Monday, September 5, 2011

Do you know Absalom?

Now it came about after this that Absalom provided for himself a chariot and horses and fifty men as runners before him. Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way to the gate; and when any man had a suit to come to the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, From what city are you? And he would say, Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel. Then Absalom would say to him, See, your claims are good and right, but no man listens to you on the part of the king. Moreover, Absalom would say, Oh that one would appoint me judge in the land, then every man who has any suit or cause could come to me and I would give him justice.
2 Samuel 15:1-4

Absalom was King David's son. As I read this today I was intrigued by the slickness of Absalom. He has issues with his dad and with God's authority. He was unhappy with the way things were and he was going to make things happen his way. He had improvements in mind.

I think we all know an Absalom and at times many of us have played his game. Maybe it's at work or at church or maybe it was on the playground as a child.

We have a plan; we have a vision for a better job or world or ministry or game. The only thing separating us from world dominion is that someone else is in charge.

Of course there are proper ways and channels to work for change but many times we look for the shortcut. We wouldn't say it out loud but we believe God is moving too slow.

So we take matters into our own hands. We look for the disgruntled. We start to highlight the flaws and shortcomings of those in charge. We make it look like we are on the side of those who haven't gotten all they wanted from whoever is charge be they a boss, church leader, etc. The truth is, it's all about us. We couldn't really care less for the welfare of those we are using to accomplish our objectives. And little do they know how neglected they will be once we are in charge.

Watch out for Absalom. He promises great things and he has great plans but it may not be God's plan or way or time. Watch out when someone flatters you and then asks you to join in their new venture. Watch out for the subtle way that authority is undermined. Don't be jumping on the latest bandwagon all the time. Watch out when the new thing will hurt the old thing. 

Remember that all leaders are flawed. Yes, some of them are bad and need to be replaced but most are working hard to accomplish what they are supposed to do. Look for ways to support them. It's easy to tear things down but harder to build and maintain and usually less exciting.

Watch out for Absalom and you watch out for yourself.

Philip

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