Memo 1058: Sharing is Caring
Last week, we read about David's camp being raided and his family being taken captive. When he sought the Lord about pursuing the marauders, he got the assurance he would be successful—and he was. He recaptured everything and everyone and the saying "all's well that ends well" could apply. However, David had a band of malcontents whom the Lord had given him to lead and there was a problem as soon as they returned to where they had left their belongings before they went into battle:
Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow him and who were left behind at the Besor Valley. They came out to meet David and the men with him. As David and his men approached, he asked them how they were. But all the evil men and troublemakers among David’s followers said, “Because they did not go out with us, we will not share with them the plunder we recovered. However, each man may take his wife and children and go" (1 Samuel 30:21-22).
How did David resolve this challenge? What lesson would this contribute to his training-for-reigning program? To answer those questions, you will have to read on.
God had David in the graduate school of godly leadership where the main emphasis was how not to be a leader like King Saul, the then reigning king. Saul was selfish, mean, insecure, and petty. If David was not going to be any of those things, then the Lord had to put him in situations where he could learn how not only how to lead but also how to shepherd his followers, the noble ones and the not-so-noble. We see that the troublemakers and evil men were not in favor of sharing the spoils of their success and David as their leader had to settle the issue. Here is what he said:
David replied, “No, my brothers, you must not do that with what the Lord has given us. He has protected us and delivered into our hands the raiding party that came against us. Who will listen to what you say? The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike.” David made this a statute and ordinance for Israel from that day to this (1 Samuel 30:23-25).
"All will share alike." That became the law of the land from that time on, and David proved he had learned another important lesson in how not to lead. He was not going to hoard the benefits but share them with other people.
Now if we move on to the letter to the Philippians, Paul wrote about a leader who was his protege and disciple:
I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me (Philippians 2:19-23).
Can you see that the behavior that distinguished Timothy was also the one God was instilling in David? That behavior was to put the needs of others before their own. Paul had no one else like Timothy and in a sense, God had no one else like David. Everyone else in both men's world was serving their own interests and not those of God's, which was manifested in the way they treated others. If God only had David and Paul only had Timothy, then we can conclude that selfless leadership is a rare phenomenon. Can you be the person that God, your family, or your organization can look to as the one who in their world understands the needs of others and can serve them without hesitation?
God did not assign your purpose, or give you your talents or creativity just for you to enjoy. They are to be shared with others and used to encourage, edify, and empower them. Even if those others with whom you share are like the 200 who stayed behind while David's men went to battle, they are to be blessed and cared for even if they are weaker than the rest. God will put you in situations where you can shape your values so that He can entrust you with more—more opportunities, more resources, more followers, more wisdom. When faced with the decision of whether to share who you are and what you do with others, I urge you to be like David and Timothy and be the one who "will show genuine concern for [others] welfare" and not just your own. Have a blessed week.