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It is very important that a leader is not poisoned by bitterness. In the Old Testament, a priest was not supposed to have boils. Boils represent unhealed wounds.God

?Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded,

Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken;

No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the Lord made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God. He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy. Only he shall not go in unto the vail, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries: for I the Lord do sanctify them. And Moses told it unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel.?

(Leviticus 21:17-24)

Four Dangers of Bitterness in a Leader

1. A bitter leader can begin to mistrust God.

There are many unexplained events in the life of a Christian leader. Even in secular politics the good often do not win. I remember when two of my young pastors died suddenly within three weeks of each other. One was twenty-seven years old and the other was thirty-eight years old. What possible explanation was there to such an event? As I comforted the wives of these two pastors, I wondered to myself, ?As a messenger of God what explanation could I give to a wife who had been married for only seven months?? What explanation could the church give when James, the brother of John, was killed by Herod? Didn?t the early church need the contribution of James to build a solid foundation for the church? Why did God allow James, the brother of John, to be taken away at such a time? Was there not a need for more labourers? How could God allow such a thing?

In spite of the inexplicable occurrences of this life, a leader must continue to trust.

2. A bitter leader can begin to hate the people he leads.

As human beings manifest their nature of betrayal, ungratefulness and forgetfulness, a leader can gradually become bitter towards the flock. I have experienced many painful things. I have learnt that I must forgive and move on. Without a sweet spirit I will not be pleasing to God. Every bitter experience is a test of my ability to walk in love.

3. A bitter leader can hate his contemporaries and colleagues.

Unfortunately, it is your contemporaries in leadership who seem to wish you ill more than anyone else. God has given us all of these so that we may truly walk in love towards all men. If you fail to walk in love, you will amount to nothing in the presence of God.

?And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.?

(1 Corinthians 13:2)

4. A bitter leader will have a distorted message.

Bitterness is described in Hebrews as a root which defiles many people. It is akin to poison in your drinking water. One of the things that bitterness poisons is your message. A bitter person has a discoloured and distorted message.

Do not let your pain prevent you from ministering God?s love to people. Leadership is accompanied by wounds, offences and pain. May our leaders not allow the wounds of leadership to discolour their attitude.

By Dag Heward-Mills, [email protected]

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