Wisdom and Justice

I have put this post up at The Apollos Project and applied it to parents. Here, on The Shepherd’s Blog, it applies to leadership positions within the church. During a long, protracted conflict within our family of churches, this one lesson was drilled home to me again and again. Innocent lack of wisdom on my part can lead to real or perceived injustice on the parts of others. I as a leader need to be aware of the power I have and the unintentional hurt I can cause. Read the whole thing. Chap

So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong…So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this …for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart…1 Kings 3:10-12

As a leader, I will be called upon to make a myriad of decisions. Should we do this ministry or that? Should we do it at one time or another? Should we allow one thing or another? Should I recruit one person or another?   Truly leaders need the wisdom of God!

But as an imperfect leader, I will err. There will be times that I will not make the wisest choice. As a person in authority, I will unwittingly have made a poor choice. No big deal, right? We all make mistakes, right?

Except that this verse highlights an oft misunderstood principle by those in authority. In 1 Kings Solomon prayed for wisdom to administer justice. Why? Because when a leader is wise, his followers experience justice. But when a leader is unwise, those underneath him experience that lack of wisdom as injustice.

This principle not only applies to the leaders of countries but also to the leaders of churches and leaders of ministries. When a ministry leader is wise, his or her followers experience a just and fair time. But when we lack wisdom, those we lead will often experience this lack of wisdom as injustice. They feel our decisions as fundamentally unfair. Our innocent lack of wisdom can cause others pain.

So as we lead through the myriad of decisions that come our way, let us cry out for the wisdom of God to lead our church or our ministry. And let us sympathize with them when they feel the effects of our unwise choices. No, we will not lead them perfectly. Only the kingdom of Christ will bring in perfect wisdom and justice. But understanding this principle will help us treat those underneath us more gently, kindly, and compassionately.

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