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I regretted it at once, even as the words flowed out of my mouth. I have lost count of the many times I spoke or acted too soon and hurt someone, especially those closest to me. A leader is called to action, but not to impulsive action.

Moses is one of the towering figures in the Bible. He famously led the people of Yahweh out of bondage in Egypt. He is called the meekest person on earth (Numbers 12:3). Yet he too is a flawed leader.

Early in life, he showed how impulsive he could be. As a young prince in Egypt, he saw a fellow Israelite being maltreated by an Egyptian soldier. Burning with indignation, he killed the offending soldier (Exodus 2:11-12). Realizing his criminal act, he had to escape with his life, ending up in Midian’s wilderness, where he lived for forty years as a nondescript shepherd.

Fast forward to the time when he was leading the Israelites in the desert about to enter the promised land. The people were grumbling because of a lack of water. Yahweh instructed Moses to command water to flow out of a rock miraculously. Out of pique, Moses hit the rock with his staff while ordering water to flow out (Numbers 20:2-13). As punishment, Moses was denied the privilege of entering the earthly Canaan. What disappointment that must have been after leading the people for forty years.

Leaders are subjected to all kinds of pressure. The higher the position, the greater the stress level. There are times when our patience will be tried to the limit. We can react with calm and seek the Lord’s strength. Or we can lash out by speaking or acting rashly. You know what that means—in almost all cases, a foolish mistake that costs dearly.

It is worth remembering that God is full of grace. Despite his sinfulness, He used Moses mightily for the deliverance of His people. What an encouragement that God can use broken people like us in positions of leadership.

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