If you have been in church for any period if time, you likely have heard the story of Balaam arguing with his ass.
Maybe I should stop right there, as those last few words though figuratively raw, convey so much!
Balaam's personal blindspot, not his donkey was his biggest problem.
My guess is when he later shared his story, the donkey speaking was just that real in his head, yet likely the voice of the angel filtered out by his stubbornness. The animal obviously sensed spiritual presence and was more open to instruction than this strong-willed prophet. We have all been there.
Of course, the message is less about the donkey dialogue than our human bent toward prestige and prosperity (see Numbers 22:17-18) over personal integrity. If we are honest with ourselves, we are like that more often than we want to admit!
The chapters that follow align so well with the struggles I have had at times in walking out my spiritual values in the marketplace and even in moments where leaders in the church were less open to wisdom than I wanted to deal with.
When of necessity you are called to a contrarian position among those who could promote and reward you, there are times when no compromising, no margins are afforded, especially when the Body of Christ is at risk.
I know what it is to argue with God, have my toes stepped on and even the beast upon which my family means were being carried to collapse, at least financially, when I attempted to massage the message for the sake of others in leadership.
Being in leadership has a brutal side when we find ourselves arguing with our ass rather than following our values!