As a leader, I will experience pain – deep and agonizing pain. I have two options when that pain comes:
- Lash out in anger over perceived offense
- Forgive in spite of actual offense.
Compare + Contrast with Jesus
The king of Israel, Saul, believes his top warrior, David, has or will soon betray him. He becomes so angry that he attempts to kill his own son, Jonathan, who tries to defend David’s honor. Saul leads with anger over a perceived offense. If you continue reading through the story of 1 Samuel, you’ll see this jealousy in Saul’s heart ruins himself and his family. Contrast this with Jesus.
Jesus enters into a quiet room with his disciples for his last meal with them (though they don’t yet know it). Jesus knows Judas will betray him later that night, yet he still kneels and washes Judas’ feet. He hadn’t yet been betrayed, and Jesus had already forgiven his friends. Jesus prepared for the cross he was soon to bear by humbling himself in front of twelve men who would scatter in his greatest hour of need. If you continue reading through the story of four Gospels and Acts, you’ll see this humility lead to a history-changing revolution.
Leader: Saul or Jesus?
Knife in my heart. I’ve been Saul more than I’ve been Jesus. I’ve lashed out in anger over perceived offense – much less real offense – more times than I’ve humbled myself before my enemies.
Today, as a leader, I’m challenged by this thought. I hope you are too.