TEMPLE: The BODY of CHRIST
(Personal and Plural)
As a young Territorial Youth/Candidate’s Secretary upstart, a very seasoned, respected and influential Salvation Army leader spoke at a conference I attended. One of his illustrations was very impactful to me personally.
He spoke about his first appointment as a Divisional Commander (comparable to a Bishop or Superintendent in another denomination). He said (paraphrasing), "After attaining this position, there came times when I would flex my muscles if those under my command were not going by ‘the book,’ as I interpreted it, or were not conforming to my superiorly anointed wisdom and insight. When I did, my wife would always whisper into my ear, ‘Honey, you’re DC’ing it again.’ And that would always bring me back down to earth. "
I have never forgotten this, admittedly forgetting occasionally and flexing my muscles (sometimes mercilessly) when I too arrived at that exalted position. Fortunately, there would always come this haunting whispering in the ear, "Honey, you’re DC’ing it again,” bringing me back down to earth. Yes, there were times when I took myself and the position too seriously, when the focus should've been on taking God and his Word seriously. And this applies at every level of leadership, bottom up.
I'm at a point now where I can speak from lots of experience, some of it very recently, and here’s the most important lesson I've learned; it's become one of my leadership mantras:
If I'm going to err, I'm going to err on the side of compassion.
Evil abounds ubiquitously, coming in all shapes and sizes. And a manufactured cross on a building won't keep it out. Recall Jesus’ actions in the temple:
Jesus went straight to the Temple and threw out everyone who had set up shop, buying and selling. He kicked over the tables of loan sharks and the stalls of dove merchants. He quoted this text: ‘My house was designated a house of prayer; You have made it a hangout for thieves.’ Now there was room for the blind and crippled to get in. They came to Jesus and he healed them.
Evil abounds everywhere (Yes, even in the Temples), but it cannot even begin to compete with the superabounding power of compassion, mercy and grace. The more of mercy, the less of evil, it’s as simple as that.
Follow me and I’ll show you how.
He was moved with compassion.
They came to Jesus and he healed them.
The more the scarier!… for Satan and his legions.
(To be continued—check here weekly. If new, check back to previous posts)