“For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and from his mouth men should seek instruction – because he is the messenger of the LORD Almighty…Have we not all one Father? Did not one God create us? Why do we profane the covenant of our fathers by breaking faith with one another?” Malachi 2:7, 10.
It is so easy to criticize those who serve in leadership roles in the church. The belief is that they have been called by God and must be held to a higher standard. Coupled with that belief we have assigned ourselves as judge, jury and executioner. It certainly is true that God calls certain individuals into leadership within the church. Leading a congregation is a calling that requires a surrendered life, but we are all called in the priesthood of God. ‘But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.’ 1 Peter 2:9. While we all are not called into church leadership, we are all certainly called into a covenant relationship with the same Father. We have an inheritance through this covenant of ‘life and peace’ when we revere the one Father…the one and only God (Malachi 2:5).
When we live out our priesthood in the royal family of God we become heirs in a shared family that comes with responsibilities of being our Father’s mouthpiece. Why do tear one another apart as one child criticizes another child in the same family? Why does one feel entitled over the other within the same family unit? When we slip on our spiritual glasses and see our lives as it relates to one family under God, our words and actions should reflect the Father’s will and desires. In my family growing up, my dad was the head of the family and we all looked towards him as he set the tone for our home. It was our responsibility as members of that home to reflect his instruction and will. There was nothing more disruptive in the family than the arguments of each other. When our lives aligned with his vision, the family unit ran smoothly and beneficially for all.
We are called to break bread with each other in the family of Christ, not to break faith by tearing down another with our words or actions. ‘Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:6
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Liked your article. It got me thinking about two things.
Firstly, I remembered reading a book that talked about the "Pastor-hood of all Believers". We expect too much of our leaders and not enough of ourselves.
Secondly, you might like to read my article about Nehemiah called Unity in Diversity. It talks about what God's people can do when they learn to get along, and put the priorities of God and His people above their own personal ones.
Imagine what the church could achieve if we stopped all the squabbling and competing, and learned to practice a little more grace and forgiveness.