Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Make it Right

by Pastor Bong Gonzales

1 Sam 12:1-3
Samuel said to all Israel, "I have listened to everything you said to me and have set a king over you. 2 Now you have a king as your leader. As for me, I am old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have been your leader from my youth until this day. 3 Here I stand. Testify against me in the presence of the Lord and his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribe to make me shut my eyes? If I have done any of these, I will make it right."

As I was meditating the preaching outline for this coming Sunday here in New York City (Sept. 26, 2010) the verse above led me to write this note for all of my fellow pastors, leaders and for those who are serving the Lord.

4 Things that I will always check and need to keep it right or make it right:
  • Whose ox or donkey have I taken?
  • Whom have I taken advantage of as far as livelihood is concern?
  • Did we as a leader manipulated others?
  • Have we used our people to advance our own interest?
This is a challenge of becoming a true “Servant Leader”. For more than 20 years of Pastoral Ministry under JIL Church, I have been with many good people who volunteered to join me in fulfilling the great commission. Most of them are still around, though few has already been transferred to eternity.

I have not asked these questions to them. Especially to those whom I have left in order to move to other City or place of assignment. Hopefully if we meet either here or in eternity I have nothing to be charged of regarding this matter.

Sad to say there are some who obviously does take advantage of others. They seem to be concerned and yet as you look at the result of how they set up things, its always about protecting or advancing their personal good, position or interest.

 Whom I have cheated? A question of Integrity. To whom have I lied? Some are tempted to make their reports so good to impress and gain favor or promotion. But for all we know that truth always prevails.

I remember one Pastor who submits exaggerated status report. Yes he was promoted, though it was short lived because the truth was found and worse he even lost an opportunity to serve God in this Ministry. Cheating hurts. It costs the lost of confidence of those who work with us and for us. It breaks healthy relationship. It destroys everything we have worked for.

So let’s check this always in our service, let us serve God with integrity and honesty. Most of the times when we are caught in lying, we could hardly know we’re in it. But to those who serve God truthfully, they have nothing to be caught in but His Truth.

Whom I have oppressed? – Oppression is simply defined as controlling others to do what we want even to the point of forcing it to be done, violating the opportunity of others working with us to show their talents and ability to do things with joy and freedom.

This probably is one that many of us leaders should examine our selves. Our ministry position does not put us above others. It just sends us in front of others to lead them not control them.

Politics sometimes comes in even to the ministry. That while others are suffering due to unjust and unfair protocols we enjoy the benefits of the labors of others. Thank God that He has given us who becomes victims of leadership abuse, with Christ like patience and humility that causes us to see the goodness of the Lord in the midst of tyranny of man.

As leaders we must make sure that our co-workers are truly partners. I always check my self in this, and of course those with whom I work with. Honestly, there’s so much we need to pray in this regards. This one kills the motivation, the appetite of serving. It also destroys trust and work relationship. This leads to rebellion and sometimes death of ministry and calling. So let’s be aware as leaders.

I pray to God that like Samuel, may I be able to state these things to all I have been blessed to work with to say what he asked. I pray that if I may be found guilty, I would be given a chance to make it right!!!

God bless

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