1 Chronicles 12:1-7 – In Seeing Where We Are Weak, We Become Strong

Posted: March 10, 2020 in 13-1 Chronicles

1 Chronicles 12:1-7

Warriors Join David’s Army

The pastor at my home church, LifeSong Church (Lyman, SC), once told us during one of our leadership meetings that if, on a scale of 1-10, you are a leader that is, say, a 5, you will not enlist people on your ministry team that are a 6 or above, unless you are an humble leader and realize where you are on the leadership scale. Unless you are humble enough to realize your weaknesses, you will only seek out those who are at 4 or below on that scale. He said we must understand our weaknesses so that we will seek out folks to be on our team that not only are less skilled than we are but also those that have talents greater than our own in our weakest areas.

That was an eye-opener. It forced us to examine ourselves for our weaknesses in our leadership skills so that we seek out those who are more skilled than us in certain areas of weakness so that whatever team we are leading that we have the best and the brightest. We seek them out so that we are not limiting our team to the height of our own skills in each area of skill that is needed by that team. That is a key to life not only in leadership but also in life in general as a Christian.

In this season of the church year leading up to Easter, known as Lent, it is a time of self-examination. It is a time of self-reflection. It is a time where we look at ourselves plainly. Although Lent is an invention of the church after the apostolic era, it does have a biblical basis and it is good that we as Christians take time to examine our weaknesses. It is during this time of year that we have a focused opportunity as Christians, when we observe the centuries old church calendar, to do so. If you are not all into the traditions of the church, there is still something worthwhile about taking time to self-examine. When we are honest with ourselves, the Holy Spirit will reveal to us where we are weak when it comes to certain sins. This self examination will help us to identify our kryptonite sin areas where we are open to or susceptible to kidding ourselves about those sins. Those blind spots that we all have. Over time, the Holy Spirit has the hardest time with us about those sin bastions, those kryptonite sins, that we refuse to give up. Our pride often won’t allow us to see these weaknesses, because those are the sins that give us the most pleasure and the ones that we don’t want to give up.

Just as in leadership positions where we often do not choose subordinates that are not more talented than us, we often only choose friends who are not a threat to us either. We choose friends based on the fact that they will not challenge us. As Christians, we need to choose friends that not only are either where we are at or less mature than us, but we also need friends that are more spiritually more (in a way, more talented Christians than we are). We need those friends who are more mature than us so that our own game as Christ followers is lifted. We need those friends in our lives who challenge us when we need challenging. It is only through having our shortcomings revealed to us as Christ followers that we grow and mature in our faith. Never be afraid to have friends that will challenge you to be a better Christ follower.

That idea that in this season of Lent, we need the humility to understand our weaknesses and not let them limit us. That idea that we should not be afraid to self-examine ourselves will not only make us better leaders but also better Christ followers in general was what came to mind this morning. That idea is what I thought of as I read about David’s warriors in 1 Chronicles 12:1-7:

Chapter 12

1 The following men joined David at Ziklag while he was hiding from Saul son of Kish. They were among the warriors who fought beside David in battle. 2 All of them were expert archers, and they could shoot arrows or sling stones with their left hand as well as their right. They were all relatives of Saul from the tribe of Benjamin. 3 Their leader was Ahiezer son of Shemaah from Gibeah; his brother Joash was second-in-command. These were the other warriors:

Jeziel and Pelet, sons of Azmaveth;

Beracah;

Jehu from Anathoth;

4

Ishmaiah from Gibeon, a famous warrior and leader among the Thirty;

[a]Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, and Jozabad from Gederah;

5

Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, and Shephatiah from Haruph;

6

Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam, who were Korahites;

7

Joelah and Zebadiah, sons of Jeroham from Gedor.

In this passage, we see that David surrounded himself with great warriors, the best of the Israelite army. What qualities made them worthy to be David’s warriors and servants? The reasons were several. First, they had practiced long and hard to perfect their skills (with bow, sling, and spear). Second, they were mentally tough and determined (“as fierce as lions”, see 1 Chronicles 12:8). Third, they were physically fit (“as swift as deer”, see 1 Chronicles 12:8). Finally, they were dedicated to serving God and David. Weak leaders are easily threatened by competent subordinates, but strong leaders surround themselves with the best. They are not intimidated by able followers. Strong and maturing Christ followers are not afraid to be challenged and, thus, surround themselves with friends not only that are where they are at or less mature as Christians but also those who are more mature.

Able and humble leaders pick team members that complement our weaknesses and make the full team more capable of meeting their challenges. An humble leader realizes that the goal is the thing and not their accolades. An humble leader then is not afraid to have team members that have talents that he or she does not. An humble leader then is not afraid to have people that are not just yes-men. An humble leader is one who sees the more talented as an asset to the goals of the team and not a threat. Those leaders who can be honest about themselves and where they are great and where they are weak will then be able to fill out his team with a well-rounded group that will be able to meet or exceed the goals that are set out before them.

It is the same for us as individuals in our individual walks with Christ. To be a well-rounded Christ follower, we must be able to have three kinds of friends. First, we need those that we can disciple – those that are less mature than us. In this way, we are honed to be Christian leaders by fostering the growth of those less mature than us. Second, we need those that are in the same place that we are from a spiritual maturity standpoint – we need those that are going through the same stuff, the same life stages, the same struggles that we are so that we can learn from each other. Third, and most importantly, we need those friends that are more spiritually mature than we are. We need those who will challenge us to grow up in our walk with Christ. Those friends, we need, to point out to us where we are blind. Those friends that will kick us in the seat of the pants when we need it.

In this season of Lent, let us examine ourselves and then proceed in our lives and in our leadership opportunities to realize where our weaknesses are so that we can seek out those who will help us mature as Christians and as leaders.

Amen and Amen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s