Power Please

2 Samuel 1:10 “So I stood over him and killed him because I knew that after he had fallen he couldn’t survive. I took the crown that was on his head and the armband that was on his arm, and I’ve brought them here to my lord.”

On the last Wednesday of every month, I’m reawakened to a particular personal problem. At noon on that day, my ministry’s board of directors gathers for a monthly meeting.  On the agenda, without fail, is the item “Executive Director’s Report.” My responsibility is to give somewhat of a ministry snapshot since our last meeting. Most often, a day before the board meeting, a number of problems run through my mind. It might revolve around a lack of volunteer help, staff issues, problems with the city government, questioning my purpose and effectiveness, signs of fatigue or burnout, a lack of time to connect with God the way I need to, and the list goes on. These are things I know I should communicate in the right context, but invariably at my time to give report, almost as if something takes control of my tongue, I speak about the positive finances, the salvations that occurred, the progress on the building project, the great media coverage, etc. Why?

Power Pleasing

I think it was the downfall of the Amalekite in 2 Samuel, chapter 1.  Saul was dead and all knew that David would now take the throne. It is the point of discovery for David that kingship had dawned.  And the only one to know it before David was the Amalekite. Did he wonder how he might please the power to be as he traveled to find David? Certainly, he had considered this lie and supposed it would bring him favor. But in his effort to please David and gain that favor, he brought the most severe trouble on his own head.

We may think we know what the powerful people in our life want to hear. And we may be tempted to embellish the truth in an effort gain their favor, continued support or approval. It may even be subconscious or stemming from a desire to simply spare the listener any trouble of heart. I can see my own struggle with this at the end of every month. Not only do I tend to fail in sharing the “whole truth” at these meetings, but if ever I was asked about a sentinel event that occurred, “How did this happen?” it would be very unlike me to simply say, “I’m not sure” even if that was the true response. And yet, it’s exactly what the Amalekite should have said. Lesson learned. Truth in whole is often a hard pill to swallow, but replacing it with any other medication is poisonous.

 

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