Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Please Be Patient...

...God Isn’t Finished With (any of us) Yet!

James 3:1 - Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.

I remember my high school teacher preaching on this verse more than once in a chapel service at school. He told us that as our teacher that he was accountable to God for the training we were receiving. He told us how God was judging him more strictly because of the role that he had.

Lately, I’ve been seeing this verse from another angle. I’m seeing that not only does a teacher/leader incur a stricter judgement from God, but they also receive a much stricter judgement from the people around them. We are SO hard on our leaders. And when I say we, I really mean I.

It’s hard getting older and having more and more of the leaders around me being closer and closer to my own age. It’s weird. I am now the age that my friends’ parents were when I thought they were so old, settled, and had it together! I had certain expectations of adults that I’ve come to realize are a bit high now that I AM one! The same goes for leaders. I’ve had certain childish expectations of leaders that are a bit out of line now that I assess them from an adult perspective. Maybe part of that comes from having an absolutely ‘perfect’ dad who is also a leader in the church. Becoming an adult throws a bit of needed clarity on that delusion.

I have the luxury of doing my spiritual growing and learning in relative privacy. Not many people see me make my mistakes, fail, and generally, um… SIN! No so for the leaders around us. Especially those in the public eye. We seem to expect them to have already achieved a certain level of perfection and don’t have the mercy for them that we expect for ourselves. That’s quite a burden to place on the ones who have taken on the ministry of shepherding and leading God’s people. As if the job isn’t hard enough!

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t hold leaders accountable and shouldn’t ever point out a problem, but goodness gracious, let’s show some patience, grace, and mercy for those around us… not just the leaders either!

And earthly power doth then show likest God's, when mercy seasons justice.
Portia - "Merchant of Venice" Act Four, Scene One (IV,i) by William Shakespeare

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