I put something together on the subject of genuine leadership versus self-martyrdom this week. Take a look at it when you have a moment.
Ironically, I came across a further thought on it this week through an unexpected source.
I’ve been working my way through the TV show L O S T again through Netflix. (Yeah, I know – it will still end the same.)
Back in an episode called “The Whole Truth” when Ben Linus was still going by the name Henry Gale, Jack checked in on him during his time in the hatch. (And yeah, I know – I lost you… no pun intended… if you’ve never seen the show). Jack asked him about a book he was reading called The Brothers Karamazov, which is a classic Dostoevsky novel about redemption.
HENRY/BEN: (quoting) “Men reject their prophets and slay them, but they love their martyrs and honor those whom they have slain.”
JACK: (pauses and ponders)
HENRY/BEN: So what’s the difference between a martyr and a prophet?
JACK: Either way, it sounds like you end up dead.
HENRY/BEN: (intrigued) That’s the spirit.
It’s an intriguing quote that is highlighted in this scene. It shows up right in the middle of a tension within the plot when everyone is holding back on sharing the whole truth and no one seems to know who can be trusted.
Does that sound familiar?
“Men reject their prophets and slay them, but they love their martyrs and honor those whom they have slain.”
I saw this play out in the life of a friend who as a pastor couldn’t deal with the ways the “sheep” kept biting him as a “shepherd.” He endured it for years, until finally retiring. Only then, ironically during his send-off party, did some of his worst critics take the time to honor him.
People do not often want to hear the real truth. The only exception I’ve found is when there is a relationship involved, and even then we will struggle with filling the gaps between us. Andy Stanley has effectively pointed out you only have two options to fill that gap with – trust or suspicion.
Can you relate to this?
Anything you’d like prayer for?
Any perspective this offers you or that you want to share so we can help each other to keep serving?