If you have ever made the statement, “It’s not fair”, you have made a statement of truth. Life is not fair. It is life! Everyone is given a measure, a boundary, and an opportunity to affect this world with the life they live. Life is not meant to be fair, every life is an opportunity for the testimony of God’s love to shine through that life to the world around them. Leaders have been given a responsibility for the sake of others. They must set an example of how the love of God and the testimony of God prevail in all things. Their measure, their boundary, and their opportunity to affect this world is for the sake of those they lead. A leader will suffer trouble as though they are an evildoer, this is part of pressing through for the sake of others as a leader. The apostle Paul suffered even to imprisonment.
2 Timothy 3:8-10 Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
A leader endures things for the sake of those they lead. Being a leader means you have been given a grace and an anointing to take people where they have never been before. Leaders must press through things that resist what God wants to do in than through them so that those they lead can break through to the things of God in their lives. I believe that the number one testimony of sent authority is endurance. To live for Christ is to endure for Christ, thus leaders must be the first to endure for the testimony of Christ in their lives. How can we say we are the character of Christ without facing things that oppose His character in our lives? God gives a special grace to leaders to endure things for the sake of those He has given them to lead. When we receive God-sent authority in our lives we also become inheritors of the heavenly harvests obtained through the endurance of their lives. Endurance is the strength of faithfulness and faithfulness is the inspiration of one’s ability to endure.
2 Timothy 2:11-13 This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
To remain faithful to Him is to reign with Him, thus faithfulness is the path to authority in all of our lives. Leaders must set an example in this and lead others into the same. Jesus gave His life for us, thus our testimony is to give life to others. This is to live for Him. Leaders set an example in the character, nature, way, power, and authority of giving life as Jesus gave His life for us. This is the true testimony of reigning in life. Our victory over all things is found in the empowerment of God’s life within us in all things. Our confession of Jesus is the testimony of His life within us. He does not seek to deny anyone, but the only testimony of His life within us is a testimony of His life-giving nature through us. This is the testimony of our faith – a response to His life within us that is seen as life for others. We are the body of Christ and leaders set an example to follow in this. They activate, facilitate, and release those within their measure of rule to become true to the nature of the family of God. Timothy was to remind his appointed leaders of these things and to set this example to the flock.
2 Timothy 2:14-18 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.
A leader is not to strive about words that have no prophet but only ruin those who become bound by those meaningless teachings. The focus of every leader must be God and the family of God. It is not about disputes and arguments that lead to destructive testimonies in the family of God. Foolish theological debates and wrangling about religious views and perceptions do not serve to give life. They only prove to produce divisive debates that propagate foolish heresies. These are things found in the kingdoms of the world, but not attributes of those who are motivated by the internal kingdom of God’s love.
A leader is to set an example of being someone who is approved by God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed. It is not about Scripture knowledge, but of family character. A Leader opens the door for all to come into the growing dynamic of becoming a testimony of Spirit and Truth. Leaders must shun profane and idle babblings, for they only increase to more ungodliness. The apostle Paul was even bold enough to name some by name who had caused division in the family of God. Hymenaeus and Philetus were these kinds of people and their babblings spread like cancer in the body of Christ. Cancer cells are cells that seek to consume other cells in the body to sustain their own personal propagation. They destroy the life of the body for their own appetites and desires. Leaders have a responsibility in the body of Christ to protect the healthy cells from destructive individuals or heresies that rob the body of true life. Self-seeking agendas have no place in the body of Christ. We do not judge the world for their selfish ways, but those same selfish ways must not be a part of the community of God.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson