Monday, December 01, 2014

Emulating leaders

I well remember a Christian leader who a number of years ago used to give this advice to younger Christians: 'One of the most important things in Christian leadership,' he would solemnly intone, 'is never to admit any weaknesses. If you admit weaknesses, others will exploit them to your detriment.' Astonishing! Surely there are many areas in which Christians must acknowledge their weaknesses. Isn't that Paul's policy, when in 2 Corinthians 12 he insists he has learned to 'boast' of his weaknesses so that Christ's strength might be made perfect in him? 

Indeed, in the same passage, Paul circumscribes what he says about his own spiritual experiences, precisely because he is fearful that people will think too much of him. If he must be assessed, he wants to be judged by what he says and does in the public arena, not by laying claim to spiritual experiences no one else can test. What is remarkable is the way Paul's' stance differs from our own. Many Christians today, even Christian leaders, go through life fearful that people will think too little of them. They quickly become irritable if someone, especially a junior, is praised more than they. But Paul goes through life fearful that people will think too much. Follow a leader like that! He has been tested by hardship, and he is not an untested upstart of a self-promoting peacock. Emulate such leaders. 

From D A Carson's Basics for Believers, page 80. 
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