Thursday, November 9, 2017

EmmDev 2017-11-09 [Lessons from 1 Samuel] In the eye of a perfect storm #4 - Kindness

In the eye of a perfect storm #4 - Kindness

David and the six hundred men with him came to the Besor Ravine, where some stayed behind, 10 for two hundred men were too exhausted to cross the ravine. But David and four hundred men continued the pursuit.
... (After the rescue) 21 Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow him and who were left behind at the Besor Ravine. They came out to meet David and the people with him. As David and his men approached, he greeted them. 22 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."
23 David replied, "No, my brothers, you must not do that with what the LORD has given us. He has protected us and handed over to us the forces that came against us. 24 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."      (1Samuel30:9-23)
When we're in a storm - and even in the eye of the storm we can often become very sharp and focussed. We become 'efficient', 'effective' and oft-times intolerant of weakness. And that's putting it kindly... Sometimes we become rude, obnoxious and unkind.

David doesn't fall into this trap. Of his posse of 600 men, a third were just not able to keep up. Maybe some of them were youngsters who had not yet developed the stamina that comes with experience. Maybe some of them were on the other end of the spectrum, just a little too old to manage the relentless pace David was setting. Maybe some of them had injuries that limited them. And so David leaves them with the supplies, and, thus lightened of load, they continue the pursuit.

Once they have pounced on the Amalekites and rescued their kin, they return to the 200 who couldn't keep up. Some of David's men stirred up trouble - their greed speaking loudly - they could get 50% more plunder if they could exclude the group that stayed behind. Their proposal was hard-hearted, demeaning and divisive. You can hear their arguments: "We did the hard work, we took the risks, we rescued their families - they don't get their stuff back and they don't share in the plunder. They can take their families and go."

David intervenes decisively and wisely. He points out that the 200 had guarded the supplies (which helped the 400 go faster). He makes a rule - a principle - that protects everyone's dignity and prevents the abuse of power in the storm in this moment and in the future.

Most importantly, in the eye of the storm, David is kind.
He builds his team and protects the weak.

This is good leadership.

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