Daily Insight November 17
Do you know one thing God opposes? (part 2)
“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5 (b)
As we know, pride can get into individual lives. Alternatively, pride can get into the way of effective and servant type of Christian leadership Jesus modeled. Peter of course remembered what Jesus highlighted in his private teaching of the disciples. I believe the teaching of Jesus made tremendous influence in his life that later he wrote our today’s insight, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” The teaching of Jesus in this topic is recorded in Matthew 20:25-28, “Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Understanding the possibility of pride nature and behaviors, the Bible says in 1 Peter 5:3 says a solemn warning to elders, “Not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.” Humility, love, care, discerning, understanding, feeding the flocks are true characteristics of all leaders. This must certainly apply to Christian leaders. Peter wrote that leaders and all people in congregations must clothe humility toward one another (1 Peter 5:5(b). Youth to leaders and leaders to youth.
The leaders with the absences of Bible training can become blind and arrogant in their false imaginations and speculations. The tendency of arrogant pride is typically seen in leaders who do not value proper Bible training. I understand much Bible knowledge also can puff up people. However, there is a difference seen consistently. The pride that enters into one who does not have appropriate Bible training is more dangerous than the pride of those who have proper Bible training. Moreover, the correct interpretation of the Scripture and ongoing feeding of the Bible truths would also lack in such an environment. It is cardinal to get trained at least for some time before being recognized as a spiritual leader in a local church. The absence of such formal training is like driving a car without proper training or flying an airplane or any machine without adequate training. Imagine the danger a person who does not have a balanced and systematic training of the whole Scripture can bring to people around them and the congregation.
In the olden days, there were not many opportunities for getting proper training in the Bible. The days are different now. Suppose a person wants to serve in a leadership capacity in a church or para-church organization. In that case, if he or she cares about God’s calling, there are several opportunities to get adequately trained first. If formal training is not a possibility the at least formal Bible education is needed for Christian ministries. Formal education means seriously studying the Bible for some time, along with several sermons, books. Although it can never take the place of formal training, it can certainly help. The skill needed can also be attained by learning from someone who formally studied the Bible and willing to impart the skills to you for some time. KJV says in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
The whole scope of the Christian leadership can be summed up in this way- “equipping the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:12). Two things are here -equip the believers for the work God called them in to. Stand with them, promote them, pray for them, support them, and in short, equip them to become all God wants them to become in a local church setting, for His glory. Listen the second scope a true leader is “building up the body of Christ to attain the unity of faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to make the congregation more and more mature in this knowledge of the truth so that they may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” Ephesian 4:13-14.
For such a gigantic task, a leader must be equipped first by Christ given gift and then by formal education of the Scripture.
In addition, formal training or formal education in the Bible can help avoid the pitfall of dangerous pride in leadership. Without it, a leader simply would not adequately be equipped to equip the believers for the ministry God uniquely called them for. Alternatively, without it, a leader might be prone to dangerous pride as he gets more opportunities to influence people. Finding ways to feed the flocks with the Bible’s undiluted truths and thus equipping them becomes a secondary concern. God’s primary scope of “equipping the saint’s ministries in the congregation and building up the church in the knowledge of the Son of God” becomes a remote reality.
“Father in heaven, I understand you want me to first study to show myself approved to God. Help to spend a period of time in studying and getting formally prepared for the gigantic task you are planning in my life. I submit myself for the fulfillment of your plans. I want to know you more. I want to know Jesus more. I want to know Holy Spirit more. I want to know the Word more. Forgive if I ignored this need for the huge task ahead of me. I submit my life to you. Use me for your glory. Lord make me more humble. As I study the Bible may be more firm in your truth and at the same time help to fight against the tendencies to become prideful and ignore other people who also have a major role in your kingdom. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.”