Thursday, March 7, 2013

Who’s Holding Your Ladder?

Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.  Ephesians 4:25 ESV 

At the previous church where I served a small group of men took an annual trip to an upstart youth camp to do repairs, building projects and landscaping. On one of my first trips we built a second story on a dorm unit to provide hotel space for adults on retreats. As I was attaching the roof my extension ladder started to slide, I called out for help from one of the guys nearby and I quickly felt the ladder steady. My first thought was of course, “Oh good Neal grabbed the ladder for me”, but when I looked down it wasn’t Neal but in fact the four year old son of one of the workers. Needless to say I did not want him holding my ladder!

Life, my life, your life, every human’s life on planet earth is a lot like a ladder.
When you were young you start off on the very bottom rungs of life’s ladder. You don’t need much support when you are young. Think about it, you need some food, and occasionally someone to come by and change you. You don’t need much, you sit around and play with Barbie dolls and Batman figures, it’s a good deal. Not a whole lot at stake. If you fall off the first rung of the’s still not a big deal. But…

·      The older you get the higher you climb.
·      The older you get the tougher the challenge.
·      The older you get the more that is at stake.

So my one question for you to begin to think through is who’s holding your ladder. Who is your support system?

1 Kings 12 shows us a great example of this concept:
Rehoboam was the son of a King, he is living in the palace his entire life and Rehoboam knows that one day, daddy’s going to die and I’m going to be king. and his entire life he is looking forward to that day. With every rung of the ladder he goes up realizing that one-day I’m going to the top. One day I’m going to be the king. One day people are going to bow to me, one day I’m going to get everybody's money, one day I’m going to be the leader of my country. I WILL BE THE KING.

His entire life he was climbing towards this one moment. Well, finally the moment came, his dad died. They come to Rehoboam and say we’re sorry but your father has died, he is half sad because his dad is dead, he is half happy because he has climbed back up the ladder and he is almost at the very top. In fact he is at the top. And it’s at this moment, at the very height of his life, he gets his big inauguration, and all of the city and all of the country comes and they stand around him.  Everybody is happy because Rehoboam is the King. At the end of the big ceremony there is a group of people, influential people in the country that come to him and they begin to not complain but they have some questions.
If you read 1 Kings 12:3-5 you see that instead of giving a rash answer of yes I’ll lighten the load or no I won’t lighten the load, he takes a break and he says, you guys go away let me think about it come back in 3 days and I’ll have an answer for you. That’s a good leader, Rehoboam is a sharp guy.

So he goes out and begins to talk to two different groups of people. The seasoned wise elders say, “be a servant and they will love you”, his buddies say, “you’re the best and amazing” and they tell him what he wants to hear. “You’re the man, prove it.” At that moment, Rehoboam is at the top of his ladder. He’s the King and he has a choice of two people to hold his ladder; the 4 year old or the adult; the people who are very wise or his buddies who are just “yes” men.

In that moment, unfortunately, Rehoboam chose the wrong bunch.

If you read on in chapter 12 you will read that those same people that told him they would be his servant very quickly revolted and attacked Rehoboam. Half of the city left and half of the city attacked.  And Rehoboam, after his ladder crashed, his kingdom crashed with it. Only a few short weeks after being crowned King he is now running for his life.

So let me ask you, today, wherever you are on the rung of life, “who is holding your ladder?”
The people that you turn to -  have they proven themselves to be wise?  Have they proven themselves to be Godly?  Have they proven themselves to make sense? Have they proven themselves that even when you want them to say a certain thing because it will stroke your ego and point you in the direction you want to go in that they love you enough to tell you what is actually right?

Is that who is holding your ladder? Or are the people who are supporting you just a bunch of yes men?

Who is holding your ladder?

Scripture to Claim:
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.  Proverbs 27:17

Submitted By Jeff Carr

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