“I’m overwhelmed.” It’s something we hear often from frazzled parents to business owners, from pastors to everyday folks.
There’s just so much to do, so many details to notice and manage. Nobody wants to feel overwhelmed, yet what can we do about it?
Moses was overwhelmed. In Exodus 18, we see Moses working from morning to night to judge the disputes of “God’s chosen people.”
Because Moses wanted the Israelites to know and understand the law, he became a one-man Supreme Court. He personally solved the disputes of the people because each case mattered to him and to God.
No matter how well intentioned, being constantly overwhelmed took its toll on Moses, as it would on any of us.
Recognizing this, Moses’s Father-in-law, Jethro offers this wise counsel to him in Exodus Chapter 18, verses 17-18.
“What you are doing is not good. You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you to do alone.”
God’s intention is for none of us to go it alone; that is why Adam had Eve, Moses had Aaron and Jesus had disciples. God used Jethro to give Moses an effective strategy to overcome being overwhelmed.
Let’s quickly examine three elements of this strategy:
- Stop Being a Micro-manager – Master the Art of Delegation.
By encouraging all decisions to be funneled through him, Moses fell into the trap that all overwhelmed folk land in, he became a micro-manager.
Jethro’s advice wasn’t to streamline the court.
His advice wasn’t to appoint people who would summarize the information for Moses, so that he could render quick verdicts. In this way, he would have kept his powerful position, as the only judge the people would know.
Instead, Jethro’s wise counsel was for Moses to give up some of his power, by delegating it to others.
The second and third parts of Jethro’s godly strategy to keep Moses from being overwhelmed answers the question, “How are we to delegate?”
- Train the People.
In Exodus Chapter 18 verse 20, Jethro perhaps encourages Moses to start the world’s first training and development program. He told Moses:
“Teach your people God’s requirements and pass on His laws. Show them the right way to live and the kind of work they should be doing.”
Moses trained leaders who would be given some of his authority, and participate with him in caring for the nation. Therefore, Moses became a more effective leader, and he was no longer overwhelmed.
- Know What Your People Can Do – Put Them in the Best Situation to Succeed.
In verse 21, Jethro suggests that Moses select able people – people who he knew had the capacity to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
How can we know about the capabilities of people? Well, we can do it by helping people understand their spiritual gifts.
A spiritual gift is a supernatural ability given by God to the believer, for serving God’s people.
This week at our church (Hall Chapel and Mitchell Chapel), I taught about spiritual gifts. I invite you to learn about your spiritual gifts by following this link. (Spiritual Gifts Survey) You can take the same spiritual gifts survey we took at Hall Chapel and Mitchell Chapel, AME Churches.
I hope you will enjoy discovering the spiritual gifts God has placed in you.
As Jethro suggested to Moses, if you:
- Stop micro-managing and start delegating
- Train good people and put them in positions to succeed
- Discovery your spiritual gifts
Then, you will be able to endure, and you will not be overwhelmed.
My prayer for you this week is that you will take positive steps to avoid from being overwhelmed.
I would love to learn of your efforts, please drop me a line on my personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing what God has done in your life.
Until we meet again,
Blessings, Peace and Love!