Saturday, January 3, 2009

Things I Learned About Life And Leadership From The Rhinoceros


Determination

It’s not good to be too rigid, stubborn, or inflexible, but being HARD-NOSED is not necessarily a bad characteristic especially when it describes a person who is strong in his convictions and uncompromising in the truth. Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces, and your forehead strong against their foreheads. Ezek 3:8

Industriousness

Rhinos use their horns to dig for their food. Life doesn’t just hand us what we want nor are we entitled to enjoy the food of laziness. When God provided daily bread for His people in the wilderness, they had to go out and gather it up. Sure, God does provide for our needs but He expects us to WORK for it. ...this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 2 Thes 3:10

Discernment

Rhinos don’t see very well but they do have acute senses of smell and hearing. Things are not always as clear as they might seem at first so we should take care to be wise and fully informed. Before jumping to conclusions or quickly taking sides in disputes, it is good to take the time to listen to all sides and “nose” around a little. Only a fool decides a matter before he hears it.
The heart of the prudent gets knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. Prov 18:15

Strength

Anyone who has ever had to assume tough responsibilities or make hard decisions knows that there will always be people who won’t agree or who will criticize. Develop some thick skin. We can’t always make everyone happy and those who try will be frustrated and ineffective. Learn to lighten up a little.
for the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. Isa 50:7

Resiliency

Rhinos are often hunted for their horns but did you know that, if broken or cut off, they will grow back? Sooner or later we will all experience some loss, disappointment, pain, or defeat. God expects us to be resilient so get up, get over it and go on. You can’t do yourself or anyone else any good by wallowing around in your misery.
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 2 Cor 4:8-9

Courage

It is easy to go along with the crowds. But sometimes we are required to make decisions or take stands that are unpopular. When those times come, the crowds and even our friends may disappear. It takes courage to stand firm for what is right and when we do, we are often left feeling all alone.
Therefore, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. I Cor 15:58

Stability

Their short legs and great size make them solid and unmovable. Christians should be firm and unwavering in faith.
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8

Meekness

Given their great size and strength, rhinos are reputed to be dangerous, but in general they are peaceful and surprisingly timid. In fact they usually prefer flight to fight when threatened. Even territorial disputes are more likely to be settled by posturing and diplomacy than by serious fighting. Strength under control is the definition of meekness and should characterize godly people. The Lord Jesus who had and has all power, demonstrated this Himself; “I am meek and lowly,” He said. Real power is to exercise self control.
He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his spirit than he that takes a city. Prov 16:3

Readiness

Rhinos’ thick skins provide an armor-like covering. They also use their horns to defend themselves against predators. It’s a dangerous world and the wicked one, like a roaring lion, would “devour” us. God has provided protective armor for us and equipped us for battle.
Put on the whole armor of God. Wrap yourself with truth and cover yourself in righteousness. Cover your feet with the good news of peace and protect yourself with the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation and the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Eph 6:13-17

Teachability

The rhino is one the most easily tamed animals in Africa. Once penned, he soon becomes so gentle that he will eat out of his keeper’s hand. We need to yield ourselves to God, allowing Him to be Lord, so that He can tame and use us.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me. Matthew 11:29
Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that hears me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. Prov 8:33

Humility

The reign of a dominant male can be short-lived lasting as little as three years before another assumes the lead and the older male resumes a subordinate and submissive life. It is important to remember that it is God who establishes kingdoms, ordains authority and places men in ministry. And He removes men from their positions at His will and for His purposes.
...be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. I Pet 5:5-6

Cooperation

Oxpeckers are birds that hitch rides on the backs of rhinos. While they might seem to be bothersome little nuisances, they actually clean ticks from the hides of the rhinos and they act as early warning systems. Perched high on the rhinos, with their birds-eye views, they raise the alarm call and take flight at the approach of danger. Leaders should remember that every member has value and is necessary in God’s work.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Psa 133:1

1 comment:

Daisy said...

I liked this post. I haven't commented only because I didn't have anything profound to say. LOL. This has given me an idea though to use with my wiggly boy. I'm going to dig out my old Character Sketches book (the one I wasn't allowed to touch as a child for fear of smudging the pages) and use it with the boy. The animals will keep him interested while I pour some Scripture into his noggin.