The book of Esther finishes with a brief passage talking about Xerxes’ greatness and of Mordecai’s.
What strikes me here is the last verse where it says,
Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Xerxes, preeminent among the Jews, and held in high esteem by his many fellow Jews, because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews. (3)
To many people, being a leader is all about perks. About being served. But to Mordecai, who certainly enjoyed perks and people serving under him, leadership meant much more. It meant serving the people. It meant looking out for their good, not just his own. And it meant making sure that his people were cared for.
This was what he had impressed upon Esther in chapter 4, and it was how he carried himself as a leader.
How about you? As a husband, parent, teacher, boss, or whatever position of leadership you may hold, how do you carry yourself? Do you look out only for yourself, demanding respect from the people around you?
Or do you work for the good of the people under your leadership? You notice that it was because Mordecai looked after his people’s good, that he was held in high esteem. You cannot demand respect of people. It must be earned. And the way to earn their respect is to look out for their good, and to care for them as Jesus did.
Paul put it this way,
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4)