How about, promoting justice that builds and rebuilds broken bridges? Or maybe, contributing to the leaders of color in our under-resourced communities, thus enhancing the transformational work in their communities and in people’s lives? I can think of no better uses of a grace gift from God.
What to do with a “Grace Gift from God”? That really is the question, isn’t it? There are so many ways to respond. LaSalle Street Church received a 1.6 million dollar grace gift from God and immediately began trying to figure out how to use it in ways that would impact the Kingdom of God. A president of a Christian university received a grace gift from God, of over $2 million dollars, and proceeded to buy a condo on the 46th floor of the Trump Towers.
Fortunately, I find myself associated with LaSalle Street Church. Unfortunately, I also find myself associated with this particular university. A collision of values has occurred in my worlds and in my spirit. I have proudly proclaimed my association with LaSalle Street Church and encouraged people to read and learn about our Loaves & Fishes process. I have lifted up our leaders and given thanks for their unselfish and imaginative leadership.
On the other hand, I have found myself challenging the leadership of this particular university as well as leaders from the associated denomination. I have found myself angry, frustrated, and ashamed when I think and speak of my connection to this university and denomination.
This collision of values has driven me to introspection and a search of scripture. My reading brought me to James 3.1.
- Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. (NIV)
- Don’t be in any rush to become a teacher, my friends. Teaching is highly responsible work. Teachers are held to the strictest standards. And none of us is perfectly qualified. (The Message)
- Not many [of you] should become teachers ([a]self-constituted censors and reprovers of others), my brethren, for you know that we [teachers] will be judged by a higher standard and with greater severity [than other people; thus we assume the greater accountability and the more condemnation]. (Amplified)
- Don’t aim at adding to the number of teachers, my brothers, I beg you! Remember that we who are teachers will be judged by a much higher standard. (J.B. Phillips New Testament)
It’s amazing how scripture can humble you, challenge you, even knock you up the side of the head. Lest any of us get too full of ourselves, especially any of us who serve in a role of spiritual leadership, let each of us continually allow the “Giver of Grace Gifts” to examine our own hearts and lives, always moving us in the direction of “acting justly and loving mercy and walking humbly with your God.”
I always did like it straight-forward and in my face!
Leader of the Hawkfish Prayer School