Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chips and Axes: Weapons of Mass Destruction

It is a scary thing to work with a leader who has an axe to grind and a chip on his or her shoulder. And yet such leaders are everywhere, even in the church. Chips and axes are passions that have not been yielded to the tempering that comes from the Divine process. Unyielded passions will always become chips and axes and these will most assuredly become weapons that hurt those to whom you desire to minister.

My passion, my holy discontent as Bill Hybels calls it, is seeing women free in the church to lead in any capacity God desires and not be held back due to misuse of Scripture. For almost twenty years I wrestled with my passion and God put me through a process, a Divine process, that was necessary for me to be trustworthy with this message God placed within me. It is a proofing just like bread dough must go through before it is ready for the heat of the oven. The dough must be worked and kneaded and then put aside for the yeast to do it's job of making it ready to bake. Usually the dough is then "punched down" and set aside a second time for it to rise and become ready for the heat. And so it has been in my life. God has put me through rigorous circumstances and then put me aside while His deposit has done it's work within me. And then came the punching down (it is agony, friends) and more time sitting alone, waiting. All the while He was at work in the interior, making the woman ready before I could be trusted with His message.

There must be this season of proofing so that your passions do not become a chip or an axe. And if a leader is placed into the "heat of leadership" before the process is complete, what results is hard and incapable of being nourishment to others. How do you know if you do have a chip on your shoulder and an axe to grind? Head on back here Friday and I will tell you...