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Is your Most Positive Strength Your Achilles Heel?

This morning I was reflecting on the life of Moses. It became clear to me that  if used incorrectly our great strength can be our biggest problem. Moses great strength was compassion. Moses was outraged when he came upon an unjust situation. His sense of injustice moved him to kill an abusive Egyptian who was beating one of Moses' own race. His compassion caused him to use his power in the wrong way. When  Pharaoh  heard what, the Adopted Jewish Prince,  Moses had done to a “Real” Egyptian citizen he was furious. Pharaoh sought to kill Moses. To save his life Moses fled to the desert.   

A few days or hours later in the desert Moses’ compassion was once again activated.   
Moses saw some male shepherds bullying a group of women, Jethro’s daughters, who were trying to water their sheep. Moses jumped in and helped them. After Moses’ intervention the men left the women alone and they were able to complete their work early. Moses’ compassion was genuine. It was a part of his character. Used in the correct way Moses compassion and sense of justice was helpful to others and to him. Helping the  women who were being bullied  secured him an invitation by Jethro, their father, to come to work for him.  It also earned him, through marriage,  a place in Jethro’s family. Used incorrectly his compassion  was harmful to him and to others. It caused him to kill a man and to have Pharaoh sign his death warrant. Our goal should always be to use the gifting, our great strength,  to be a godly witness,  to do justice and to enhance other’s lives.  

As I contemplate what is happening in the United States today between the law enforcement and  people of color I wonder what we can learn from Moses? How can we effectively rectify the wrong without devolving into angry destructive behaviors? Indeed in the second scenario Moses stood up and addressed the issue of injustice.  He did not kill anyone.  However he successfully brought a resolution to a long standing issue of abuse. Moses' power was  channeled in a positive and effective way. He didn't ignore the issue which it appears the other men in the village had been doing. He confronted it. Maybe that's where the healing comes. At least be honest and  confront the issue. Don't ignore it because obviously its not going away on it's own. 

Reflection passage Exodus 2: 11- 21


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