"So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf." Now when Moses saw that the people were out of control-for Aaron had let them get out of control. . . . Exodus 32:25
Leaders lead and don't make excuses or blame others when they fail to be responsible. Moses left Aaron in charge of the people while he went up on the mountain to be with the Lord. He was gone for forty days, during which time he received the Ten Commandments engraved by God on stone tablets. The Israelites figured that Moses was not coming back since he had been absent so long. They decided to rebel and turn away from the Lord, soliciting Aaron to make a new god for them to worship and follow. That is when Aaron failed to "man up" and lead with integrity. Instead, he caved to the pressure.
Not only did Aaron cave to the people's demands, but afterwards, instead of accepting responsibility for his sin, Aaron attempted to shift all the blame to the people. "Then Moses said to Aaron, "What did this people do to you, that you have brought such great sin upon them?" Aaron responded, "Do not let the anger of my lord burn; you know the people yourself, that they are prone to evil" (32:21-22). Real leaders lead because of their personal convictions which they received from God. Real leaders will also sin at times and may give in to peer pressure. When they do, they own up to their mistakes. They confess instead of concealing. They repent.
What kind of leader do you seek to be at home, at work, in your neighborhood, or among Christians when the pressure is on?