Every guy likes to be part of a demo job. Tearing stuff up is fun, it doesn’t require much skill, it aids in blowing off some steam, and it’s quick. The more difficult part is to build. It demands craft, time, some geometry, and expertise. Most leaders know that they’ve got to do some demolition from time to time, but whenever they do, they’ve got to be ready to replace what was torn down.
The apostle Paul was a consummate leader. He knew when to pick a battle. In Philippians 3, he was not afraid to tell it like it is, because he was concerned for the good of people he loved.
He was willing to pick this fight because he was armed to the teeth with the truth. He knew the truth about the false teachers, who were telling the Philippians that it wasn’t enough to trust in Jesus for salvation. The truth was that these teachers were “dogs.”
He also knew the truth that what it means to be a Christian is to “worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.”
Paul was eager for his readers to know that to follow Christ is to view all of life as worship, because it’s by the Spirit. And he wanted them to know that they glory only in Christ, and not in the flesh. They put their confidence and their hope only in Christ. It didn’t matter what ritual they followed, what good works they’d done. Their boast was in Jesus alone. If they grasped this truth, then the bark of the dogs could be withstood.
Knowing and teaching what’s right will equip and build up those under your leadership to identify and refute false teaching.
Leaders can’t just be destructive. They’ve got to be constructive. They can’t only point out error, they’ve got to convey the truth. As someone wisely stated, never be known for what you are against, but rather what you are for.