I am pretty sure, like me, you feel bombarded with what is going on all around us- the news of CoVid 19, the collapse of the stock market, job loss, and fears for our future. How can we as God’s people keep ourselves in peace during times like these?
I think we can all admit that we are all a little imperfect sometimes…
We lose our temper at our kids, we blame our spouse, we gossip with a friend, we lie to our boss to avoid the consequence of a mistake we need to own up to.
The list of imperfections can go on and on but the point is we all make mistakes; some days a lot, some days not as much. But that’s why God’s grace is so wonderful! That’s why the conviction of the Holy Spirit is welcomed because it helps us to make things right. If we allow, our mistakes can teach us one of Jesus’ most wonderful characteristics–humility.
This year, my husband and I have been going through the One-Year Bible together, and we were recently reading the story of Samson in Judges. As we were reading, I was amazed by how much anger and revenge was stored in Samson, as well as how many mistakes he had made. Yet God still used him. God made him a Judge that helped deliver the Children of Israel for 20 years.
I was pondering the entire time, “Wow, he was such an imperfect leader.”
Then I got thinking about all the other leaders in the Bible such as Paul and Peter, and I also couldn’t help but think, “wow, they were also imperfect leaders!” Paul accused and killed Christians before he met Jesus. He also had interpersonal issues with Barnabas that caused them to temporarily split paths. Paul openly admits in 1 Timothy 1:13-16:
“Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.
The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst.
But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.” (NIV)
Covered by the perfection of Christ
Paul acknowledges his past faults, his mistakes, his old man; his flesh. Yet Paul doesn’t stay there. He doesn’t identify with the flesh anymore. Paul is the “in Christ” theologian. There are 130 In Whom, In Christ, In Him and In the Lord references in Paul’s writings. He strongly acknowledged that everything he was as a Christian leader was because of Christ. He knew who he was IN Christ BECAUSE of Christ. He lived in the Spirit through the overflow of the Spirit. He displayed humility through the acknowledgment of his own imperfections that are covered by the perfection of Christ.
As I’ve been pondering this more, I was thinking about a time in college I was in a very influential leadership position. Before the position, I was just a fellow college student happily studying and enjoying my peers. But after I accepted the position, I realized people who wouldn’t talk to me before all of a sudden wanted to hang out. People whom I had never met started to come up and talk to me like we were best friends. It really threw me off, and honestly, it bothered me.
Shattering the pedestals
As I began to sit down with some people and share my life, my struggles and my story like I always had in friendships before, people began to say, “Wow, I didn’t realize you struggled with insecurities, too!”
…WHAT?! How could I not? I’m human! But I’m thankful for that experience because God taught me a really powerful lesson during that time. He said, “Hanna, most humans go through the exact same struggles at some point in their lives. Use leadership to show humility and shatter pedestals people may be putting you on without your permission…and shatter the pedestals in your life, too.”
Why? Because I’m imperfect. I will never deserve a pedestal. Only Jesus, the only perfect leader who will NEVER let us down, deserves a pedestal. Paul shattered his pedestal, and God used him mightily. Samson didn’t shatter his pedestal and his strength actually ended up being his death, but God used him anyway.
Acknowledge your imperfections
So, dear heart, first off. Acknowledge your imperfections, and through it realize Christ’s perfection and how you are seen as righteous before God. Then, shatter your pedestals. Whether it’s ones you’ve put your leaders on, or it’s a pedestal someone has put you on. Embrace humble leadership. Embrace Christ-centered, servant-driven leadership. Keep God on the pedestal, and ask others to join you as you worship the only One who deserves praise.
Read also: THE TREASURE WITHIN