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Galatians 6:6 ” Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.” (NKJV)

A little over a year ago, my family and I moved into a quiet subdivision just outside of town. In front of our home there was planted a beautiful, green bush. In total, the bush was 8 feet long, 5 feet high, and 3 feet wide. Our neighbors would admire the bush saying things like, “You should get that cut into shapes” or “I would love if my bush was that pretty.” I’ve never had a green thumb nor a passion for gardening and pretty much ignored it the first summer we lived there.

This summer, I took more of an interest in the outdoors. I pulled the lawn chairs out of the garage and decided to take advantage of the front porch and fresh air. One afternoon after only a few minutes of being outside, I realized that my bush had become infested with bees AND wasps. My daughter and I could not even sit on the front porch and going from the front door to the driveway to get in our vehicles became a horrifying game of tag. The bush that at one time had received so much praise had now become a thorn in my side. All because I had taken its appearances for granted and neglected it for too long.

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I told my husband that I thought the bush was infested and asked him to cut it down so we could see what was going on inside of it. On his off day, Phil reduced our gorgeous green to a mere wooden skeleton of what once was. In order to get to the issue, all the beautiful adornment had to be stripped away and we discovered over 7 hives hiding beneath the surface. There was also all sorts of pop cans, trash, and debris and even a small, dead bird that we couldn’t smell before. What we thought was the model of perfection was hiding sickness and death.

Someone is going to catch this.

The bush was a complete eyesore. I anticipated it would take a couple of weeks for it to return to almost normal. Two weeks passed and it seemed to be getting worse. Almost daily, green was being replaced with brown and the entire thing looked dead. I wondered if I had made a mistake. If maybe I should have left it alone because it seemed like I had only made matters worse.

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Another two weeks passed and I returned home from work and noticed small green buds growing on the tips of the once bare branches. Upon closer inspection I realized that what I thought was decaying branches was really the former greenery that had been stripped away but had fallen back inside of the bush to die. I stuck my hand inside and began to pull out all the dried up branches to reveal a very healthy, thriving plant on its way to a full recovery. With my constant care and attention, my bush will never be allowed to conceal mess on the inside while appearing healthy on the outside because now understand the role I play in the vitality of its life.

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Once we as the body of Christ begin to understand the role we play in the lives of our leaders, we won’t turn our heads and ignore them when life seems to be going well and reject or shun it when what they’ve been hiding so long on deep down inside begins to manifest in a way that affect us.  When everything seemed to be going well with my bush, I paid it no attention but it wasn’t until the bush began to affect my quality of life that I took note. The bees and wasps became a hindrance to my ability to sit outside and soak up the warmth of the sun.

Likewise, we can be so hindered by what seems to be going on in the lives of our leaders that we come to church out of routine unable to really take advantage of the warmth and life the Son is offering. We gossip, we speculate, we judge, but how often do we speak words of life into our leaders. So many leaders feel the need to wear a  facade of togetherness while turmoil, sickness, and death are brewing on the inside. Who can they turn to when they need a word? Who is willing to listen and pray with them through  without judgment or hypocrisy?  It is our responsibility to share in the Word that we have been taught even with those who have taught it to us.

It’s time to stop ignoring the struggles that our leaders face. Or placing them on an unreachable pedestal where we have been deceived into believing our words can’t reach. We are being taught the word so that in times of peril, we can bear one another’s burden, pray with and for each other, and share in the word of God together. We must hold fast to the words of this songwriter especially when the enemy is sowing seeds of discord and division within the Body.

I need you, you need me. 
We’re all a part of God’s body. 
Stand with me, agree with me. 
We’re all a part of God’s body. 

It is his will, that every need be supplied. 
You are important to me, I need you to survive. 
You are important to me, I need you to survive. 

I pray for you, You pray for me. 
I love you, I need you to survive. 
I won’t harm you with words from my mouth. 
I love you, I need you to survive. 

Today, I encourage you to look beyond the surface and speak words of life into your leaders’ lives today. They have been given a great responsibility to lead and instruct, but we have just as much responsibility to take care of them as well. Pray for them. Encourage them. And when something doesn’t seem to be right, be willing to get dirty to help them find the cleansing and healing we all need and desire. It’s your responsibility. It’s your bush. Take care of it.

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