"In the inner depths of every leader, there is a desire to be needed, to be a hero, to fix things. It appeals to our ego to be important. But be warned - if we find our significance by being put on a pedestal, it is only a matter of time until the same people will pull down the pedestal, and we will come tumbling down with it. The same people that make us kings will depose us when it suits them. Some of the very people who sought to make Jesus king, later turned on Him and chanted, “Crucify Him.”
Rather than seeking significance, serve people because God calls you to serve them - not because it meets a need in you or in others.
There is a thin line between being compelled to meet people’s needs and being called by God to do so. A discerning leader will find that line and not step across it.
In 1 Samuel 8, the people of Israel demanded a king, wanting to be like the other countries around them. God gave them what they asked for, but in doing so was creating a test for the king (Saul) and a test for the Israelites as well. Saul failed his test and God removed him. The people failed their test and God punished them. May we learn from this lesson and not insist on a human king or elevate any leader to a God-like status. As leaders, may we resist any such acclaim thrust upon us. May we trust in God alone.
Jesus responded to the demands of the people who wanted to make Him king by withdrawing to be alone. Perhaps the best place to be when we are tempted to be a king to people is to be alone with God and find out what it is in us that is attracted to stardom or power.
As a younger leader, I found myself becoming political about my leadership role. I defended my position in the organization I served with at the time. I had an unhealthy need for the right title. I was offended when I was asked to change my title to one of “less stature.” I am ashamed of my behavior when I look back now on those days. There were some dysfunctions in the organization, but that is no excuse for my immaturity.
Thankfully, God used those experiences to refine my character. It was a season of ministry maturing and I learned valuable lessons during that season. I am thankful for the leaders over me and with me at the time who set an example by responding with greater maturity and patience.
What was it in me that fought over those things? God was exposing my insecurities and my selfish ambition. I am thankful He did so, although at the time, it was not easy to humble myself and acknowledge my sinfulness.
I recall one co-worker saying, “Wow, these things are really important to you. Why is that?”
It was that piercing question that helped me step back and question myself. Thank God for people who are not enamored with having a king over them, who simply speak the truth.
Do you receive the truth when spoken to you? Perhaps there are steps you can take to encourage others to tell you when they disagree with you.
What steps can you take to build accountability and transparency in the community or corporation you lead?"