Can you imagine what a blessing it would be if every leader could identify and avoid distraction? What is a distraction? A distraction is something that divides your attention and prevents concentration. A distraction is, therefore, something that takes your attention away from what you are doing. It ends up delaying the completion of your task. In fact, it sometimes prevents you from achieving what you set out to do. A distraction pushes your goals and aims out of sync. In fact, a distraction directly fights the leader’s desire to maintain his aim.
Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread. And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: For it was said to me by the word of the Lord, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest. He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him. So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water. And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the Lord came unto the prophet that brought him back: And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the Lord, and hast not kept the commandment which the Lord thy God commanded thee, But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the Lord did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcass shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers. And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back. And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcass was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcass.
1 Kings 13:15-24
Distractions a leader should avoid
1. A leader should avoid the distractions that come from people who have not heard from God the way he has.
Although many other people are ministers, I realize that we are not on the same level. I do not do things just because others are doing them. Once I told a pastor friend about how we were reaching out to certain villages. He smirked and remarked that he had no interest in such ventures. I was discouraged, wondering whether I was doing the right thing. But I strengthened myself in the Lord and persisted in the calling God gave to me. I’m glad I did.
2. A leader should avoid the distraction that comes by trying to compete.
Competition can be healthy. But competition can be devious too. A competition can urge you on to do your best. But it can also grow evil thoughts and desires in you. When competition brings out evil thought and plans in you, it will drag you into all sorts of activities in which you are trying to outdo another leader.
3. A leader should avoid the distraction of the phone.
The telephone, especially the mobile phone, is a modern day distraction that will take you away from the presence of God. Any minister who has not learnt to put the telephone in its right place in his life will constantly be distracted from prayer and Bible study. It is a common evil today to grab your phone immediately you get out of bed. You used to grab your Bible and read it but the phone is competing with everything else for centre space. Beware of this evil. Any other leader who has not learnt to put phone calls, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Telegram and other social networking tools in their proper place will end up not putting enough time into his work. Today, the phone is the major source of taking people away from their work. The phone may well be a great tool for work. It is also a great enemy that can take you away from your work.
Since a leader ought to be constantly aware of his goal and vision, a distraction is clearly detrimental to any leader’s progress. May nothing be able to distract you from your goal and track! May you be able to maintain your aim! May you be steadfast!
Culled from ‘The Art of Leadership’
By Dag Heward-Mills