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Heartbreak – Apostle Paul as Shepherd

by on August 29, 2014

Godly leaders are often broken-hearted. Not the least heartbreak is when those they are helping are led away by leaders who are not Godly. In the following verses Paul begins with some tongue-in-cheek (not to say sarcastic) words for the people he is shepherding. He obviously does not really mean that they are wise.

For you put up with fools gladly,
Since you yourselves are wise!
II Corinthians 11:19

He goes on to talk about how they allow leaders who are not Godly to totally control them – even to the point of abuse.

For you put up with it:
• If one brings you into bondage,
• If one devours you,
• If one takes from you,
• If one exalts himself,
• If one strikes you on the face.
II Corinthians 11:19-20

Why would people allow this to happen? It feels good to have someone in charge, even if that means being subject to total control. Powerful leaders exert an amazing control over their subjects. This control does not allow for growth and health in the subjects. This control produces a culture of unhealthy people willing to submit to manipulation.

Why would people choose abuse over liberty in Christ? Liberty in Christ requires diligent thinking and living and making Godly choices. Autocratic leaders, who do the thinking for their subjects, give the sense of freedom while producing bondage. They use enthusiasm and carefully crafted messages to manipulate their people.

Paul, as the Godly shepherd, agonizes over the plight of his people as they chose to follow those who would abuse them.

People who are emotionally unhealthy make unhealthy decisions. The same is true for unhealthy churches. Unhealthy churches tend to chose unhealthy leaders. This cycle of lack of health must be interrupted if life is to change in healthy ways.

The only way life can change is for leaders who are absolutely Godly shepherds to gently but firmly take charge and bring the wisdom and discernment of the Holy Spirit into the fellowship. With the love and the guidance of a shepherd/father the people can grow into Spiritually and emotionally healthy believers. Godly leaders bring Truth with love as the formula for change and growth.

Not much has changed since Apostle Paul penned these words. These words are here for our admonition and blessing.

Examine your life. Are you following leaders who abuse their power while making you feel good about yourself and them? Are they presenting truth? Are you growing in your Spiritual life under their teaching? Unhealthy leaders can only survive if their people are not discerning enough to leave the controlling situation.

There are Godly leaders. God provides them in every age. Today is no different. You get to decide. Who will you follow?

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