Lycurgus wasn’t the King of Sparta (BC 800 – 730) but he’s credited with creating Spartan culture. He went away and studied other people groups and returned with a new idea on building community. He’s worth a look.

Reading Epictetus, has given me a new perspective on Lycurgus – he wasn’t just wise – he was kind. You see, Lycurgus was blinded (in one eye) by a young, overly aggressive Spartan. The lad was turned over to Lycurgus to punish as he saw fit. Lycurgus didn’t go for revenge or justice. Instead, he offered grace. Lycurgus took the young lad under his wing 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 beyond justice. Try giving 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. Now that’s the Christmas Spirit, right?

Live hard. Love harder. Thanks, Lycurgus…

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