A book I try to read every year is “A Tale of Three Kings” by Gene Edwards. Few books challenge my leadership and servanthood as this one. It may be the way he phrases thought provoking questions or brings biblical scenarios into modern day relevancy. Whatever it is, I recommend this book to every leader and every servant, because before we can learn to lead we must learn to serve. Before we can be in a position to receive honor, we must first model it.
This excerpt is actually the entirety of Chapter 6 and it’s always the one that gets me.
David had a question: What do you do when someone throws a spear at you? Does it seem odd to you that David did not know the answer to this question? After all, everyone else in the world knows what to do when a spear is thrown at you. Why, you pick up the spear and throw it right back! “When someone throws a spear at you, David, just wrench it out of the wall and throw it back. Everyone else does, you can be sure.” And in performing this small feat of returning thrown spears, you will prove many things: You are courageous. You stand for the right. You boldly stand against the wrong. You are tough and can’t be pushed around. You will not stand for injustice or unfair treatment. You are the defender of the faith, keeper of the flame, detector of all heresy. You will not be wronged. All of these attributes then combine to prove that you are also a candidate for kingship. Yes, perhaps you are the Lord’s anointed. After the order of King Saul. There is also a possibility that some twenty years after your coronation, you will be the most incredibly skilled spear thrower in all the realm. And also by then . . . Quite mad.
We question leaders that God has placed over us and in frustration we mutter 4 of the most divisive words in servanthood… “If I were leading…”. And if we strive to correct our leaders errors but would like to remove ourselves even further from the scene we may mutter the 3 most divisive words in servanthood… “Why don’t they…?”
Regardless of the words spoken, the heart has revealed its condition and that condition is sickly. But our words have been spoken and our rightness declared. We know the direction to take and we hope that God would see it as well so we could move forward in our profound rightness. Ah, but as Edwards writes, “My, how certain we mortals can be… of things even angels do not know.”
If we position ourselves to serve in body but not heart, we serve ourselves. If we position our heart to serve, our body will follow, and we will be serving Him who has called us. Shouldn’t that be the desire of every leader?