Boys with Toys
The problem with being anointed as king outside of God’s specific purpose is that it leaves a grace gap. Here’s the principle: God will always provide the grace needed to equip us for whatever God has purposed for us to do. Saul was in a different spot. It was not that God left him on his own to perform the task but rather that he was the wrong man for the task. He was king; it was a significant role. However, the kingship was not rightfully his and so he found himself on a search for significance for the rest of his life. It is obvious that he was insecure, when he see his reaction to David’s triumphs. A search for significance comes from a place of insecurity. It is an external manifestation of an internal inadequacy. So he took the gift that was in his hand, the kingship, and used it from a place of need. Even in the areas that he excelled at, he was compromised because he lived life from the outside rather than from the inside out. For example, he was a man of valour at times but in the end this lead him to taking his own life in battle. In other words, his life was felt-needs driven. He had no real sense of identity, so he was threatened when David received recognition from the people. The man who was, in reality, his greatest ally was perceived to be his greatest enemy. He was the king and had all the trappings to prove the point. The trouble was he had never quite grown up; he was like a boy with toys, lost in a fantasy world but trying to live in an alternative universe that, somehow, always eluded him.
Church leadership is in crisis. Of course, there are many reasons why but I have no doubt that “Boys with Toys” are a major factor. I would like to be able to say that it’s not their fault. However, as far as God is concerned, leaders are more accountable, so they’d better make sure that they know what they’re doing! Let me suggest to you two main factors that perpetuate the crisis: belief systems and vested interest. The leader is no different from anyone else; he is locked into his belief system, therefore, it dictates the way he does his leadership. If he believes that he has the right to dictate to his people, then that is what he will do. If he believes that he has the right to lead on the basis of his education, then he will only educate them. If he believes in democracy in the Church, he will fall prey to the whims of the majority of the moment. The list is endless but none of these things make him a bad man; only compromised. Vested interest is another matter altogether. What if the belief system is held for self interest? What if his position is used to maintain control over the people? What if the stated belief guarantees income? What if maintaining the status quo protects his pension in retirement? What if private belief comes into conflict with the party line? What would he stand to lose if he rocked the boat? Then the toys that the boy plays with become lethal weapons in his hand. Where is the grace and where is the truth? He has lost his integrity and, therefore, his right to lead God’s people.