Do What Moses Did, Delegate

Exodus 18:17-26 (New International Version)

17 Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. 19 Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. 2021 But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22 Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. 23 If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.” Teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way to live and the duties they are to perform.

24 Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. 25 He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 26 They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves.

I never took note to this passage but have taken note to it now! I believe a serious hindrance to happiness, closeness to God, peace (if you will), etc… all stem from feelings of being over whelmed and having overall discomfort about yourself. One way to get rid of these negative feelings is to delegate. Now, this particular passage, or it’s context, does not directly mention that Moses had any of the above symptoms, but one can assume based on the facts: if you have people coming to you from the morning to the evening, how are you supposed to find time for yourself, for time alone with God, or just time in general to get things done? You won’t. It can’t be done, not without putting additional stress on yourself.

So, we see here in this passage the concept behind delegation (which can be used by husband’s, wives, pastors, bosses, employees…you get the point, anyone can delegate tasks): select capable people who are passionate about what you are doing and who will not waver. Have these candidates take care of all the lesser tasks that arise through the course of any given day, coming to you (Moses) only for tasks, or advise, that are of greater concern.

With this system in place you now have freed up ample time and mental energy for the tasks that you need to do. Everyone is happy in this system if they are in the right place: the ones delegated to have a sense of ownership, the parties being assisted have someone who can virtually give them all day, and you (Moses) can keep moving, stopping only for issues that one of your delgatees cannot handle. If you do this and do it well you will notice a clearer mind that will not be bogged down by all the little things, you will be happier because things are getting done, they aren’t just sitting in your inbox waiting for your attention. They have been properly delegated.


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