Who do you look up to as a leader? Think about it for a minute.
Who are you thinking of? The Quarterback for the football team? The Coach of the basketball team? A Boss? A teacher? A pastor? Maybe you are even thinking of yourself.
For the rest of us, it is easy to think “Boy, how nice it would be to be one of those people”. To have that natural charisma and confidence as a leader would surely be a blessing. While I myself, as a teacher, have some characteristics of a good leader, there are some which I still must work very hard at. For example, I am generally good at keeping my students calm and focused and motivating them to work hard. However, sometimes I am bad at keeping them and myself organized.
No matter how good of a leader someone might be, we all are human and have our faults.
In fact, no person is a perfect leader. Perhaps that lessens your anxiety when you are asked to be in charge. No matter who you are, there is a good chance that, at some point in your life, you will be asked to lead. If you, like me, don’t see yourself as being born to lead, this could come with some fear.
Next, I want to tell you a story about a man named Chuck. Chuck, at one point in his life, would have been considered a hero, as he was a paramedic. However, he then fell on hard times, suffering from different addictions that effectively derailed that career. He, for all intents and purposes, lost all motivation to help others. No one would have been pointing to him as an example of leadership in that moment.
Then, came September 11, 2001. Despite living not too far away from the World Trade Center, it did not cross Chuck’s mind to visit ground zero to help. Then, he heard a voicemail from his estranged sister, who assumed he was helping. This simple message, to me, was the Holy Spirit inspiring him to act.
He left his apartment to go to the scene of the attacks to help. Despite being warned to turn back, Chuck ventured into the wreckage, eventually rescuing a Port Authority officer from a burning hole. When interviewed for a documentary, Chuck acknowledged his lack of motivation to help others, first attributing his motivation to the message from his sister. But later, he said that the strength and care to do such a thing did not come from him, but instead came from God.
Chuck didn’t want to be a leader or set up to help. But God empowered him and used him to help protect and save lives.
Read Philippians 2:3-9.
In order to lead in a God-pleasing way, it should come from a humble servant heart, just as Jesus modeled throughout His life. We might naturally be selfish, ambitious, or conceited. Yet, because of Jesus, our sins our forgiven. Through the gift of faith, the Holy Spirit gives us a new humble servant attitude.
Every time we are called to be a leader, we know that on our own we will fail. But through God’s forgiveness, love, and good gifts, we can consider others as more significant than you, and pray that God would allow you to lead effectively.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the opportunities that you give me to lead in my life. Please grant me the humility to put others ahead of myself, just as You did for me on the cross.
- When was a time that you were asked to be a leader? How did that make you feel?
- When is a time we have failed to be a servant? How can God’s grace and forgiveness redirect us to think of others before ourselves?