But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required. Luke 12:48
We know ourselves best, and no one knows us better. No one except God that is! I like the fact that we serve a reasonable God who doesn’t expect more of us than we are capable of doing or can handle. When we start out on this journey of faith, we know little, and if we stumble our God grants mercy and grace, and doesn’t rush to judgement. However, when we are mature Christians, God expects better from us than the occasional thoughtless stumble.
Our Pastors, teachers and leaders have our respect, but with that respect comes responsibility. As a shepherd of a flock, whether a megachurch or a small group, the Pastor must earn, and continue to earn, the respect of those he or she leads. It is one thing if a young Christian does something wrong as our verse says, but it is another thing entirely if the leading shepherd who has been entrusted with the care of the flock, knowingly steps out of line and fails. That action has a ripple effect across the few or many of his or her flock.
But I am not off the hook as a mature Christian, with many years of Bible knowledge and experience behind me. It is also important that I behave as an example to others, and don’t knowingly do anything wrong, but it goes the other way too. I cannot ignore the misdeeds of someone more senior in the faith, or in my church. That would include Pastoral leadership, after all it wouldn’t be the first time that a well respected leader has fallen short of their known responsibility and led someone (or many) astray by words, example, or both.
Let me be honest here. I do not like the burden of responsibility I feel being caught in the middle. Staying silent only stays the day of reckoning when more damage may have been done, but speaking up makes enemies of the very ones you had held in high regard, and many still will, so there is a cost. However, I go back to the verse for today which reminds me of my responsibility: “when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” That applies to us all to some degree or other. Are you up to it? Am I??