Tuesday, March 27th. 1 John 4:16

Our devotions this Lenten season have been written by members of Faith Lutheran Church.  Today’s devotion is by Stacy DeClouette. Also, if you would like to join our staff in praying the liturgy for Responsive Prayer/Suffrages just click here.

 

So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.  1 John 4:16

The mother and the teenage daughter seated across the desk from me were very angry. Both felt that they had been misled about our youth retreat and our values.

 

She felt her daughter should have been allowed to attend our annual Youth Retreat, even when she was sick.  She had paid her money which was not refunded immediately. The daughter seemed willing to state her case, in hope for some concession and to get back to her youth group.  

 

But the mother contended with righteous intensity that it was the principle of the thing.

 

How could I, a church leader, allow such a thing to happen at a Christian organization?  It would be unacceptable even in a secular institution.  She was mad, and she held me responsible.


I listened, acknowledged their pain and frustration, made sure they had appealed to the right staff people, apologized for any misunderstandings, asked what they specifically wanted me to do, and promised to look into it and get back to them.

My empathy for them was sincere, my inner spirit at peace.  Why? Because I was able to separate my basic identity from my leadership role.  I knew that these women did not hate me personally.  They were simply enraged at whoever happened to be in charge.


Whenever I base my identity or worth as a person on my role as a leader, I betray myself and miss God’s best for me.  I am not inherently the leader.  I am God’s child whom he dearly loves, whether people are pleased or angry with my decisions, whether I succeed or fail.

 

My next appointment that day, was with a couple who was thrilled with their child’s experience at the retreat.  I accepted their praise—but as a Church Leader, not personally. It works both ways.

 

Let us pray:  Lord, please help us to follow your love for us in our heart that draws us to reach out to others. May the work we do bring growth in this life to us and to those we work with and help us extend the Kingdom of Christ. Give all people work that draws them to you and to each other in cheerful service. In your name we pray, Amen.

 

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4 Responses to “Tuesday, March 27th. 1 John 4:16”

  1. Kerry, Allie, Jonathan and Steve Says:

    Very nice. Thanks so much.

  2. Dawne Says:

    What great insight! Loved today’s devotion. Thank you. 🙂

  3. Shari Says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. We must separate ourselves in similar situations where our personal worth is not meant to be attacked, but our professional responsibility must take action to make the right decisions.

    Sometimes, it very difficult – and many people can not distinguish between the two! Thanks!

  4. Bankss Scarborough Says:

    This is an understanding that will serve all leaders well. Thank you for this clear insight.

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