Why are we often so unwilling to face our weaknesses or consider other's feedback when we know it will help us become better versions of ourselves?
The reason is pride. Our pride keeps us from becoming great, not our weaknesses.
Do you know that humility is a requirement of anyone that wants to be a servant leader? James 4:6 reminds us that, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Testing My Heart for Pride
I often have test my heart for pride. And one way I test is to pay attention to how I handle it when people give me feedback or criticism. When I see my first reaction is to get defensive or angry, I ask myself why I reacted that way.
Usually, the answer is my pride. And, it’s hard for me to say that because I don’t want to see myself as prideful. But I know if I don’t recognize that it’s pride, I will stay in that place where pride rules. And, there is too much at stake for me to stall out where I am. Too much on the line for me let my pride keep me from the work that God has called me to do, and the leadership He has chosen for me.
The great thing is that when I do face the truth, that in and of itself, is an action of humility, and with humility comes God’s grace. With a soft and teachable spirit, I can take the advice, criticism, even failure if that is the case, and learn from it. It makes me better and moves me closer to the heart of God.
Defeating Pride to Lead Well
If we want to journey toward servant leadership, we have to be willing to talk about our pride. Serving people and leading with humility is difficult. We do not have it in us to “fix” ourselves. And our own esteem will eventually fail at making us “good enough”.
As leaders, I know that at some point in our careers and lives, we have relied on our own gifts to pave the way. But, I have been alive long enough to know that our self-sufficiency has been failing us from the beginning. Eventually we will see that; and when we do, it is going to come at a high cost.
Please know that I say these things with great compassion and I know this struggle personally. We act out of pride and anger because we are trying to protect ourselves and what matters most to us because at the core we do not trust anyone else, even God, to come through or to keep us safe.
Maybe you will recognize yourself in some of the things we do when we are fearful: We become self-protective, we hide both at home and at work, we find it hard to be fully honest, or fully present. We isolate and live like we don’t need anyone. We use our positions to hide, we withhold information, we lie, we intimidate others.
When we are fearful we become control freaks, we lift ourselves up, we promote ourselves, we spin the truth to make ourselves look more favorable, we talk over others and demand attention or respect, and we do all of this to protect ourselves.
Safety In God’s Truth
Can I remind you of the best news?
When we respond to who God is, His love, His authority, His goodness—we are safe. And learning to live and lead like he is safe will absolutely transform our hearts and our lives.
The deep truth is that our self-worth is from God. He defines who we are. And He never lies. It is in Him that we will find life and value and purpose—and He came to give it to the full! (John 10:10)
Trying to be good enough without God is pride. It’s worshipping a lesser God, it’s living a lesser life. When God looks at us He sees the perfect sacrifice of Jesus. He does not see all of our mess-ups and shortcomings. He sees His child—healed, forgiven, deeply loved, and chosen.
It takes great courage to believe that Jesus is our salvation, our worth, our answer, our power, our significance, and our security. But He is all of that and more and we don’t have to live in fear. He came to set us free! (2 Timothy 1:7) (Galatians 5:1)
We were made for more than this. Many of us have functioned so long with fear hanging over us that we don’t know what we were made for, we just survive another day. Take the time to face this. Because believing what God says will bring you life-changing freedom over fear. And it will lead you to become the servant leader He created you to be.
Let’s talk more about conquering fear. Just let me know you’d like to talk >>