We’ve seen what threatened leadership looks like and the environment it creates. What must you and I do to avoid these kinds of pitfalls?
What we need to know is that true security will never come through how many people are following us, through our titles, connections, possessions or our skills. Anything we try to figure out by our own deductions becomes very horizontal and humanistic. Following the Lord and His principles is at the root of becoming stable and secure leaders. And as Thomas à Kempis said, “Disregard outward appearances and diligently ... cultivate such things as foster amendment of life and fervor of soul, rather than ... cultivate those qualities that seem most popular.” We need to begin to think with a new paradigm and forge another way.
Be Your Own Judge
Anyone who wants to survive in leadership, with all the struggles and temptations, must be their own judge. Why? Especially as a leader, you may find that few people will say anything bad about you to your face. It may be helpful for you to seek out two or three people who can share with you honestly when they see problems in your attitude and actions.
But ultimately, you must be responsible to judge yourself. First Corinthians 11:28–31 encourages us to judge and examine ourselves. If you sense that there is some kind of alienation in you toward other people or from other people and you find yourself becoming critical toward others, you need to stop and ask yourself the question: What is happening? Why am I thinking like this?
You’ll be surprised—most of the time the problem is within you. It’s only then that we can begin to change.
The first thing we need to do is to be willing to see our need for change. Refrain from the natural tendency to justify your thoughts and your actions. Be willing to let truth speak without hindrance. However painful it might be, judge yourself truthfully.
Safe with God
No one can be a threat to your character and who you really are. No matter what is happening, where we are sent or what people say, our security rests in our right relationship with God and with man.
So it’s critical that we maintain honest relationships with co-laborers and superiors, even if that means admitting failure and asking for forgiveness. Be willing to be transparent. We will be secure when we have nothing to hide. Even our enemies may come around when we make decisions based on integrity.
When we find that we are troubled, emotionally disturbed, or afraid, we must go back to God. When the future looks grim, we need to focus on His faithfulness and trust in His promises--promises like: “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
God will never leave us, He will never forsake us and we will never be helpless (see Matthew 28:20; Psalm 46:1). He will provide for our needs and give us the grace to do all that He asks of us (see Philippians 2:13).
Over the years, I have seen many people who forgot God’s promises and destroyed their lives as they sought security in finances and material things instead. It happened to many people in the Bible.
Look at Gehazi. What potential that man had! But he went after money and lost everything (see 2 Kings 5:19–27). Judas betrayed the Lord Jesus for a bag of silver and wound up losing his life (see Matthew 26:14–16, 27:4–5). All of Solomon’s wealth, power and influence brought him no satisfaction (see Ecclesiastes 2:1–11). Our security will never come from a better position, having more money, marrying someone or having a bigger following.
I testify to you, over these decades of walking with my Lord, the only times I have lost peace, stability and time were when I used my own logic to interpret life and make my choices. I’m sad for those seasons.
However, when I had no argument and just followed the Lord and trusted Him, I found life was beautiful, and there was such peace.