Courageous leaders have learned to govern themselves, to manage their emotional reactivity, and to restrain their impulsivity.

There is probably no more spectacular example than Jesus in Gethsemane. [Matthew 26:36-46]

Entering the garden, Jesus is feeling the weight of the immense spiritual battle bearing down upon him. So, he asks his three most dependable, most intimate friends to stand with him in prayer.

After a short time he returns to find them asleep. “Couldn’t you watch with me one hour?” he asks. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Do you hear him begging them? Expressing bitter disappointment in


I don’t.

I hear him calling them to do what’s right in that very intense moment. He also uses their failure as an opportunity to teach them about spiritual warfare.

It will serve them later.

-Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at


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