Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rivalry

Biblical thought...
That night the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham." (Genesis 26:24)

a Book thought...
Any second chair can be a better leader by developing a “how can I help you?” attitude. (p97)
a Dave thought... from christianitytoday.com
We men, in particular, are fond of glibly citing Proverbs 27:17 concerning the way in which "iron sharpens iron" when two strong personalities pursue their differences in a truly Christian context. But too often we flee that ancient wisdom when the sparks from the grating iron begin to fly. There is no evidence of such a costly retreat in the New Testament, all of its unity pleas notwithstanding. Paul and the earliest Judaizers—Christians, all—went at each other hammer and tongs, a fact that neither Paul nor the early church fathers tried to keep under literary wraps even when Paul's anger extended to Peter and James.

Doris Kearns Goodwin concluded that Lincoln's "unprecedented decision to incorporate his eminent rivals into his political family, the cabinet, was evidence of a profound self-confidence and a first indication of what would prove to others a most unexpected greatness." The decision was neither a sign of weakness nor cowardice, but rather of strength and hope. In the end, Lincoln's adversaries were some of his greatest disciples. Seward became one of his closest personal friends and advisors, and Goodwin states that the irascible and always composed Stanton would weep uncontrollably at the mention of Lincoln's name after the assassination. So, too, for Jesus' disciples, men who only hours before his arrest and crucifixion engaged in a juvenile argument over who was to be the greatest among them, but who three days later became a singular, world-changing force. Rivalry and unity, it seems, are cut from the same cloth.

Just a thought.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I read the same article on ChristianityToday and paused to reflect how homoginised and sterile my church appears (albeit from my seat and not necessarily others).

The challenge is for us to learn to that unity isn't the same as uniformity. Unity can exist where there are differences of opinion, uniformity can't.