Shepherd or Lord Over?

John Tilton


1 Peter 5:2-4

Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.


I love this important heart and leadership check by Peter in terms of how we lead those that God has placed under our leadership – to shepherd or to Lord over. Do I see my leadership as a job and responsibility or a call to serve those whom I lead? Do I set an example, or blow my witness by my words and actions, especially in the hallways of life? Am I motivated because of what Jesus did for me, the assignment to fulfill the Great Commission and His example on the cross, or do I let the attributes of self, pride and personal gain subtly slip into my mind and processing, thereby characterizing my thoughts and actions? Therefore, do I lead out of genuine care to encourage, inspire and guide with love and the best intentions for others?


If I am truly honest with myself, there are sometimes the tendencies for the traits of self, pride, acknowledgement and personal gain that slip into my mind and thoughts in my review of situations, words said, actions taken and matters before me. The concern is that often it is not my intention to lead and Lord over others, but it slips in subtly as subversion. A big one for me is often focusing on the task that step on and over an approach and attitude of relationship, encouragement, inspiration and graciousness. “Get er done” at all costs can rise up so easily. It can become a case of goal without God, gain without graciousness. Not good!


Dear Lord, I pray that you would guide me to be mindful of my leadership whether it be with my family, those I lead or those I minister to; and that I would shepherd rather then Lord over, that I would lead with a heart after your own heart as David did, and have the heart of humility that Joseph possessed. May I steward the honor given to me to be a shepherd leader.

Devotions for July 26

Isaiah 46,47,48,49
1 Peter 5

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