No Greater Love and Servant Leadership

MarineGreatLoveOft quoted but rarely realized outside of the military.

No greater love has a man than that he give up his life for another. John 15.13.

This is the essence of servant leadership, a form of leadership often expoused but not often observed.

We see one Marine shot and badly wounded. His fellow Marine has come to his aid, come to his aid in full knowledge that his own life was on the line. This is what Jesus talked about. This kind of cost and this kind of leadership.

A good military leader is the one who leads his men from the front. That is why there is a high percentage of second lieutenants killed in combat—they are leading from the front where the danger is highest.

So too a good leader will lay down his life to save the life of those in his charge. And such a leader cares not if that Marine pulls for the same sports team, espouses the same politics, philosophy, taste in music. Such a leader cares not whether that soldier lying wounded is his best soldier of if he is a brig rat. That leader places his life on the line to come to the aid of his soldiers. Period.

In the above picture, the wounded Marine lived. The one who went to his aid did not. He laid down his life.

How often do you see this in the corporate world? How often will a boss take the hit while protecting those who are his responsibility? And we are only talking about giving up a job, a career, or advancement.

How often do you see it in the church? And the church should be where you see it the most, shouldn’t it? If you are not willing to give up much less than your life to protect those whom you serve, how can you talk about giving up your life?

6 thoughts on “No Greater Love and Servant Leadership

  1. Shawn, I like the blog.

    I have been thinking a lot lately about the effort that we put forth in regards to those whom God has placed in our care. The following verses are a real challenge to me about this. Col 1:28-29(ESV2011) 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. Verse 28 is a clear statement regarding our charge in this matter. However, we often skip over the intensity with which we are to discharge this responsibility. Verse 29 makes this pretty clear. I am not sure how many people really struggle (agonize is a good alternate translation) to “present everyone mature in Christ.” I think that God is calling me to wake up. I don’t think that I am the only one.

    May we always be bothers in Christ and fellow bond servants of God.

    In Christ,


    • ‘God has placed in our care.’ Too often the thinking is ‘God has placed under us.’
      For one you stand between those who would harm and your sheep. For the other they are under you. Geography of attitude.

    • My father, David W Ray in World War II avoided a corner of the road and drove across land that was marked a mine field. When the convoy saw his jeep was not blown to bits, they followed his tracts. The Germans were miles away, but their shells were hitting vehicles on the corner they had marked. Their shells continued to fall but on an ’empty corner’. Only God knows how many lives were saved. Another time, he was covered with blood from wounded soldiers by carrying them to safety. He was never under orders as he was a Chaplin.

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