If you search my posts you’ll find I speak about authority issues in several places. I’m convinced who gets their way/calls the “shots” is often THE actual issue.
Certainly “the opposition” comes with an agenda, and as you and yours are the one/s they oppose, much discussion, compromise, lack of compromise, splits and even all-out (and at times actual) war happens due to quite differing views. Common ground isn’t the main concern, rather who controls the field and therefore wins the battle, maybe even war, that’s THE QUEST. “Blessed are the peacemakers”? Sometimes they end up martyrs too.
What problems often arise at the very thought of power SHARING?
The lack of trust and at times, lack of knowledge (solid, verifiable information), wisdom (what to do with/how to apply that actual knowledge).
Personal insecurities, selfish ambition, the desire for individual gain, profit, and again, over-all control.
Individual and shared agendas may come from personal whims, agenda-fulfillment schemes, the baggage of one’s youth, family and other life experiences. For instance “I WILL NOT PERMIT THAT TO HAPPEN TO ME/US AGAIN!!!”. This stuff may lead to bloodletting on a number of levels -even to actual loss of life.
It’s happening daily in this broken world.
So what about power sharing in such a mish-mosh of issues, and note I’m only listing a few specifics above, right?
I would ask the reader to truly consider not only what hills are worth dying on (in God’s view if you claim to follow Jesus Christ and truly respect and apply The Bible’s clear teachings to your life and relationships)… but what hills you are willing to kill others on?
I’ve shot, target-shot and hunted with actual firearms, bows, airguns and such most of my life. Triggers of whatever sort when pulled (or when the string is let go of) often produce a certain recoil, “kick”, or “blowback”.
The more “hot-button” an issue is the more you’ll get heat regardless of how careful you are, no matter how accurate your aim may be.
“Pushback” is the current term in culture.
To the degree sharing power with others costs us personally -or likely costs someone we love, the “taking it personally gear” engages. Defensiveness is almost automatic for many if not most of us.
Here’s another matter regarding power sharing: if you’re gut-honest, you… yep… YOU don’t want to be in close fellowship with any number of people for any number of reasons. It’s exactly the same for them.
The personalities, vision/mission, methodology, personal desires to acquire X, Y or Z may not coincide with one another.
Don’t think by merely playing the “unity card” and harping (especially as Christians) on God’s clear desire and indeed commands that speak to unity will somehow automatically fix the rift. Unity is a two-way street.
We may be sound or quite in error deciding “They’re just plain WRONG and I cannot be part of sharing power with them in this season”.
It’s not automatic that each of us always seeks, establishes nor rightly defends truth and what’s best in every moment!
My challenge (and yours) is at very least to prayerfully and truly LISTEN and study the opposing viewpoint. Even then, what I think is often lacking is deep integrity as to our own actual motives for sharing or for being unwilling to share power and decision-making with others.
The problem often has to do with personal ambition or a very different interpretation of what is “fact” and what is “opinion”, what is continually true and what is a shifting, perhaps even merely cultural, subcultural or “comfortable” (to either person/group) position regardless of the issue in question.
Another twist in disputes: I have often found myself very much “in the middle” of these person vs. person or group vs. group arguments. Or I might reason 60-40 or 40-60 percent re. my own viewpoint. Sometimes it’s about theology or doctrine, but most often it’s disputes over methods where relationships hit quicksand.
Ethically, my conscience before God and to the best of my ability in careful, contextual search and interpretation of scripture plus both parties’ views may put me in a difficult spot. Do they want my honest input or simply another advocate for a view I cannot support? Am I now on their “bad guy” list if I don’t help them attain “a win”? I have to live my convictions and “let the chips fall where they fall” regardless.
Not always fun but I have to live with myself every moment, so in the end integrity is a huge, core issue for me re. friend or foe.
There have been times I could not fully side with either person or group in totality.
When you love or at least care deeply about truth but also work to be a peacemaker you may well get shot at from either side. “No man’s land” if you will!
Apostle Paul wrote “We do not fight against flesh and blood but powers, principalities…” and so on. Of course he is talking about fallen angels (demons) and the devil. I fully believe in these and get it. But when you look at human beings even within spiritual, Christian circles you’ll sometimes wonder if we do not indeed fight against flesh and blood!!
“How can two walk together unless they’re in agreement” comes to mind.
Sadly, full separation is often the result. Sometimes, it’s the only result possible due to either or both seeking some measure of integrity.
Sometimes indeed, negatives such as human lust, greed and demand for The Win results in discord and divide.
In any case, I’m convinced that whenever possible, sharing, even divesting one’s self of power is both the example of the Lord Jesus Christ and best practice of a mature church in an often self-destructive world. Part of that world enters a congregation with its very members.
I love “team” but am equally happy to hand others “the keys” and sit in the back seat or even on the curb -as long as I’m convinced the Lord has called me to it.
Lust for power and influence is one of the truly disgusting, ungodly character flaws that promotes the varied “trail of tears” we see in general culture and sadly at times, the culture of the local church regardless of faith or affiliation.
Being one spiritually is a reality. Being one when both we and those around us are divided from one another and at times God Himself… that’s a painful while-on-earth reality also.
Don’t be surprised at the elements, difficulties as well as absolute blessings in power-sharing. Also, do understand sharing is an essential, massive need among human beings.
God help us be about HIS business: love and sharing by HIS power!
As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn