Have you ever met someone that was an absolute tool? Sure you have. We all have. One thing that the “tools” of this world have in common is pride. Prideful people think the whole world was made for them and revolves around them. Prideful people may be successful for a season but in the long run they will fall.
Mathew 23:12 records, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted”. Jesus said that whoever exalts or lifts himself up will be humbled. (Meaning, they will be put back down to a lowly position.) However, whoever starts at a lowly position and is humble will be exalted. (Meaning God will promote them and lift them up.)
Look at the words written in 1 Peter 5:5. “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the el- ders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. I remember reading this passage years ago and thinking to my- self, “If there is one person in the world that I don’t want opposing or working against me, it is God”.
Ok, lets be completely honest here. Many people (especially leaders) in America struggle with pride. Because we have had some measure of success in one or two areas of life and leadership, we can be easily be duped into thinking that we, in and of ourselves, have something really good to offer. That we have something really good to say. That we are God’s gift to what ever it is we are leading. That is not only the furthest thing from the truth, that is the very thing that will cause us to fall in some way and not be successful in the long run.
If we are prideful, we may succeed for a little while. Our ministry may grow. We may attract some leaders. Our organization may scale. We may get some hits on our blog, or gain twitter followers. However, and make no mistake about it if we lift ourselves up in our own eyes or in the eyes of others, God will make sure to pull us back down. Our leadership will not last.
Unfortunately, I could give you names of at least twenty-five leaders that I’ve known personally who lost their position in ministry, simply because they fell prey to the power of pride. Please hear me. You need to understand this. “You are not God’s gift to what you lead. What you lead, is Gods gift to you”. God has given you the abilities that you have. God has given you the bud- get that you receive.
God has given you the extreme honor to stand and proclaim his word, lead your company, or be the head of your family. These are not things that you offer. These are not things that you’ve earned. These are gifts. They are opportunities that God himself has offered to you.
I want to encourage you to do five things:
1 - Stay Humble.
2 - Be willing to start and stay in a lowly position.
3 - Be a servant to your leader and those in authority over you.
4 - Be a servant to your co-workers.
5 - Be a servant to the people that you lead.
Those moments that you and I are serving, are the moments you we the most like our master. Philippians 2:5-11 says, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.
Everyday God gives you an amazing gift.
Everyday God gives you the opportunity to be like Jesus. Everyday God gives you the opportunity to serve.
So don’t be a tool. Don’t take credit for what God has given you. Be like Jesus. Look for every opportunity to serve. You might be surprised what happens when you do. Humility is a characteristic that will propel you past previous plateaus.