Lycurgus wasn’t the King of Sparta (BC 800 – 730) but he’s credited with what we know today as Spartan culture. He’s the dude who went away and studied other people groups and came back with a new idea on how to do community. He’s worth a look.
However, reading ole Epictetus, has given me a new perspective on Lycurgus – he wasn’t just wise, he was kind. You see, way back in the day, Lycurgus was blinded (in one eye) by a young, overly aggressive Spartan. The lad was then turned over to Lycurgus to punish as he saw fit. Lycurgus didn’t go for revenge or justice, he showed, instead, grace. Lycurgus took the young lad and educated him. When he publicly introduced him at the theatre, according to Epictetus storytelling, the crowd booed him. Lycurgus response is ccd magic, “The person you gave me was violent and aggressive; I’m returning him to you civilized and refined.”
Learn from Lycurgus, leader. Up your game from justice. Try giving some grace at least some of the time. See what happens. It won’t be popular, necessarily. Won’t always work. But, when it does, it’s some kinda freakin’ magic.
Practice unmerited forgiveness. Practice grace. Good…