I posted yesterday a call to those who lead in the Body of Christ to seek the “low place.” The magnificent portion of Schaeffer's book, No Little People, was our starting point. He mentions in the book two reasons for moving to humility. The first one is here. Today I want to share the second.
The second reason why we should not seek the larger place is that if we deliberately and egotistically lay hold on leadership, wanting the drums to beat and the trumpets to blow, then we are not qualified for Christian leadership. Why? Because we have forgotten that we are brothers and sisters in Christ with other Christians. I've said on occasion that there is only one good kind of fighter for Jesus Christ–the man who does not like to fight. The belligerent man is never the one to be belligerent for Jesus. And it is exactly the same with leadership. The Christian leader should be a quiet man of God who is extruded by God's grace into some place of leadership.
We all have egotistic pressures inside us. We may have substantial victories over them and we may grow, but we never completely escape them in this life. The pressure is always there deep in my heart and soul, needing to be faced with honesty. These pressures are evident in the smallest of things as well as the greatest... The temptation has nothing to do with size. It comes from a spirit, a mentality, inside of us. The person in leadership for leadership sake is returning to the way of the world…
Without pointing fingers, I just want to say that many who write on the Internet need to repent. In the same attitude that many have while driving a car, (like it is an impenetrable castle, so I can act in ways that I would never act face-to-face) writing into a screen emboldens people to act in dishonorable and hyper-aggressive ways. The style is dehumanizing in a sense. If I don’t have to lock eyes with the other person, I can act like a remorseless “dick” all I want. I have to admit that much of the polarizing that is currently happening in Christianity has come about by “would be” or even established personalities trying to body-slam people they don’t agree with. It is as if the civil part of the their brains get turned off while typing. Why don't we treat each other with the same respect and diginty that we would if sitting down talking. For leaders this really shouldn't be optional.
I read a book a year or two ago called, The Anatomy of Peace. In the book the author talks about evaluating our actions from a "heart of peace" or a "heart of war." It really isn't that complicated for reasonably self-aware people. If you ask yourself this question (is this for war or peace?) when you are in an amped up situation, you can arrive at a fairly intuitive conclusion. Choose peace! Are you reactively trying to injure the other or are you seeking to bring shalom (peace). Axiom: You can actually win the point and lose the moment.
I have always felt like treating people with dignity that is in line with the God stamp (the Imago Dei) they possess is one of the highest values we ought to be employing.
I love this line from the above passage:
"I've said on occasion that there is only one good kind of fighter for Jesus Christ–the man who does not like to fight."
It seems that we have way too many fighter leaders.
BTW - I told you that F Schaeff rocked a sweet chin beard. I know, "That's so over..."