KEYWORDS: faith, problems, people, situation, situations, things

Leaders Need Faith

Karen Zerby

6/89—By Maria Maria #109 DO 2564

1. Different leaders often view situations in different ways, & we have to take that into account when assessing their reports. For example, Juan tends to be very optimistic & positive, so much so that I've even had to tell him‚ "Juan, please, don't be too positive!—Describe the situation to us like it really is. Try not to give us too rosy a picture, be realistic!"

2. Because of Juan's tendency to be a little overly-optimistic & to look at things through rose-coloured glasses sometimes, I've told Peter & others‚ "When you're reading Juan's reports‚ & he says things are pretty bad, then that means they're really bad! And if he says they're very good, then you can probably assume that they're pretty good!" When Juan says things are good, I usually take it down a notch to mean a little less good. If he says things are bad, I take it up a notch in intensity & figure it must be really bad!

3. But just recently I came to a new & different conclusion regarding Juan's viewpoint, & I think it was a bit of a revelation to me: The Lord has definitely allowed him to be that way because he needs to be that way! And why does he need to be that way? (Fam: Because he might get very discouraged otherwise?) Exactly right! If he didn't have a lot of faith, he could never handle the very heavy load he carries.

4. He's not only got a tremendous amount of responsibility, but in his area he's got quite a few weaker people to encourage & inspire‚ & a lot of serious obstacles to overcome!—And if he didn't have lots & lots of faith, & wasn't able to look above the situation & see what things could be like & what the Lord can do with them, I don't know how he'd ever make it!

5. I might say he's "overly-optimistic," but I think the Lord looks on it as faith. Juan has the faith to see what a situation can become, so he often writes us about present situations in those terms, as if they were actually that way right now. Well, maybe they aren't always really like that at present, but he tells us what he sees that they can be or should be.—And by God's grace are going to be!

6. Anyway, I was thinking & praying about it‚ & the Lord showed me to thank God that Juan's like that. He couldn't possibly stand it if he wasn't, he couldn't take it! So thank God for our leaders who have lots of faith, because that's what's needed in situations like that, that's what all our leaders need.

7. There are many situations in which it really helps to have an abundance of faith & a good deal of positiveness & optimism. If Juan wasn't like that, he couldn't take it. Our leaders often have to continually deal with & handle problems. And people who don't have lots & lots of faith can't take that kind of a ministry for very long, it's simply too trying & too difficult, too negative, & you can easily get dragged down & contaminated by it. It's almost like you get corrupted or polluted by the company you keep.—Particularly when they're serious problems!

8. So unless you have lots & lots of faith to overcome that sort of thing & see the bright side & see the victories the Lord has, even out of the seeming defeats‚ you won't be able to take it for long. It's not good for you spiritually, you just can't take it & you get discouraged & you get pulled down with everybody else. So leaders in positions like that have to have a lot of faith!


9. Some people have enough faith to do well & maintain when they're in a positive situation. But when they're constantly surrounded by seemingly "impossible" situations & discouraging & weak people, they can't take it‚ they get dragged down, because they just don't have enough spiritual strength to pull the weaker ones up. They get dragged down with them, & if they have any kind of negative or pessimistic streak or attitude, the negative circumstances can play on that & really get them into a negative channel.

10. Take, for example, one of our leaders who had won some real victories over his personal problems & was doing well in an office situation. But when we took him out of that office & sent him out to a very hectic field situation, all of a sudden he was constantly surrounded by lots of problems & negative situations.—Problems which sort of rekindled & fueled his previous problems of being critical & negative & self-righteous. In that field there was so much that was negative & so much to criticise, as there really were a lot of problems.

11. So I can understand how it would be very difficult to be positive & full of faith in a trying situation like that.—Especially if you've had negative tendencies & an inclination to be self-righteous. When someone has had a problem like that all their life, it's not usually the kind of thing where you can get a quick one-shot victory & suddenly become a happy full-of-faith person overnight! If that's the way you are, the way you've been all your life, then those things are usually pretty deeply ingrained in you‚ & it takes time to overcome them.

12. Well, this leader I'm talking about had gotten the victory, he'd been delivered. And when he was in his good previous situation, the Lord was really helping him & he was able to maintain that victory. But when we placed him in a very tough & trying new situation like that field, it's sort of like we sent the alcoholic back into the bar.

13. So I would say that he's not really so responsible for the trials & problems he had as a result. When we prayed about it, I realised that we were to blame for sending him there in the first place. Like I said, the Lord had delivered him, & he was doing very well in his previous office situation. It was a good situation where he didn't have very much to get negative or critical about. He was in an atmosphere that was full of faith, & there weren't a lot of weak people around him.

14. But when he got to that new field situation‚ my goodness‚ he visited some places that seemed almost hopeless!—Disaster areas! And because of that‚ what he saw all the time were problems & weak people & difficult situations, & all that apparently began to weigh so heavily on him that it emphasised his already inherent weaknesses & just dragged him down. He wasn't quite strong enough to be able to resist being dragged down by the flood of serious problems that besieged him.

15. It was like we had given him burdens more than he was able to bear. We tempted him above that which he was able. He'd done very well where he was previously, but then we sent him into that problem situation. We're the ones who sent him back "into the bar," a situation that would be trying for anyone.—Especially if they're the least bit prone to becoming negative or critical or self-righteous! So I feel real sorry for him. I feel like we are to blame because it really wasn't his fault, it was more than he was able to bear.

