Showing posts with label Servant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Servant. Show all posts

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Tyrants and Pushovers

Nobody likes a tyrant. I don’t imagine anyone ever did even when, as is so often claimed today, tyranny was the defining feature of patriarchal leadership in the secular world, in church government, and even sometimes within families. At least this is what we are led to believe.

I have no doubt a significant number of the horror stories about the abusive leadership of times past are perfectly true, and should serve us well as cautionary tales. But I very much doubt all of them are.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

How Not to Crash and Burn (58)

Three of these final nine Solomonic proverbs address masters and thieves.

For the thief, there is a certain excitement and freedom from the moral strictures others are required to observe, but these come with the potential hazard of arrest, prosecution and punishment. Flaunting society’s rules always brings with it the possibility of eventual payback. And while it is certainly a better lot in life overall to be master rather than servant, that role brings with it responsibilities, decisions and difficulties neither slave nor employee really has to trouble themselves about.

Though very different, neither master nor thief is always a desirable role to play.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Leaders and the Led

What does biblical leadership look like?

The answer in many quarters these days is “servanthood”. The term “servant leadership” is said to have been coined by Robert Greenleaf in a 1970 essay, allegedly after reading a story by Hermann Hesse. Greenleaf’s concept has since been promoted by numerous evangelicals, including John Piper and the Acts 29 network of churches, of which ubiquitous YouTube presence Matt Chandler is president.

At one level, who can argue? “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.” “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.”

Pretty unambiguous, really.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Reading Too Much Into It

While observing that the vocabulary, syntax and idiomatic language of holy writ retain the characteristics of individual human authorship, I am confident each of these things was in every case perfectly superintended by the Holy Spirit of God. Thus Paul does not write exactly like James, who in turn does not write like David or Moses. Yet all not only spoke the word of God, they spoke the very words of God.

Let’s start with that. Even if I end up somewhere not everyone may like.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Be Who You Are

Charles Paul Landon, 1760-1826
Poor Hagar. Seems like she was everybody’s punching bag, doesn’t it.

When we are introduced to her in Genesis, she is the servant of Abram’s wife. Every modern writer will tell you servitude is the worst of all possible fates, so it must be so. Then Hagar’s mistress, too old to conceive, comes up with the bright idea of using Hagar as a means of perpetuating her own family line.

Despite his years of experience, Abram goes along with Sarai’s plan. After all, he’s a guy, and he’s just been given permission — by his own wife, yet — to have guilt-free sex with a younger woman.

What could possibly go wrong?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

“I Looked for a Man …”

The Bible is filled with the stories of people who we would fairly call ‘servants of God’ — men and women who did great things at pivotal moments and who are forever enshrined in both the Old and New Testaments as examples and stalwarts.

Biblically-undocumented servants fill the annals of secular history too — people who gave their lives in the pursuit of God’s work; men like George Mueller or Jim Elliot come to mind. But there are thousands of others who bore the title ‘servant of God’ with distinction by changing the course of nations and standing for God at needful times.

Then there are those of us who are Christians today and aspire to be worthy of the grand title ‘servant of God’ in our generations.