Reflections on Chapter 16 of Spiritual Leadership by Oswald Sanders.
If you are a list maker you may find this brief exercise intriguing. If you aren’t, I hope you will bear with me as I try to succinctly make the point.
It wasn’t Joseph’s fault that Egypt was about to be plunged into famine. Moses wasn’t to be blamed for the bondage of the Israelites. David wasn’t the cause of Saul’s cowering before the Philistine named Goliath. Daniel wasn’t to be blamed for the 70 years of Babylonian Captivity. It wasn’t an error that could be laid on Barnabas that Saul was not being accepted among the saints in Jerusalem. Simon Peter had not set in motion the divide between Jew and Gentile. Paul did not create the confusing array of deities in Athens. John was not culpable in the rise of first century spirits of antichrist.
But Joseph did step into the role of guiding a foreign nation back to prosperity; Moses did rise to the challenge of standing in Pharaoh’s court and demanding freedom for God’s people; David did run into the valley to defeat Goliath; Daniel wholeheartedly did give himself to fast and pray for the captives to turn to God. In similar fashion Barnabas risked being misunderstood to bring the former chief persecutor of The Church to be accepted as a new brother in Christ; Simon Peter answered the call – a call that he knew would be roundly criticized – to preach Jesus to Gentiles; Paul poured out his heart to the pagans as he preached The Gospel on Mars Hill; John stood boldly and declared Jesus as the true Christ.
None of these did anything to cause the problem at hand, yet each of them took up responsibility to improve the situation.
I may be accused of oversimplifying the matter; but I’d like you to consider in John 9 where The Twelve were trying to figure out who to blame for the man’s blindness. Jesus cut right to the crux of the matter, ignored their questions for the moment and without reservation proceeded to do something good. You might say He took responsibility. I submit that His approach was the high road.
Today we all face settings that are akin to these mentioned above. We can adopt the attitude of, “It isn’t my fault that _______ is the case.” And in an overwhelming number of cases that is precisely true. But the call of Christ, to us, is to the godly responsibility of being a blessing.
Let us all be encouraged to answer the call to the “Responsibilities of Leadership”.