Summary: If you want to be an effective leader, don’t let alcohol control you, don’t let anger control you, and don’t let money control you. Instead, let Christ control you so you can lead others to Him.

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Once upon a time there was a teacher in Texas who was helping one of her kindergarten students put on his cowboy boots? He asked for help, and she could see why. Even with her pulling and him pushing, the little boots still didn’t want to go on. By the time they got the second boot on, she had worked up a sweat. She almost cried when the little boy said, “Teacher, they’re on the wrong feet.” She looked, and sure enough, they were.

It wasn’t any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on, this time on the right feet. He then announced, “These aren’t my boots.” She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream, “Why didn’t you say so?”

Once again, she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off his little feet. No sooner had they gotten the boots off when he said, “They’re my brother’s boots. My mom made me wear ’em.” Now she didn’t know if she should laugh or cry, but she mustered up what grace and courage she had left to wrestle the boots on his feet again.

Helping him into his coat, she asked, “Now, where are your mittens?” He said, “I stuffed ’em in the toes of my boots.” (John Beukema, Chambersburg, PA,

As any teacher knows, it takes a lot of patience and self-control to work with children, but often it takes even more self-control to work with their parents. You see, that’s what it takes to be an effective leader. A leader must first learn to lead himself if he wants to be effective in leading others young or old. He must learn to control his own passions if he is going to help people control or channel their passions in the right direction.

If you have your Bible, I invite you to turn with me to 1 Timothy 3, 1 Timothy 3, where the Bible talks about the qualities of an effective leader, and one of those absolutely essential qualities is self-control. Take a look at it in…

1 Timothy 3:3 A good leader is “not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.” (NIV)

If you want to be an effective leader, then you cannot let anything control you. First…


Or as the text says, don’t be "given to drunkenness."

Proverbs 31:4 says, “It is…not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they drink and forget what the law decrees, and deprive the oppressed of their rights.” (NIV) Drinking alcohol is NOT appropriate for leaders, because it affects their judgment.

The only people alcohol helps are those who are dying. That same passage in Proverbs goes on to say, “Give beer to those who are perishing…let them drink and remember their misery no more” (Proverbs 31:6-7). Alcohol eases the pain associated with the last stages of the dying process, but it erases the perspective of a leader who wants to help people really live.

One recovering alcoholic put it this way:

I drank for happiness and became unhappy.

I drank for joy and became miserable.

I drank for sociability and became argumentative.

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