Well I hate to say it, but people can be disappointing — there is just no escaping it.
We all make mistakes.
So it only stands to reason that there will be plenty of opportunity for us to grow disappointed in one another at some point.
You can bet that how you choose to navigate leadership disappointment is not without consequence. As I’ve discovered, leadership is far less about the chances we take and far more about the choices we make.
So what are we to do when we are exposed to the humanity and imperfections of the those who lead us?
Well, in Genesis 9 we read that Noah was a distinguished and highly regarded leader and follower of the faith. Is it any wonder that of all the people in the ancient world, God chose to save him and his family because he walked righteously before Him?
Yet, no sooner had God saved Noah and his family do we see him succumb to his humanity and give-in to drunkenness. According to the scriptures, he grew so intoxicated that he ran around naked in his tent leaving himself open for all to see.
It’s an interesting read to say the least, and if you’ve yet to read it you can do that HERE.
In any case, what’s particularly noteworthy about this text is how it’s not Noah’s actions that are the focus of the narrative, but rather it is the response of those implicated by Noah’s actions.
I mean, you would assume Noah should have been the one on trial— he got drunk! Yet, what we discover is that this is a narrative about how the sons of the house chose to respond to their father’s failure.
Now I don’t want you to get the wrong idea here: while I don’t believe the writer of Genesis sought to excuse the actions of Noah, we must also recognize that he didn’t look to explain them either. As a matter of fact, he placed no emphasis on the guilt of Noah at all, but rather on the sin of his son, Ham who went around sharing the shortcomings and exposing the nakedness of his father.
I find that incredibly interesting.
Perhaps the writer did this because he sought to make a larger point.
I mean, it’s no secret that nobody’s perfect. Could it be that he sought to illustrate that God is not shocked by our shortcomings nor our humanity, but by people’s dishonour and inability to recognize how He uses imperfect people to accomplish His perfect will? Perhaps He sought to make the point that just because a leader messes up doesn’t mean they are any less God’s chosen authority, nor does it mean a leader’s failure justifies a followers poor response.
At any rate, what can not be overlooked is the response of Noah’s sons and which of those he chose to bless and curse.
Let’s look at the sons’ responses:
- While one son grew consumed with looking over his father’s failure, the others grew more concerned with overlooking their fathers failures.
- While one son was going around revealing the faults of his father, the others got busy concealing the faults of their father.
- While one son used his father’s failure as a chance to defame him, the others used it as an opportunity to defend him and demonstrate their loyalty.
Ultimately, Noah’s sons Shem and Japheth honoured God and their father when they refused to look, listen or leverage off of anything that painted their leader in a poor perspective. As a result, Noah declared blessing and increase over them. Whereas, we see that Noah cursed Ham when he dishonoured both God and his father by exploiting and exposing his nakedness and failure. I suppose that’s because God’s heart had been modelled right from the beginning, when even in the face of Adam and Eve’s failure and nakedness God chose to cover them.
The Bible is clear “it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense” (Proverbs 19:11 NIV) and “love prospers when a fault is forgiven.” (Proverbs 17:9 NLT)
“Love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8 NIV)
So while you may be navigating some disappointed feelings you have in a leader, let’s determine to act in a spirit of love — let’s be each others cheerleading squad, not firing squad. #squadgoals
‘Cause what if the real key to God’s blessing and increase in our lives is not tied to what ‘they’ have or haven’t done, but in how we choose to respond to it?