opportunity to appreciate his father.

We need to value people and things before we lose them. Many are those who kneel at their parents’ graves weeping. They grieve not only because the person is dead, but also because they didn’t show appreciation to the person when he was alive. I urge you to look into your life and see whether there is anybody you need to value. Hopefully, it is not too late to make amends – locate all such people and find a suitable way of expressing appreciation to them.

God is saying to His people that there are many things He has given us that often go waste. If you keep on wasting them, He will take them away from you. If God gives you a pastor and you don’t value him, He will take him away from you. If God gives you a mother and you are not grateful for her, He will take her away. If God gives you money and resources to be a blessing to the house of God, and you fail to use it for that purpose, He will take it away and give it to someone else.

A good leader does not waste the opportunities that God gives to him. In Luke 7:36, we read about the Pharisee who asked Jesus to dinner. In the course of the meal, a woman showed up with an alabaster bottle of ointment and poured it on His feet. Then she began to wash His feet with her tears and to wipe them with her hair, kissing and anointing them with the ointment.

When the Pharisee saw that Jesus did not stop the woman, he began to question Jesus’ credibility as a prophet. To him, Jesus could not discern that the woman was a sinner. Jesus discerned the heart of the Pharisee and gave a parable to explain that the woman had shown great appreciation to Him for His ministry.

…I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.

Luke 7:44, 45

This was a woman who felt Jesus was so important that while Jesus was alive, she anointed His feet with the most expensive perfume and wiped them with her hair. It is interesting to note that when Jesus died, the women who had worked with Him came with prepared spices and ointments to anoint Him. But it was too late! They met two people dressed in white like angels, who told them that He had risen from the grave.

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices…And they found the stone rolled away…they were much perplexed…

Luke 24:1, 2, 4

You will be equally bewildered when you discover too late that something valuable has been taken away from you. The opportunity is gone forever! These women came with all their valuable ointments to anoint the Master, but it was too late. When Jesus was with them, they probably did not realize how valuable He was. This woman saw an opportunity to honour the Saviour and did not waste it. May you be a leader who recognizes opportunities and does not waste them!

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By Dag Heward-Mills

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