Power Creates Pretense

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Leaders must be able to accept honest evaluations from those they are leading.

“Many curry favor with a ruler, and everyone is the friend of a man who gives gifts.” Proverbs 19:6

Do you act differently when you are in the presence of power? Are you able to be yourself and not become pretentious because of someone’s position? Leaders need people around them who will tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. If you are intimidated or awestruck by wealth and stature, you will tend not to tell the truth for fear of rejection or punishment. Bold believers bow down to no one but the Lord God.

Fake followers of Jesus are in it for what others can do for them. Faith is replaced with favors. Receiving is valued over giving; self-service is sought over sacrifice. Casual Christianity is an affront to Almighty God, because it creates an inauthentic culture. If there is no confrontation or hard discussion, then life is being lived in a bubble of denial and disillusionment. Someone needs to speak up and be real.

Leaders can preclude pretense by deflecting any air of superiority. Your transparency over loss and disappointment gives the team permission to express their anxieties. Take time to confess your struggles and inability to trust Christ at times. People in positions of influence have an obligation to invite honest evaluation. When was the last time you asked your family or team how you can serve them? What disappoints them?

Lastly, are you willing to lose a friend for the sake of being real? Genuine grace-filled followers of God are like gold. They are valuable, and wise leaders seek to retain them for their honesty and no-nonsense counsel. Do I have secure people around me who will tell me the truth? Do I honor honesty and appreciate authenticity? Loyalty longs to be around a friend who only seeks favor from the Lord Jesus Christ.

“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).

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