“Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.” ~ Zora Neale Hurston
Sin separates. Life and leadership are all about relationships. Our relationship with God and our relationship with others frame the great commandment to love God and love others. The world, our flesh and the Devil are working against us in this area. Selfish ambition, lust, gossip, greed and pride are just a few of the many sins that will separate us from the most important relationships in our lives. It is hard to restore trust when it has been broken, so we often find it so much easier to seek a “hiding place” where we can avoid the awkwardness caused by our sin. This pattern was established very early on in the history of the human race.
When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. (Genesis 3:8 NLT)
The most enjoyable times in life can be stolen away by the consequences of sin. Adam and Eve should have been enjoying fellowship with their Creator in the best time of the day but instead were avoiding Him. Their sin had separated them from the One who loved them the most. The Lord however did not allow them to hide from Him. Because of His love and grace, He pursued them. There was no place to hide.
There are two key lessons for Christian leaders that we can gain from this passage. The first is to humbly acknowledge how vulnerable we each are to sin and to be intentional about walking with the Lord each day. The second is for us to determine ahead of time how to reflect the grace and love of the Lord in how we treat those who have sinned against us. If someone on your team or in your family was to do something to harm their relationship with you, how would you respond with grace and love? The guilt of sin will cause the person to seek cover and want to hide from you. Would you be willing to relentlessly pursue them in grace and love?
The sinner bears the consequences of their sin. Grace and love are not designed to remove consequences. They are the tools of redemption and restoration. They accept what is broken and seek to make it whole again. As a leader, it is your job to rise above the circumstances in order to bring hope to a seemingly hopeless situation.
Let me encourage you today to think about your “disaster plan” for dealing with broken relationships caused by sin. Paul tells us that we are to “forgive as Christ forgave us”. Have a “No Place to Hide” approach toward those who sin against you and pursue them with grace and love. Trust God to redeem and restore that which is broken…He does that very well.