Senior Pastor, Misión Cristiana Elim, El Salvador
- Leader of one of the world’s largest churches with 73,000 attendees, campuses throughout El Salvador, more than 7,000 cell groups and a staff of 92 pastors
- Misión Cristiana Elim achieved exponential growth in the midst of civil war through the successful implementation of cell group strategies
1 Samuel 15:34-16:1
To obey is better to sacrifice, integrity worth more than many riches.
Was God to harsh in rejecting Saul for a single act of disobedience? There are defining moments in a life of a man that reveal his character. There are actions that people of integrity refuse to engage in. Values have been seared in their conscious over the years. For them the line between right and wrong is clearly delineated. Saul’s act was the tip of the iceberg, that revealed his true character. Saul’s abuse of power continued and deepened from there. His uncontrollable ambition he even tried to murder his own son. He murdered the priest of God. Those who open the door of moral failure, open the door to greater failures to come. Charsima and skills were not enough to keep him on the throne of Israel. Integrity of character was far more important. Saul had now shown the world his lack of it.
Samuel grieved over the fact that God had disqualified Saul. Not Samuel had a moral choice to make. He would have to chose between his loyalty to his values and his loyalty to Saul. When others, especially leaders fail, it forces many to make difficult choices about where their ultimate loyalty lies. Saul decide to remain firm in his loyalty to God and doing what was right. Samuel never again saw Saul’s face. Saul was traveling down the path he could no longer travel down.
This lead to four phases in Samuel process of facing this moral failure in Saul’s life.
First phase for Samuel was DENIAL. He couldn’t accept that Saul would not be king. It seemed like a bad nightmare that Saul had been rejected. He learned over time that God’s decision was final. The sun went down, and anguish continued to press his heart. His grief was uncontrollable, and he had to face reality.
Second phase was DEPRESSION. The depression of understanding his difficult duty; the one that leaves us no options. Saul lacked a healthy fear of God. The evidence was undeniable. Integrity lost cannot be fully restored. This daunting reality led him to a deep depression. He searched for an alternative. There were no other options. He couldn’t be king.
The third phase is the PROCESS OF ACCEPTANCE. Saul would no longer be king. He felt alone and desolate. If Saul wouldn’t be king, he struggled with knowing who would be. He knew it was his responsibility to anoint a new king. He knew this would destroy his relationship with Saul.
The fourth phase is ACTION. It was time to appoint a new king. Time to look toward the future. The plans of God were still on course.
Are facing a difficult decision at this moment? Are you allowing your personal bias to influence your decision? Maybe you are in your own dark night of grieving. It’s difficult when you have to decide over people’s lives. But these are decisions that you can not delegate to any other person. Give yourself permission to cry, to hurt, and walk through depression. This is normal. Never give yourself permission to avoid doing what is right. Don’t give yourself permission to live int he valley of depression. Lay the grief before the Lord. Look to tomorrow. God has more in store for you.
This is the healthiest choice for all parties involved and the best choice for you. Every right decision a leader makes will strengthen his influence. You will never regret doing what is just and walking with integrity. As the years pass by, they will reveal justice and integrity in your actions. IN light of these thoughts, be courageous. Be strong. Live with integrity. The Lord is with you.
At the core of leadership is this question, “Do people trust me? do they trust the power we’ve empowered to lead?” To the extent we are trusted, we can lead. When we lose trust, it’s game over. We can no longer lead. It all comes to a grinding halt.
Do a trust audit.