What I Read Today;
2 Corinthians 12; Mark 16; Ezekiel 30; Proverbs 27-28; 1 Kings 6
Our text for this morning is 2 Corinthians 12:7b-13;
“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 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. 10 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.” NIV
Leadership is a hot topic these days. Our politicians talk endlessly about how they will lead. Books pile up on the bookstore shelves about leadership. Companies spend millions of dollars developing “leaders.”
Oftentimes, leaders become aloof. They forget that they were once a subordinate. Once in power, it becomes about them. Leaders in the church can fall into the same trap as leaders in private industry. A new Pastor arrives at a church, and things go well. God blesses this person’s ministry, and things grow.
That Pastor forgets that it is supposed to be about Jesus, not the Pastor. The praise of the congregation goes to the Pastor’s head. Maybe he publishes a book, and it becomes a huge bestseller. The attendance goes from less than 50 to over 200. All these things are lovely, but something changes. Soon you hear about how great the Pastor is and not so much about Jesus. As time goes on, it becomes more about the organization than salvation. Next, it becomes about keeping track of the numbers. How many souls “I” saved becomes a new mantra.
Staying humble during times of success is difficult. God takes extra steps with Paul to make sure he understands his limitations. We’re all capable of falling into the trap of ego. We need to have people around us who will help us to stay grounded. These are the people who can gently point out where we are straying.
It’s about God and grace, not any individual’s ego.