Read Exodus 18:1-27
The modern stereotype of in-laws is not a particularly favorable one. They are often portrayed as annoying, controlling, and invasive. According to the stereotype, the son or daughter-in-law tolerates the in-laws at best or disregards them at worst. Not so in the relationship between Jethro and Moses.
But the takeaway principles from today’s reading extend far beyond that of in-law relationships. There is so much more than that in this chapter. In fact, if you feel overworked or as if you don’t have enough time in the day, there is something here for you. If you are wondering how to multiply yourself, your influence, or your ministry, this chapter offers great insights.
As Moses and the Israelites approached Mt. Sinai, father-in-law Jethro joined them. He heard the stories of God’s faithful delivery of His people as they faced impossible opposition, and he rejoiced. But the next day, he watched Moses, his son-in-law, in action. He watched as people stood around waiting their turn to present their grievance. He saw how Moses delivered verdicts over interpersonal disputes…and that from morning till evening.
“What you are doing is not good” (v. 17). That was Jethro’s assessment of the approach Moses was using. Operating under the existing plan, Moses was going to exhaust himself and frustrate God’s people. Instead, according to Jethro, Moses should have been teaching people God’s ways. He should select others to settle the disputes.
Correction requires humility, doesn’t it? Moses possessed that. He was able and willing to take his father-in-law’s advice that there was a better way. As a result, he was able to give himself more completely to the specifics of his primary calling.
In what facets of your life could you apply this “Jethro principle”? Are you a bottle neck to progress for your work or in your family? Is the fruitfulness of your ministry minimized because of your desire to have your hand in everything?
Don’t miss out on the blessing of inviting, equipping, and releasing others who can do the work. This often has the added benefits of offering you additional time and energy to invest elsewhere. And, you may see others flourish as they find a renewed sense of purpose.