Last Sunday I was encouraged by a sermon, “I’ve Decided to Do Me.” In general, we’re conditioned to perceive selfish intent in “doing me.” Well, that’s not the case. I was particularly excited hearing this at this time in my life where I’m more acquainted and comfortable with ME than I’ve been in a long time.
What about you? Are you ready to stand firmly in your “ME” when your heart, motives, actions or words are being misunderstood? Can you willingly admit that your “ME” needs work? Will you commit to doing the work? I believe ME to be a leader. In that, my desire is to stand in an area of learning and growth and pull others up with me. The danger in that is in perception. I can become deceived to believe I’ve “arrived.” Or someone else can believe that of me, and by their perception coupled with what they think they know of me, reject growth because they reject me. Only one of those is my issue, but both can hurt.
Part of having your feet firmly planted is the awareness that any instability in your stance can be detrimental to you and others. Pride brings instability because at its core it believes “I got this” and stops being vigilant and teachable. The Word states very plainly that pride comes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. To me, that suggests someone not paying attention!
Another way instability creeps in: suggestions or opinions pull you away from work that God assigned you, in order to make someone else more comfortable with your calling. In the Bible, Nehemiah’s response to this type of issue was classic. When I read this I think of it being said with a certain tone and attitude, I must admit. Why? Because his words suggest Nehemiah had discernment and was confident in his calling and his God. He was not moved by threats, suggestions or opinions and was therefore effective. May every God-given leader possess similar discernment, confidence and effectiveness.
During his work of restoration, Nehemiah developed some enemies. They didn’t resent him; they resented his influence on the progress. So, they began attempting to provoke him to fear as a distraction. His response: So I sent messengers to them saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?” Nehemiah 6:3 NKJV
I love that! But as much as I love it, my testimony in similar situations has been far different. My responses were an indicator that I had work to do if I wanted to gain focus and make progress. To get results I had to be willing to submit myself to the process, whether or not I liked the instructors or the instructions.
How do you follow? Are you under the influence of another? When you work on tasks, do other followers hear your complaints? Or, do they follow your “lead” of submission, obedience and a good attitude? It’s worth a heart check before you’re called to a platform or project as a leader. Evaluate how you follow and make any necessary adjustments.
Getting reacquainted with humility and being teachable is a great thing. My footing is surer than it’s ever been. And when fear or judgment or rejection threatens my focus, ‘I cannot come down, because the work cannot cease.’
Is that your confession today? Speak it over your many roles in life – employee, spouse, parent, community leader, etc. Commit to the work that will result in your feet being firmly planted so you can bring others along.
He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water; that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. Psalm 1:3 NKJV