UV 2724/10000 The Ship Called Leadership
Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
I Timothy 1 v 19
Paul draws the image of a faithful person as one who steers a ship called leadership. Faith is like holding the helm. A believer is a helmsman for the Lord as Noah was. He is to steer the ship over the ocean of life to the eternal destination, facing both good weather and stormy weather, calm seas and turbulence in the course of our lives, but always guided by the compass of the conscience. Writers like Stephen Covey refer to it as the moral compass and seeking the true North. But as believers the needle of our conscience that has been enlightened by the light of salvation and the word of truth needs to not only point us to the north but also away from the south- our negatives, our weaknesses, our temptations, our limitations, our failures.
Temptations are like the mirages that a desert traveller sees. These are the rocky shores that can break up our ship. The Word is the lighthouse that warns us of the presence of these rocky shores and helps us chart our course. We are to prefer to face trials than to yield to temptations. If we do not follow the dictates of our good conscience or a conscience informed by the Word of what is good and what is bad, what direction is to be pursued and what is to be avoided, our faith would be shipwrecked. We are to anchor in the Lord and in His word from time to time while biding our time to press forward through the waves and ups and downs of life. Like a good ship captain, we should know our maps, as to where we are at a point in time and where we are heading.
The good conscience comes from pursuing righteousness following the example of the captain of our salvation- Jesus. The good conscience comes from acting on the basis of righteous principles expounded or implied in the Word of Christ. These principles provide the high mast and sails to pick up the wind of the Lord’s favour. The message we deliver to the world is the ballast or cargo to retain in the ship’s hold to provide balance during the voyage and to be delivered at different ports of call. The chief engineer on our ship is the Holy Spirit who reveals what part of our lives are functioning well or are malfunctioning. He keeps all the parts well -oiled and adds the unction to our function.
Prateep V Philip