A few weeks back, my group leader appeared to have been ‘stripped’ of his leadership responsibilities and this truly bothered me. I needed to know, I inquired as to ‘Why’, ‘How come’ and so forth. The direct feedback from my leader was that he was identified as a weak leader and needed to work on developing himself if he was to improve and be effective.
The indirect feedback from the rest of the leaders was mixed, some aligned to the reality, acknowledging that there was weakness and some made up ‘excuses’, leaving me quite disturbed, saddened and annoyed as well. We are not perfect individuals, I believe that there is always a way is how we get about dealing with weakness.
The apostle Paul, my favorite, has an amazing theological point about the nature of the body of Jesus Christ. This becomes a very practical application and as I interpret this to our reality, he reminds a specific ‘team’ that they should care for one another because they are all part of the same ‘team’.
He elaborates and explains how the parts of the human body work together. The eyes and ears do not only serve themselves, but the whole body. The hands do not only feed and defend themselves, but the whole body. The heart does not only supply blood to itself, but serves the whole body.
Interesting to know is that sometimes there is a part of our body that only lives to serve itself! Think about it, it doesn’t contribute anything to the rest of the body, and everything it gets it uses to feed and grow itself. Well, look no further, we call this cancer.
Charles Spurgeon, the Baptist preacher said it and, if I am to explain what he said in a more meaningful way to suite the context, “I want every member of this team to be a worker. We do not want any drones. If there are any of you who want to eat and drink, and do nothing, there are plenty of places elsewhere, where you can do it; there are empty places in abundance, more specifically after Covid; go and fill them, for we do not want you. Every teammate who is not a bee is a wasp. The most quarrelsome persons are the most useless, and they who are the most happy are peaceable, are generally those who are doing most for the master.”
The apostle Paul could have, and some today think he should have, just come out and said “care for one another” and ignore the spiritually true foundation for such caring. “Come on, Paul. Don’t bother us with theology. Just tell us what to do.” But Paul wants more than a result from this team; he also wants them to have understanding. He also knows that ultimately, the best results are based on understanding!
As my leader and his wife struggle through difficult times, I am convinced that my wife and I must have a heart towards them, have sympathy toward them even though they may not be our leader now.
Spurgeon describes the qualities of someone who is effective in the gift of helping and this was rather challenging and a great eye opener to examine myself:
· A tender heart to really care.
· A quick eye to see the need.
· A quick foot to get to the needy.
· A loving face to cheer them and bless them.
· A firm foot so you will not fall yourself.
· A strong hand to grip the needy with.
· A bent back to reach the man.
An old Puritan preacher once did a great sermon on this text: And Bartholomew (Matthew 10:3). His point was that Bartholomew is never mentioned by himself, but always with the phrase and Bartholomew. He is always spoken of doing something good with someone else. He was never the leader, but always a helper.
I just wish we can all feel this way in the honest and sincerest manner, we do not need to complicate anything, we must love all, irrespective of the persons weakness.