September 25, 2016 • Life for Leaders
“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
Access…it is something we crave; it’s behind our motivations on how we position ourselves; it is the thing that we seek often. We desire to be in the room or to know “the guy” with influence. Access is a coveted thing that we would do practically anything to procure.
But why do we desire this so strongly? What are we seeking to do to get this access? Most importantly, what will we do when we gain such access? These were the questions that Mordecai was helping his cousin, Esther, work through at the pinnacle of her royal position as Queen. Mordecai was introducing her to the reality that sustained access is only sustained when one is aware of the level of responsibility that it requires.
It is easy to become consumed in the celebration of Esther’s end state as Queen, while overlooking the weight of responsibility that she was carrying. Yes, Esther was Queen, but to understand her ending requires insight on her beginning. Esther was an orphan from Susa. This point matters because it highlights the absence of a father to name and affirm her identity, and a mother who would help guide her pathway towards womanhood and productivity. When Esther became Queen, it was literally a move from utter obscurity into a bright shining spotlight. Sometimes we can fight so hard to amass power and access that we neglect to prepare to carry the responsibility associated with wisely stewarding that access.
We often ignore the fact that when God plants us in a place, it is bigger than we are and attached to a purpose that is larger than our personal existence. Esther’s tenure as Queen was not just about her, but rather about the salvation and protection of an entire nation. Over time, the Jews were experiencing systematic persecution and institutional disenfranchisement. In their greatest time of suffering, God gives Esther access in the most unlikely of places…the royal palace. Mordecai, as the greatest influencer in her life, urges Esther to embrace this level of responsibility. He instructs her to steward her voice in a way that benefits all. He strongly encourages her to fight the urge to preserve herself through silence at the expense of her people…quite frankly warning her that the neglect of her responsibilities with this access would result in her own demise.
The truth is that we all have some sort of access and some sort of responsibility to wisely steward that privilege. It is one thing to pursue the access, but quite another to steward it wisely. God has given you access purposely and intentionally. The things that cross your path are for the sole purpose of encouraging you to utilize your voice to speak out for righteousness, justice, mercy, and love. Pervasive silence often leads to the exploitation of peoples. How many times has our permissive silence led to sustained injustices? When you see inequities and injustices, take the challenge to assume the responsibility that comes with your access. Whether it is for people groups on the fringes of society, or even Kingdom entities, your voice matters in their freedom. Neglecting to do so makes you irrelevant for the purpose God gave you the platform. Embrace both your designated access place and the responsibilities that come with it.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
Where are the places that God has given me access?
Why has God placed me in this place?
How well am I using my privilege to raise assistance for marginalized peoples or Kingdom entities?
God, thank you that life is not meaningless, but rather filled with purpose. Thank you for where you have planted me. Grant me the wisdom to discern the proper time to use my privilege to help the forgotten and marginalized. Give me courage to responsibly use my access to bring equity and balance to those who are neglected and persecuted. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen.