We Want Real Leaders not Perfect Ones
The Parable of the Two Sons
28 “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’
29 “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”
“The first,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.
Matthew 21:28-31 (NIV)
Who do you look up to? Are they individuals that you know only a shell of or are they three dimensional people with scars and all?
More often than not, we idolize people in our world and lives by who we think they are or what we need them to be rather than for who they actually are. I think there is a lot of interest in our culture to watch, read, and understand the persons behind the persona's. Whether it's a sports figure who doped their way into fame, or a musical icon from impoverished starts, we are fascinated by their real life and flaws. There is something in us that loves to build up and then tear down our leaders.
In the Church it is no different. We have leaders, authors, pastors, church branding that all give a certain window into who these brothers and sisters in Christ are. It's challenging to see them by the amount of fog and stage lights that can be mixed with the message of a crucified Messiah. However, on this Friday I am considering Jesus' parable to the Pharisees regarding the obedience of two sons to do the will of the father. Did you identify with the first son or the second?
I love this parable because I can see myself in both. The son who said he would do the will of the Father, but then doesn't. Also, as the son who refuses but then by his will does what his father requests. There is no example of perfection and I praise God for that for it casts the light on Jesus' perfection and sinless nature and the reality that God is able to handle our rejection.
I would like to make a request from a leader to you, look not for the perfect parts of God's people but rather for the obedient. Look for the pieces of their story where they once refused, rejected, ran, and then at the end of their rope, or by grace, turned it all over to do the will of the Father to do His will.
There are leaders who won't give you access to this part of them. They are too wounded to see this or too blind to realize their imperfection is something God could use in greater measure than their facade. This isn't overly critical of anyone, but is something we all participate in to some degree.
There is something worth following in a leader who is able to magnify God's glory when their story partly recalls, “‘I will not,’ they answered, but later they changed their mind and went."
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