As a leader, do you ever get tired of the people you are leading? Do the people you lead, supervise, train, and develop ever get on your nerves? Do you ever feel like the people under your leadership don’t appreciate who you are and what you do for them? Do you ever get tired of their complaining, their repeated mistakes, and their short sightedness? I do.

  It is not easy leading people. Parents get frustrated with their kids for not listening. Coaches get annoyed by the repeated mistakes of their team. Managers get irritated with their employees’ incompetence. Executives get ticked at their companies’ unwillingness to change. Students get bothered by their peers’ immaturity. The list could go on and on, but one thing is clear. Leading others can be frustrating at times.


  Well, Moses was feeling many of those frustrations in a big way. The seeds of his frustration began when he came down the mountain with the ten commandments only to find the people of Israel worshiping a golden calf they had just made instead of worshiping God.

  Moses’ frustration with the people of Israel grew as they wandered in the desert. After God used him to free them from slavery in Egypt, they complained about the food, the wandering, and Moses’ leadership. Their complaining was so aggravating and ridiculous that God got angry, Moses wanted to die, and the people wished they were back in Egypt.

  • Moses heard all the families standing in the doorways of their tents whining, and the LORD became extremely angry. Moses was also very aggravated. And Moses said to the LORD, “Why are you treating me, your servant, so harshly? Have mercy on me! What did I do to deserve the burden of all these people? …. I can’t carry all these people by myself! The load is far too heavy! If this is how you intend to treat me, just go ahead and kill me. Do me a favor and spare me this misery!” (Num. 11:10-11, 14-15, NLT)

  What happens when the shepherd gets sick and tired of leading the stubborn and stinky sheep? His thinking begins to shift. He starts focusing on himself and his own frustrations. He questions his leadership role and the worthiness of those he leads. For Moses, his heart and mind began to drift. He had reached his limit with the people of Israel, and he was sick and tired of their complaining and accusations. Moses’ thinking shifted inward, and it opened the door for sin. 

How do you handle your frustrations with the people you lead?


Posted: July 2023 • Author: Larry Ely

Excerpt: “Chapter 9- Change in Credit: Who Gets the Glory?” from Leadership and Faith: The Art of Leading Well.

© Larry Ely & Daniel Ely. All rights reserved.