A few days ago, I tackled the subject of good leaders who seem to have in their inner circle leaders of questionable ability or motive. We took a look at David, one of Israel’s greatest leaders and a guy he had on his leadership team named Joab. Today, let’s continue in that vein by taking a look at the greatest leader in the history of Israel, well, actually the history of the world, Jesus Christ.
At one point in time, Jesus made the decision to pour his knowledge and heart into a group of men He called disciples. Jesus did this with an end in mind: eventually when the time was right, these men would be the primary carriers of His heart and knowledge to the world. They were an interesting crew; not possessing the pedigree that most of us would look for in people who would sustain what Jesus began and build upon it. There was one interesting guy in the mix I’d like to focus on. His name was Judas Iscariot.
The Bible opens to us the character of this man. It tells us that it was well known among the disciples that Judas was a thief, he was helping himself to the treasury funds (John 12:6). We don’t know for sure if Jesus knew about this but, come on, if the disciples knew and Jesus could discern what was in the heart of man, how could He not have known? Judas did not have a heart for the poor like Jesus did. And, it became apparent as time went by that Jesus knew for sure that it was Judas who was going to betray Him to those who wanted to kill him.
Why would anyone in their right mind keep this guy on as part of their inner circle?
Jesus did not make the choice to have Judas as part of His inner circle lightly: He prayed all night over His choice. Did He miss it with the choice of Judas? Was He negligent in His refusal to remove him from His position?
With the power, knowledge and ability that Jesus possessed it is hard to answer either question in the affirmative. You see, Jesus knew exactly who and what Judas was when He chose him. In the vast scheme of things, Judas–character flaws and all, had a vital role to play in how the plan of God was unfolding.
It is very easy to get “antsy” when we see what appears to be a bad leader rise up among us. When this happens, how should we respond? Many people make the decision to “bail” on the entire scheme. How can we be sure that God is not using this in His plan? And, further, are we not considering that maybe God is showing mercy to a leader who is at a crossroads in his life?
Don’t bail out when these things happen. God didn’t all of a sudden lose control over what is going on. I will speak something to you right now that maybe you’ve never thought of:
If you face these situations thinking more of your own integrity than you do about the will of God, you will make errors in judgement!!
I’ve been faced with such a decision before: a leader is doing things I don’t like–he begins to cross my line. I get scared thinking my own integrity is at stake and I get tempted to distance myself away to protect myself. Seemed like a good alternative at the time. Thank God, someone who was more mature than me asked me a simple question, “Are you sure this is God talking to you and not your own fear?”
It was my fear-I stayed the course and found out that what was going on was actually God working– not what I had imagined. You can’t protect yourself from every pain, so don’t make that your goal.
Lousy leaders play a role in the big picture. Sometimes, God chooses them, like He did with Judas!!! You can’t jump ship every time you encounter one. If you do, you’ll forfeit the spiritual growth that God intended for you and miss out on the plan of God.