The Leadership Mirror

Nothing has caused me or allowed me to see my own shortcomings like trying to lead others.  The longer I do it, the more I see the pitfalls of my personality, my history and my brokenness.

Note- this is not meant to be self-deprecating.

man-looking-in-mirrorI’d guess, and guess that I’m right, that this is true for most leaders.  Leadership is like a giant mirror that constantly reflects back on us.  Interestingly enough, when things go well, we (I), in our (my) abhorrent self-absorption, are (am) often tempted to believe that it is simply a reflection of our (my) gifts and talents.  When we look good, we want to see that in ourselves.  What also happens however, is that we also have the opportunity, if we’re willing to look long enough, to see our own stupidity.  We might see ourselves how others have seen us.  We might even see things that make us uncomfortable, the side of our fallenness that we’d tried to cover up with the gifts and talents God has given us.

This sucks, to say the least, but it is also a good thing.  I recognize that God has gifted me in certain ways and that the Spirit is empowering me for ministry.  However I have also observed, with a great, unfortunate clarity, on how terribly short I can fall.  I wonder if this too, isn’t a working of the Spirit.  I have recently had a couple of conversations in a somewhat short period of time; each with people that I have had the privilege of working with in ministry.  Both are gifted leaders and are able to challenge me in ways that I need to be challenged.  Both conversations left me with the reminder of my own shortcomings.

Again this isn’t self-deprecation.  These conversations didn’t drive me into depression or cause me any real emotional harm.  They simply served as a reminder; a good reminder.  Later on as I prayed the Lord brought this passage of scripture to mind:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships,in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

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