Sunday, 20 October 2013

David: Humility in Strength - 1 Sam 24 and 26

Both Saul and David were anointed to lead, but Saul goes off on one and wants to remove David as a threat. He hunts for his life. On two occasions David has the chance to kill Saul but deliberately does not do so - instead choosing to call on Saul for a change of heart.

This is gospel leadership: giving a second chance. Yet it involves vulnerability (think about it, Saul could have sent his army back into the cave to finish David and his men off).

Yet this is not being a doormat, just giving in. David shows Saul his error, but in a way that enables Saul to change his mind and call off the attack. David's different way opens the possibility of reconciliation.

So the key question this week:

[IN] Am I making myself vulnerable to others?

David's example helps us look differently at leadership. Note how David held an amazing respect for people placed in leadership: holding Saul in high esteem despite Saul wanting to take his life! Somehow David understood that those in leadership positions are put or allowed to be there by God's grace. So while it is appropriate to point out their mistakes (as David did), ultimately it is up to God (and not us) to remove them if they don't respond.

Organisations need leadership, they need order. Churches are no exception. Yet we know with structures, power and position can come problems - they make a dangerous mix with our fallen nature. In time they can become controlling instead of enabling. 'Worldly authority' tries to keep power and self-preserve, whereas 'Godly authority' has this knack of giving itself away (as the two characters of Saul and David illustrate).

Also leadership positions assume their own authority - it becomes about the label. Such inflation of importance in our minds can lead to all kinds of false assumptions about who can or cannot be qualified to be in that position.

Yet David was the youngest, the least, just a roaming shepherd boy.

Let us therefore understand authority as the outworking of the calling of God we see on someone's life, viewing things like this:

  • calling  → position → brings order and enabling for the organisation

We may not all be church leaders, or chased by armed gangs. Yet we are all called to gospel leadership, be it at work, at the school gate, or even in the book club! Facing situations were we might have to be vulnerable, acting in ways that give the possibility of a second chance, for others to be restored.

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