The Price of Leadership


But many of the people who heard their message believed it,
so the number of men who believed now totaled about 5,000.
Acts 4:4

In 1970, I left my parents’ home, telling them I want to find out if there’s something better than the life they were living and giving me. They told me I’m passing through a stage and I’ll come back. I told them I’d rather die searching than live in a world without love. For the next couple of years, there were times I thought my parents were right and that I would die searching.

In 1996, I decided to face my manic depression as a spiritual problem, although everyone I knew said manic depression is a medical condition. Deep inside I wondered if believing God would heal me really was from God or a desperate fantasy of my sick mind!

In 2002, we left the Mennonite church. I was dragging my family away from all they had known for twenty-six years into a world that might be another fantasy because I thought I wasn’t good enough for the God of the super-spiritual Mennonites.

In 2007, I thought God would no longer bless our company if I allowed negativity to remain in our company. I wrote an agonizing prayer and met one-on-one with the troublemakers. One by one, I terminated them, or they quit. As we dwindled down to three people on the plant floor and a million-dollar backlog, I thought we were going to close our company.

Each time I felt alone and insecure. I wished it all was a bad dream. I had no plan, no map, and no one to guide me, except for an inner longing that wanted a better life and I was pursuing a God who might be listening. I never tried to cause division or drag others with me. If I was wrong, I didn’t want anyone following me. Each time God opened the way to a new and better life.

Preceding the verse above, Peter and John were willing to be jailed for doing what they believed was right. They didn’t know if they would get out of jail. But they followed what they believed was right. Because of their quiet courage, many people followed them. They never campaigned to become leaders, they only followed what they believed was right.

If you pay the price to conquer your own demons and follow what’s right, regardless of the cost, you will become a burning torch in the night. People sitting in darkness will see that light and it will give them strength and hope to move toward the light of God.