One of my favourite stories in the Bible reveals Solomon’s wisdom so perfectly. Two ladies fight over a baby (DNA sampling would have undoubtedly come in handy!)….but Solomon resolved the situation elegantly with one simple sentence which revealed the hearts of the women. He suggested the baby be cut in half to satisfy both women’s claims. The true mother was quickly indentifiable as she relinquished her rights because the baby’s life was that important to her. Much more efficient then a DNA test because he discovered the true heart of these women.
This kind of Solomonesque wisdom is hard to come by in this world. Being a lawyer, questions of justice are close to my heart. Our legal system is so far from such holistic approaches to solving a problem….
I once experienced leadership like this. Our church was going to send a mission team to another university campus in our country. I had ‘friends’ (yes, they deserve quotation marks…;)who were quite influential who recommended I go to meetings every week. As other students started getting acceptance letters to go to school there…I kept lying that things were delayed….Finally after months of this bold faced lying..I confessed to a ‘friend’ and she demanded that I go and confess immediately to the minister of the church who had coincidently been the meetings’ leader.
I felt fear for how I would be treated but also an odd sense of relief. I was so stressed and fed up with it all. Confession would be humiliating, but at least the pretending would be over. I was expecting a harsh rebuke and I could sense my ‘friend’would settle for nothing less.
When we got to his home, the minister took me aside and asked me what was going on. Looking into his gentle eyes, I told him how I had lied to everybody (including him for months on end!)…he listened patiently and quietly…finally he opened his mouth and asked one simple, gentle question. “Do you not want to go on this mission team?” It might seem obvious to everyone reading this but it was first time I realized why I had been lying all this time…my mouth was left gaping as the wisdom, grace and truth that one question conveyed and evoked sunk deep. He didn’t berate me for lying…in fact he never brought it up again…and that was that.
That moment and experience of grace was the first important step of self discovery in my Christian walk. It made me aware of the dangers of people pleasing (the heart of much of my lying) …fatal to real relationships with other people, and (most importantly) with God.