Have you ever had a boss who had no idea how to do what you do, and then tried to tell you how to do your job? I’ve had my fair share of those. Early in my career, I determined that when I rose to the rank of manager I would take it upon myself to learn each job in the store so I could better lead them and understand them. I spent a week at each position, which didn’t make me an expert, but went a long way towards being empathetic to what each team member went through. It also helped me to be able to teach them and new employees going forward. I’ve always believed credibility was a key component of leadership, and I wanted to have it.
Credibility is also a key component of faith. Think of the seven sons of Sceva. These men tried to cast out demons “in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches.” One of the demons retorted, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?” (Acts 19:13-15 NIV) Those men wanted to power of Jesus name without taking time to sit at His feet. They’re not so different from so many people today. They want to bear the name of Christ without reading His Word, spending time in prayer or applying Scripture to their lives. Faith is not something you talk about, it something you must live in order to be credible talking about it.
Ezra was a good example of a credible leader. Ezra 7:10 says, “For Ezra had set his heart (resolved) to study and interpret the Law of the LORD, and to practice it and teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel” (AMP). He didn’t just read Scripture, he studied it, interpreted it and applied it. So when it came time to teach it, he was credible. God honors our faith when we take the time to study, interpret and apply what He’s told us to do. He then puts us in position to teach others and to help them grow. Your credibility comes when you move past the knowledge piece of His Word and start applying it. When you do that, you can speak with confidence and authority.