One day “Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him” (Mark 3:13). He appointed twelve men, whom he designated as apostles, so they might be with him and he could send them out to preach. In other words, Jesus delegated his authority. This is the fifth principle: Don’t try to do it all yourself. Use the principle of delegation.

Do you know why we get uptight and tense? Because we think everything depends on us. “Here I am—Atlas—holding up the cares of the world. They’re all on my shoulders. If I happen to let go, the world will fall apart.” But when I really do let go, the world doesn’t fall apart! Jesus enlisted and trained twelve disciples so that they could share his load. He delegated his work. He got other people involved.

Why don’t we delegate? Why don’t we get other people involved? Why do we try to do it all ourselves? For two reasons. The first reason is perfectionism. We think, “If I want a job well done, I’ll do it myself.” That’s a nice idea, but often it doesn’t work well because there are just too many things to be done. We simply don’t have time to do everything ourselves. It’s really an egotistical attitude that says, “Nobody, but nobody, can do it the way I can.”

Do you think Jesus would have done a better job than these disciples? Of course he would have. But he let them do the work even though he would have done it better. We need to let other people make some of the mistakes so that they can learn, the way the disciples did. Don’t rob others of an education!

The other reason we don’t delegate is personal insecurity. “What if I turn over this responsibility to someone, and he does a better job at it?” That thought is threatening to us. But you won’t be threatened by that possibility if you know who you are, whom you’re trying to please, what you want to accomplish, and what one thing you want to focus on. In order to be effective, you must get other people involved, because you can’t focus on more than one thing at a time and do it effectively.

Rick Warren, God’s Answers to Life’s Difficult Questions (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008).

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How to Cope with Stress

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How Can I Have Peace of Mind?

How Can I Handle Discouragement?

How Can I Overcome My Problems?

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How Can I Ever Change?

How Did I Get Myself in To This Mess?

How Can I Overcome Loneliness?

Why Is This Happening to Me?