In work and ministry, there will always be situations where power struggles arise.
Our desire to keep people on our team or our side, can result in a temptation to manipulate a certain situation. All of a sudden, we neglect integrity and authenticity; instead choosing actions and behaviours outside of what God has called us to do.
In 1 Kings 12, we read about two opposing leaders, Rehoboam and Jeroboam. A battle is about to ensue, but then Rehoboam receives the following message from God.
“‘This is what the Lord says: Do not go up to fight against your brothers, the Israelites. Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.’ So they obeyed the word of the Lord and went home again, as the Lord had ordered.” (12:24)
On the other side of the battle lines, we read that the opposing king, Jeroboam has completely lost his way.
“Jeroboam thought to himself, ‘The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David. If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will kill me and return to King Rehoboam.’ After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, ‘It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’” (12:26-28)
It got worse from there. Jeroboam built shrines, appointed ungodly priests, instituted pagan festivals and offered sacrifices to these false gods. As we read into chapter 13, we see that his foul behaviour continues.
The last verse in chapter 13 reads, “This was the sin of the house of Jeroboam that led to its downfall and to its destruction from the face of the earth.” (13:34)
If you have 20 minutes free this morning, grab a coffee and work through 1 Kings 12 and 13. Jeroboam made so many tragic mistakes!
Nevertheless, we are all capable of loosing our way in times of conflict.
Take some time to pray through your current work and/or ministry conflicts. Have battle lines been drawn? Have you chosen sides? Are you lacking integrity and authenticity within your actions and behaviours?
I must admit; this is an area that I fail in far too frequently!
Its time to choose God’s side. Let’s take some notes on people we can meet with and actions we can take to bring unity back into the situation.
Have you ever experienced a conflict in your work or ministry? Have multiple people been involved and lines of allegiance been drawn? If so, how did you handle that situation?