“Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu put coals of fire in their incense burners and sprinkled incense over them. In this way, they disobeyed the LORD by burning before him the wrong kind of fire, different than he had commanded. So fire blazed forth from the LORD’s presence and burned them up, and they died there before the LORD. Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD meant when he said, ‘I will display my holiness through those who come near me. I will display my glory before all the people.’” And Aaron was silent. Then Moses called for Mishael and Elzaphan, Aaron’s cousins, the sons of Aaron’s uncle Uzziel. He said to them, “Come forward and carry away the bodies of your relatives from in front of the sanctuary to a place outside the camp.” So they came forward and picked them up by their garments and carried them out of the camp, just as Moses had commanded. Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not show grief by leaving your hair uncombed or by tearing your clothes. If you do, you will die, and the LORD’s anger will strike the whole community of Israel. However, the rest of the Israelites, your relatives, may mourn because of the LORD’s fiery destruction of Nadab and Abihu. But you must not leave the entrance of the Tabernacle or you will die, for you have been anointed with the LORD’s anointing oil.” So they did as Moses commanded.”Leviticus 10:1-7 NLT
Two of Aaron’s sons died because they disregarded the Lord by burning before Him the wrong kind of fire He commanded. Aaron and his two other sons were really grieved. However, they’re not allowed to show their grief the way Israelites used to do: leaving their hair uncombed and tearing their clothes. The Israelites may do it, opening mourning for the loss, but Aaron and his two sons are to continue their priestly duties before the Lord because they are anointed for duty. They are to remain at the entrance of the Tabernacle and carry on with what they are called to do.
This reminds me that when God calls and anoints us, there is a responsibility to bear. Some things that used to be permissible are no longer, even if they aren’t something wrong to do. Showing grief is normal and expected, but because they are serving, they have to maintain their composure and remain faithful to do their duties, even if it hurts much. There is no excuse to put aside our responsibilities to serve, especially when we are anointed for it.
I’m guilty of this. So many times. When i was the leader, when i was called to do some things, instead of pressing through, ‘put on a front’ and continue serving faithfully, i repeatedly avoided my responsibilities or not giving the best i can whenever i feel overwhelmed. I thought doing this is being fake, not showing my authentic self, but I was so wrong. I wish i knew this earlier. I wish I knew taking responsibility is not about how I feel but what is my duty regardless of my feelings. I wish someone taught me that being real and authentic is not about showing how you feel all the time but rather showing it at the right time to the right people, and that putting yourself out there to show your best self is also you being real.
Pain of servant leadership is real, but the end of it is especially rewarding.