I have a memory that haunts me. I was with a group of guys on a short-term missions trip to Central America. We were doing a construction project and, as is usually the case on these trips, one of the guys got pretty sick. Actually, we thought he had the flu, he was sick when we got on the plane in the US. I was rooming with this guy on our trip. (we stayed at a ½ star $8 a night hotel!)
Here’s what bothers me. I didn’t want to get sick. I was leading the trip and I really couldn’t afford to be wiped out. So I went to another room. I abandoned this guy when he was really sick. I protected myself.
That has been 10 plus years ago and it still comes to mind every few weeks. I consider this to be one of my greatest failures as a leader. I blew it. I did get a chance to apologize to the guy later, and he didn’t seem to hold it against me, but I no doubt let him and myself down.
Leading is serving, plain and simple. Looking out for the best interest of others. Putting others before yourself. I don’t have to tell you that Jesus is the greatest leader of all time, in part, because He laid down his life for His friends.
God help me to never repeat this mistake.