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November 29th, 2011 – I Chronicles 26-27

Click here to read I Chronicles 24-25 on BibleGateway.com

We have a new word for today, boys and girls. The word is “nepotism”; can you say “nepotism” boys and girls? Very good.

For those of you who don’t know, nepotism is the action of giving benefits to relatives rather than to others that may be more deserving. For instance, when the CEO of PowerMart decides to hire his nephew as Vice-President of Bacon Acquisition, that’s nepotism. When a coach decides his 4’3”, 72 pound son should be the starting QB, that’s nepotism. Or, dare we say it, when a pastor decides his son(s) should be the associate, assistant, youth, and music ministers, that’s nepotism.

SONS OF AWESOMENESS

Of course, that’s assuming that the sons are not actually the most qualified candidates. There is a chance that they actually are the best people for the job; and then it’s just more awkward than nepotism. But still fairly suspicious.

In any case, the concern over nepotism is surprisingly more cultural than you might think. In many parts of the world, nepotism is not only expected, people are actually surprised that we have a problem with it. If you suddenly had a million dollars, wouldn’t you give some to your children? How is that any different than giving them a job if you are successful? Seems kind of weird to us, but it does make a kind of sense.

SHEMAIAH AND SONS

Let’s look at example in the Bible. In I Chronicles 26: 6, we learn of Shemaiah and his sons, all of whom leaders in Israel. However, notice that the Bible describes the sons as “very capable men.” Chronicles implies that, even though these men are related to a leader, their own positions were given because they were capable, not because they were Shemaiah’s sons.

As leaders, we need to be sure that we are evaluating people based on their capability, and not on other factors. However, this does not mean we have to automatically exclude our own close friends and family. Sometimes we can be so cautious of appearing to favor those close to us, that we neglect people that God may have brought into our lives for just that reason. Whomever we choose as assistants, we need to prayerfully seek God’s guidance, so we are not led astray by either favoritism, or our sense of “being fair.”

Time to go for the day. I feel the need to elect myself to the position of Executive Thin Mint Tester. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.

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