Isn’t that the most imaginative title you’ve ever heard? I mean, no one’s ever thought of that before, right?
OK, so it’s not new. If that’s the case, why is it that we seem to forget it on a regular basis?
There are a lot of ways to go with this topic, but I’ll stick to what got me started. I’ve noticed a disturbing pattern, at least in my fellowship of churches. That is, we like to find fault and reasons why someone should be s leader (or in extreme cases, shouldn’t even be in the Church). I’ve heard so many times things like “So-and-so should have never been put in a leadership position because of his pride”. Or, “Given the way he handled that, I’m not sure he should be in leadership.” Now there are certainly reasons to make such judgments, and sometimes folks are too slow in doing so (the Catholic Church certainly could have been more decisive), but it strikes me as a bit foolish how quickly, at least in the ICoC, we have jumped to such conclusions.
I guess I can think of times when leaders’ sin hasn’t been dealt with in a righteous manner. Usually it’s with folks that are in the higher positions of authority. It’s a combination of sentimentality, cowardice (fear to challenge the ‘leader’) and idolizing the leader (he must know better than me, I’m just a nobody) that leads to folks getting a pass on their sin. But what I’ve seen lately is a rush to judgment, a criticalness that is quite unlike Christ. I’m reminded of this scripture, that my brother Pfredy pointed out in the previous post:
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. – Matthew 7:1-5
The fact of the matter is that we are sinners. It’s something we all know but rarely apply to ourselves. I know that you’re a sinner, and I can tell you your sin, but I have a hard time identifying mine. I can see in brother A his pride, I can see in brother B his deceit, I can see in brother C his quick temper, I can see in brother D … You get the picture. So we start naming reason why folks aren’t qualified to lead. Or, falling short of that, we just throw their sin up in their face when they blow it. We hang them out to dry, leave them blowing in the wind. It hurts people, divides the fellowship and makes Satan smile. Just keep on attacking each other, and no one gets saved, no one gets closer to God.
Frankly, it makes me sick. I’m sick of hearing reasons why someone isn’t good enough, shouldn’t be trusted, is in over their head, etc, etc, etc. Folks, repeat after me: “We’re All Sinners.” Better yet, repeat after Paul: “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst.” (1 Timothy 1:15) or “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3) Do we really believe that others are better than we are? Do we really think that we are the worst of sinners? I simply think about my own life and the men around me. I can fairly quickly name the main weakness or chief sin of many of these men, but I cannot as quickly tell you what mine is. (Perhaps it’s pride? Ya think?) Oh yeah, so-and-so, he’s quick tempered, and that guy, he’s too sentimental, and this one is pretty pridefull, and that guy – I’m sorry, what? Oh, I nearly smacked you in the head with this plank when I turned around? Gee, I’m sorry. What was I saying? Oh yeah, and that guy ….
My point is, let’s just lay off of each other. Not excuse and ignore sin, but let’s not crucify each other either. Do you want to be crucified? Neither do I, so let’s start handing our grace instead. Speak the truth, yes, but in Love. You know, patience, kindness, no record of wrongs, etc. Sin is serious and should be treated as such, but if we keep beating folks up every time they sin, holding grudges and looking down at them, well, there won’t be any of us left to be in the church let alone lead it. Remember, if Jesus pounced on your sin the way you pounce on others, you’d be in a world of hurt. And the bottom line, if you continue to pounce on folks sin, Jesus promisses that He’ll treat you the same way one day (Matthew 7:1).
Wow, I didn’t expect that to turn into a rant.