The quietness of the house tonight has made me introspective. I’m pondering more than one unfortunate and sorrowful story of respected spiritual leaders, some of who I know personally, who are not ending well. Years of effective service drowned in torrents of suspicion, accusation, or slowly found irrelevance. As a leader who is just starting a new church-planting journey, I’m tempted to point the finger and say “that will never be me.” But I’m tormented by the unfortunate knowledge of my own humanity. Why do we hold onto things so long and so tightly?
It’s easy to throw stones when you sit where I am today…literally with nothing. Nothing but a dream that’s bigger than my reality. No massive throngs of people listening to me teach, no years of “successful” history to lean back into, no big salary. When you don’t have much it’s not hard to let it go. But after 5, 9, 18 years of “sweat equity,” will I still be able to withstand the allure?
Once again, Jesus was the ultimate example. He personally invested in countless lives, was followed across the countryside by massive crowds, healed the sick and even raised the dead (you know His Twitter feed would have outnumbered even President Obama’s). And right as His power and influence reached the point of critical mass, as the people were ready to crown Him King…
He died. He died. He willfully died.
Jesus held everything loosely. The One who owned it all to begin with never acted as if He owned anything. I hope the same will be said about me. I guess only time will tell.