THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
UNITY AND PEACE - 5
Today’s reading: 1 Timothy 6:2-12
Why is there so much conflict in Christian communities? Oftentimes
it is not just because there are many sinners (all of us in
fact) who are part of the Church and who are still growing
in their faith, but due to servant leaders who do not understand
what Christian leadership is about.
leadership is about moving with Church teaching and community
vision and mission. It is not about having one’s own
personal agenda or priorities or preferences. “Whoever
teaches something different and does not agree with the sound
words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the religious teaching
is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid disposition
for arguments and verbal disputes.” (v.3-4a).
you ever met a leader who pushes his own ideas and agenda
within a particular community that is contrary to the direction
of the founders or overall leaders? Is that person not argumentative
and often gets into verbal disputes? Is that person not conceited,
thinking he knows better than those entrusted with the charism
or the life and direction of the community? And no matter
how smart or even brilliant that person is, he really understands
nothing about humility, submission, patience, good order,
respect for those over him, and the value of peace and unity.
is the result of having such a leader? “From these come
envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions, and mutual friction
among people with corrupted minds, who are deprived of the
truth” (v.4b-5a). And the result of that? Strife and
disunity. And the result of that? Community is weakened and
its mission disrupted.
then are servant leaders to be authentic disciples of Jesus?
“But you, man of God, avoid all this.” (v.11a).
While we all have our own ideas and opinions, we are not to
push these such that we become disruptive of community order.
If our ideas and opinions have been heard, then we in humility
and submission should allow those over us to continue to guide
and lead the community. Such a posture in fact moves us forward
in holiness, not being self-referential but looking to the
overall good. “Instead, pursue righteousness, devotion,
faith, love, patience, and gentleness.” (v.11b).
Righteousness. Do not gossip, slander or malign those
you disagree with.
Bring to God and not to your co-workers your personal
struggles with the moves of your leaders.
Trust in God that, if we are all focused on Christ and
are praying, He will work things out for the good of all.
God can even make straight crooked lines.
Love the brethren out of love for God. If we are called
on by Jesus to even love our enemies, then so much more
those we disagree with but are not our enemies. Only the
devil is our enemy. Be supportive of the leadership.
Wait on the Lord. Express your opinions, certainly, but
then leave it up to God and to the leadership to decide
on the way to go.
Do not be argumentative or combative to the point of generating
In addition, Paul tells Timothy, and us, “Compete well
for the faith.” (v.12a). We are in competition, not
with our brethren and co-workers, but as in a race or a struggle
that is to be won. In this race we in community are all teammates,
not rivals, not opponents, not tripping each other up.
we are all racing to the finish line, to receive the crown
of glory, and enter into eternal life. “Lay hold of
eternal life, to which you were called when you made the noble
confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (v.12b).
Let us not hamper the work of evangelization God has given
us. Let us not endanger our own entry into eternal life. Let
us not go back or renege on our confession of faith, and our
witness before our brethren through the years of faithful
service. Let us always be working for unity and peace.