This story informs us, how to support our church leaders despite their failings, weaknesses and character flaws. No leader is all encompassing, they all make mistakes. They make poor decisions like the rest of us. The difference is that their decisions impact many more lives whereas our decisions in our family affect fewer people. Let’s learn how to support our leaders especially when their flaws become public knowledge. Be encouraged.
The scene is from 2 Samuel 11: David gives Uriah a letter to present to Joab, the letter contains harrowing instructions regarding Uriah (yes the very man carrying the letter); which were to result in Uriah’s death – plain and simple.
Suffice it to say; Uriah dies in battle and David takes Bathsheba (Uriah’s widow) to be his wife. Not nice. However Joab, knowing this murderous secret, continues to support the God appointed King. Wow!! Tough I know, but Joab shows us how to allow God to be the judge.
“God Chooses Spiritual Leaders, for His Purpose – Not Ours”
It’s easy to forget our leaders are appointed to achieve Gods purpose, not our own. And being human our leaders risk forgetting they are appointed to achieve a purpose decided by God.
And because the purpose belongs to God, leadership are required to be in-tune with what God wants them to do. Similarly, if we are out of tune with God, we will misunderstand the decisions made by our leaders.
That said, being in tune with God enables us to see the outcomes of the decisions made by leadership and enable us to pray words of knowledge for our leaders, where they have listened and got the decisions spot on; and where they have not and made poor decisions.
“Our leaders are human and broken like us”
Without knowing their life history, you can say with some certainty that our church leaders are as broken as the rest of us. Remember it’s only because of Jesus anyone of us have a hope and a future. In Christianity, we get ourselves in a twist over “appearances” and hold unrealistic expectations of their holiness.
The lives of Paul and Peter teaches us an amazing lesson about spiritual leadership despite brokenness. Both these men made decisions with very public consequences. Peter denied Jesus and Paul persecuted the church. But both had to stand despite their previous public failings and declare the message of truth.
In this we see, the kingdom is not just about the character and past of the man or woman, it also includes the content of the message.
“If Rehabs family judged her profession; ignoring her message, they would be dead”
Think back to Rehab; the bible recalls her profession was a prostitute. Today, if a member of your family in the same profession as Rehab gave you news of pending danger…tell the truth, would you believe her? No you wouldn’t. Just think, if some of Rehabs family chose to judge her profession instead of listening to her message, they would be dead.
However, today, unless the messenger “appears” holy, people won’t generally listen to the message… The risk here is a message based on a deception but delivered “acceptably” goes unchallenged…
So…Uriah is dead; Joab is trusted by the King; Israel wins the war and King David gets the girl. However one end marks a new beginning… In comes Samuel the prophet and reveals to David that his dark secret was witnessed by heaven and reminds him about his accountability to the Great I Am.
That fateful decision heralds in a series of extremely negative consequences for David’s family. What’s fantastic though, is that David handles them all with continued confidence in the Lord.
So what have we learnt?
In the kingdom, our leaders don’t have to appear perfect for us to follow their lead. We accept they may make poor decisions, we may see those poor decisions and the impacts may upset us. But remember, the leader hasn’t got away with anything. They must answer to God and He sees and knows everything. Our challenge is to operate in the spirit even when our leaders may not; that way our love for God will cover a multitude of sins. Likewise, the love of great leaders towards those they lead, results in amazing spiritual achievements.