Jesus said that 'it shall not be so among you'

The writer is an elder and pastor in the Church of God and a Journal columnist.

By Dave Havir

BIG SANDY, Texas-How long does it take a person to change a deeply held conviction? Change should not be capricious or whimsical. Therefore it should take time. But how much?

If it took years to formulate an idea, does it take the same number of years to reverse that idea?

If it took years to reach a false conclusion about a scripture, would it take the corresponding amount of years to dramatically alter that conclusion about the scripture?

If it took 15 to 30 years to reach an erroneous conclusion, must it take 15 to 30 years to correct that view?

It is my perspective that many Christians have the wrong view about Matthew 20:25-28. It is my opinion that these people are sincere. Oftentimes they are quite zealous.

When a person looks at the panoramic view of the people of God (sitting in incorporated churches and in living rooms), he notices that there is too much friction between people. What is causing the friction?

Some people point to certain scriptures and explain that deceitful people are plotting mischief. To some degree, this is probably true.

Other people describe the actions of Christians as being sincere, misguided zealots. In their zeal for God, some people are not practicing true religion. Matthew 23 talks about a religious system of Christ's day. Luke 9:54-56 talks about a mistake of Christ's own disciples.

Influencing deceitful people not to plot mischief is nearly impossible.

Influencing sincere people who zealously misapply some scriptures has some possibilities. How can you be a positive influence on other people?

If you are a leader, you will have the opportunity to practice Christ's leadership style. Your example will directly affect the people you serve and may indirectly affect others.

If you are dealing with a leader, you may have the opportunity to educate the leader. This may be tricky. How successful you will be may depend on how entrenched the professed leader is in the controlling leadership style.

Military leaders tend to view life through the perspective of rank. The higher ranks have the privileges. The higher ranks deserve more respect. The higher ranks control communication.

Servant leaders, like Christ, give privileges. Servant leaders give respect. Servant leaders encourage communication.

Military leaders tend to identify enemies. Military leaders live in the world of competition. Military leaders are evaluated by others and by themselves by their winning.

Servant leaders, like Christ, do not label and belittle. Servant leaders live in the world of cooperation. Servant leaders are evaluated by helping others to be successful.

If you want to help a "leader" who is entrenched in the controlling leadership style, you will have to be the true leader. This means gaining mature control of your emotions.

The military leader will tend to put you at a disadvantage. The military leader will tend not to respond well to your sensible communication. Even if you make spiritual sense, you may be labeled with terms like "Korah," "troublemaker," "rebellious" and "bad attitude."

It is important for you to remain in control of your emotions. Even if the leader provokes you to wrath, you should return the mature response. Your anger may be justified. Yet the immature "leader" may follow his usual leadership scripting. Oftentimes the real issues will get lost in the perceived battle for control.

There may come a point where you will not be able to help a particular leader. However, God will see that you were a mature Christian who tried to imitate Jesus Christ.

Many people with the title of leader and Christian may follow the wrong leadership style. But it shall not be so among you.

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