Editor’s Note: Part 1 of Devaney’s Series can be found HERE
AS WE CONTINUE our unconventional look at the life and choices of Balaam we get to sneak-a-peak at Balaam coming face-to-face with a speaking donkey. The donkey-speak was all about compromise – the bad kind.
While compromise can be good and lovely, Balaam’s kind of compromise was rooted in the sludge of self-will and power worship.
With this kind of worship, the roots were once seeds of greatness: great insight, great overcoming, great authority, and great teaching – all resulting in great success.
These greatness’s were Balaam’s wellsprings – the valuable pieces and parts of his leadership.
Until they weren’t.
As it turned out, in the midst of his great success Balaam gradually moved away from relying upon the principles of truth to forever and always guide his thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Thus he entered into the quagmire of whining, blaming, and shaming.
In the middle of his muddy mess he found himself all twisted in trying to decide who was right or wrong; who did what and said what to who; and who was for him as compared to who was against him. Really, his leadership role just simply became “all about him.”
Protection from the Enemy Infiltration
To be sure, the wellsprings of a leader are where the very heart of compromise has its perfect work – when given the opportunity.
[bctt tweet=”Where there are wellsprings, natural targets are created for enemy infiltration.” username=”bizmastersglobal”]
This is because anything that is genuinely good becomes a target for compromise.
In the heart of a leader, these richly resourced wellsprings become targets for weakness, downfall, and demise. As a result, these areas must be the most scrutinized and fortified areas – covered with the support of trusted advisors.
Let it be declared here and now: no self-serving minions are allowed on the Board of Trusted Advisors!
Rather, the trusted advisors must stand as wise counsel; thus, they certainly cannot all be solely appointed by the leader. As important, these types of advisors must collaborate with one another – not being held away from one another or collaboratively controlled by the leader. Even more, when a once trusted advisor (who speaks truth into brokenness) is cast out by the leader – and without the majority of the trusted advisor’s joint knowledge, agreement, and consultation – well, “Houston, there is a problem!”
Again, the trusted advisors are working to protect the leader’s wellsprings from compromise. Often times, one’s greatest enemy can be “Self” – and of course, Self’s minions!
Be it known unto all, right here and right now: This is where one of the core pieces of gravel gets lodged in the shoe of the donkey, thus causing him to speak. The grinding gravel are the minions, who gnaw on the ear of the leader with exhausting negative chatter. This grinding continues until the leader no longer knows which end is up, down, all around, or compromised!
The Leader’s End: Denial-Deceitfulness
Wellsprings are a target for enemy infiltration because flesh and blood often feels a false sense of safety, security, superiority, and fortification in the specialized areas of life’s experiences.
This false sense is related to the inherent power and confidence associated with specialization.
It becomes really easy to overlook the obvious developing flaw when one is so focused on the specialty areas; thus opening the specialist to the sludge of compromise.
As such, the very capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior and life course of others, or the course of events, can be very intoxicating to one’s perspective of truth (facts and reality). Without trusted advisors, who are not self-appointed and controlled by the leader – Enter Stage-Right: Denial-Deceitfulness.
Walking in the state of Denial-Deceitfulness is a special place of being that includes refuting or accepting something by declaring it as untrue (or true); whichever way most conveniently provides for someone to fraudulently conceal, misrepresent, redirect, or manipulate the truth in exchange for maintaining one’s self-willed purposes.
Here’s the deal: the richly resourced areas in a leader’s life that seem the strongest (but that can become soft spots for being deceived) should be carefully acknowledged and guarded.
And here’s the deal, again: thoughts, feelings, and behaviors have the capacity to lead down the road of deception every day. Truly, truly Old Man Wisdom speaks truth when he says, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes; but there is One who sees and weighs the true motives of the heart.” 2
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Confident, successful leaders are especially at risk for truly believing and boldly declaring that their way of doing things and their perspective on most everything is absolutely correct –and the best way, by the way. (And don’t you dare ask why, unless you really want to hear the long version!)[/message][su_spacer]
Rose-Colored Glasses and Itching Ears
To steer clear of this lying road of Denial-Deceitfulness, the scrutiny and fortification from trusted advisors must occur and be received at the will of the advisors. And, all trusted advice must be received without the leader wearing the rose-colored glasses (glasses that are always for sale on the road of Denial-Deceitfulness).
Oh, and just so you will be fully informed: when the rose-colored glasses are donned, they have special powers that create itching ears.
The state of Denial-Deceitfulness that rises to the level of wearing rose-colored glasses always creates the syndrome of itching ears. These type of ears only want to hear from those who are agreeable to “Self’s” opinions, beliefs, and perspectives. To be sure, there is never a shortage of people who are willing to scratch the flesh of one who lives with itching ear syndrome!
Be forewarned: Itching ear syndrome can begin with simply not wanting to deal with self-truth. The itch intensifies when the leader discounts bad behavior, their own or that of key individuals who influence their choices. Leaders with itching ear syndrome are geniuses at covering up the creepy crawlers of bad behavior. Truly, truly it is far easier to cover up than to gently and consistently require righteous change.
[bctt tweet=”Remember, when brokenness collides with truth there is always a choice.” username=”bizmastersglobal”]
One can choose to change, thus stopping the compromising, deceitful, rebellious behavior that hurts and destroys relationships and processes.
Or, one can continue to amass the destruction of processes and the death of once valued relationships – all the while calling evil, good and good, evil.
When a collision between brokenness and truth occurs and the leader doesn’t take genuine responsibility – everything else spirals out of control. In the spiraling process, the leader willingly allows others to be injured and destroyed in favor of preserving his self-enthronement (and his minions). And with this choice, the self-enthroned leader walks more deeply into his state of compromise – you know, that place where donkeys begin to speak.
Wrapping Up This Donkey Speak
It’s a very sad day when a speaking donkey enters the life of a once wise, influential, and successful leader. When going against the very nature of nature is required to “get one’s attention” – folks, there is trouble in the self-enthroned paradise!
Yet even in the midst of the speaking donkey, a deceived leader will often continue declaring his innocence in “not knowing”, “not realizing”, and “not intending to do harm.”
Has a donkey attempted to speak into the circumstances of your behavior? If so, were you shaken enough to listen – and change? Or, did you beat your donkey, so you would not be compelled out of your brokenness and into truth?
As profound, have you been the select donkey chosen to go against the very nature of a situation – and speak into the life of a Balaam in your midst?
If so, be encouraged: your words of facts and reality will not return void when spoken into the sludge of compromise. Balaam never could get away from the principle-based message of truth – even though he tried diligently.
Oh, and one more truth: Balaam never apologized to his donkey for the mistreatment. So, let go of any expectations you may have for justice from your Balaam.
Speaking donkeys are so unbelievable, no one will likely believe your Balaam’s story, anyway – about the donkey or about you.
2 King James Bible. Proverbs 21:2. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible, 1973. Print.