It’s All In The Timing

Ever heard that? While being alternately a cliché and the name of a series of one act plays, timing has a profound and strategic impact on us and the world around us. In the Easter story, the ancient writings say, “At just the right time….” And when we get a call or a check in the mail or run into an old friend, we might remark that it was perfect timing.

But what about a rebuke or some discipline or reprimand? Does timing make a difference?

I think it does and I’ve had opportunity to reflect upon it in the past two days. You see, I’ve been deflecting my role in the difficulties my local church has been experiencing for the past few years. Of course, while holding the office of elder and being on various leadership and vision teams I knew that I was involved in making things better or worse. I also knew that there was plenty of responsibility shared by a large number of folks for the decisions being made or not made and the setting of an atmosphere or culture that was conducive to growth or stagnation. Personally, I was experiencing renewal in my relationship with God and was seeking to be a voice for a spiritual life of dependence, prayer and solitude.

As our crisis became more intense, I observed an attitude of humility and sorrowfulness. But I had difficulty entering into those places. I believed that much of our difficulty was because we were too busy and living from our false selves pretending to be people that we weren’t. I certainly was quick to critique others’ critiques. Most of us are pretty good at finding things to be critical of. After all, we are highly educated and Western educational institutions are built upon the idea of proving your intellectual acumen through criticism. Certainly, the highest levels of literature (my specialty) include the art of critiquing the writings of others.

So, we carry that into other parts of our lives. I show my worth, value through criticizing you. What a miserable prospect.

This past Sunday when our pastor was preaching from 1st Corinthians 3:1-10 on “The Price of Immaturity,” he said, “This has been an unstable church acting immaturely.”

It was a fist to the gut for me. I felt stung and ashamed. And for the first time, I received this critique fully. I was knocked off of my pedestal. I asked God for guidance as I was seeking to repent and agree.

Thus, the timing was right and I am in a new place concerning my role as an elder and teacher. I’m not sure what difference this will make, but I am hopeful.

What have I learned? That God’s discipline is gracious and his desire is for growth and not harm. He is the best of parents to us.

Published by

Jimmy Locklear

One seeking to live from his heart as a follower of Jesus. Son, husband, father, friend. Writer, marketing and fundraising strategist. Veteran of corporate, agency, and high impact organizations.