16. In other words, I think we're more responsible, because we're the ones who put him back into a situation like that. Of course, we didn't realise it at the time, & I guess we had to learn. Well, thank the Lord, "All things work together for good," & maybe this experience will not only help him to see where his weaknesses lie, & how he has to handle them‚ but it will help us to learn a good lesson on how to best place & use people in the future.

17. So I'm not saying that it was all wrong for him to have gone out on that field mission. He was a definite help & he did real well at first. But it gradually just got to be too much for him, the whole barrage of serious problems day after day after day. And considering one of those places he went to, no wonder it got him down!—Anybody would get discouraged about that situation!


18. When people have weaknesses like that, they need to be around others who are really full of faith, people who are always cheerful & never murmur, people who are going to balance them out & help bring them up to the right standard. But if they have to be in a negative, doubtful‚ difficult, bad situation, it just pulls them down.

19. It's almost like with a husband & wife: When one is constantly murmuring & critical for years & years, unless the other mate is strong enough to pull the murmurer out of their murmuring & put a stop to it, it's almost impossible for them not to partake of it in some way, to get contaminated or corrupted by it. Likewise, if a leader finds himself in a very negative, trying & taxing situation with weaker, doubtful, discouraging people, unless he has strong enough faith to counteract their doubts, he will soon be pulled down & tainted by it.

20. Our top leaders who constantly deal with personnel problems & Home problems & problems of all kinds need to be really full of faith!—To be able to lift people up out of the morass or abyss of their negative situations.

21. Like I said‚ Juan is a good example. I've almost complained about how he sometimes is almost unrealistically positive, looking at things through rose-coloured glasses so much. I now realise that if he wasn't like that, he couldn't take it!

22. He has to have what seems like almost unrealistic faith! He has to have an over–abundance of faith to even keep his sanity in the situation that he's in, where many people are very weak & even some of the leadership's weak, & he's faced with many very difficult situations. He almost has to see it through rose-coloured spectacles. It's almost like he can't really see it too realistically, how bad & difficult some things are sometimes, because he'd probably be completely pulled down into despair & discouragement! He'd probably just go under with everything else, it would be too much to take.

23. If Juan wasn't the way he is & he didn't have that real positive kind of outlook & attitude, full of faith, he couldn't take it, he'd just be dragged down. We have quite a few leaders who are a little bit weaker in faith, so they tend to get pulled down. But we also have others who have more faith & can manage to pull their people up with them, to influence them with their faith.

24. We have leadership in some of our toughest fields who seem to always be very optimistic about things. Well, thank God they have the faith for their situations!—We may not, but they do! I'm sure they couldn't possibly have managed if they hadn't been very full of faith which keeps them from being constantly burdened & worried about all the problems in their field.

25. That's another characteristic of having a lot of faith, you don't worry so much about things. Some leaders seem to be always trusting the Lord, they hardly ever worry about things, but just figure that everything's going to come out all right in the end, & it usually does!—Because that's the principle of faith‚ if you have the faith for something, that's what's going to happen! "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."—Mk.9:23.


26. I think leaders who deal with problems all the time have to be extremely strong in faith. If they're not, they're going to be pulled down themselves. The people who actually have to take care of the nitty-gritty of the problems & emergencies that come up & all the difficult situations that come up have got to be pretty stable.

27. They can't let things affect them too much. That's not to say that everybody else is not strong, but it just takes certain types of people to take care of those kinds of tough situations. We need other people to help in our offices & pubs work & all kinds of other important situations.

28. But for dealing with serious problems, you need somebody who's not going to be affected by it too much; whether they would be burdened & worried about it, or become critical & self–righteous about it, whatever. People with weaknesses along those lines are not the ones who should be dealing with problems day in & day out, it's just too much for them.—And that's what you frequently have to do in leadership situations like that‚ you constantly deal with problems.—Problem people, problem situations, all kinds of problems all the time!

29. In a situation where there are so many problems, it can become very discouraging. Unless you have a lot of faith & a lot of real strength of the Lord, I don't think too many people can take a barrage of negative circumstances & problems like that without being adversely affected by it.

30. Problem places need people who can just be positive, inspirational & full of faith. Even if someone just goes in & gives them an inspirational talk & doesn't even handle the specific individual problems, but just gives the people the faith to handle their own problems, that can really help‚ at least in the short term.

31. After all, our top leadership can't be going around taking care of every little problem, they don't know all the details anyway. But if you give the people faith that they can handle their own problems, or that the Lord's going to take care of them, & just get them out of their dumps & discouragement, that will probably do more for them than anything else!—Even more than someone going in & saying‚ "Okay, this is what you need to do now, & this is how you do it!"

32. They should be old enough in the Lord by now to try to work a lot of their personal problems out themselves. But people do need encouragement, & they often simply need to have their faith rekindled to just get up & try again.

33. So all that to say, I'll never again complain about Juan being too optimistic. Of course, he does need to try to be as clear as he can about the facts, about the realities of different situations that arise. But thank God he has a lot of faith!

34. He doesn't need to worry when he hears that I've called him overly-optimistic in the past‚ that's now a compliment! It's a compliment because I now know that's the way he should be & he has to be in a situation like his.