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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My competence has been challenged on more than one occasion. There was the first time I picked up a chainsaw and waved it around my dad. There was the first time I ever had a bunch of my friends in the car with me and they questioned my ability to drive. And there was that first time after I got married when I said to my wife, "Why do we need a mechanic? I can handle this!" Those negative comments used to bother me alot. As I've gotten older, I have learned to let many of those comments go or not take them so critically--especially when they aren't true. I have also learned that recognizing my limitations enables me to be comfortable with what I can do (public speaking, plunging the toilet--don't laugh, there are a lot of similarities) and what I can't do (re-wiring a house, playing the piano).

Having gone through these life lessons, it's not a surprise to me when I come across someone who just doesn't get it. You know who I am talking about. The one who just doesn't get what they don't know but works really hard to prove to you they do know it. Talk about rubbing on my last nerve. I used to get so frustrated by those conversations with people who would ramble on and on--all along proving they didn't have clue what they were talking about.

It's a defense mechanism. It is a way that we protect ourselves, more specifically our egos, from any chance of outside attack. Bottom line is, it's a pride thing. And I guess that's why the Bible talks so much about pride and how it hurts us and angers God. Now, that whole introduction leads into my big concern for the day--the pride of some leaders in the church. I read a lot of books, blogs, articles and websites. I watch and listen what other leaders are doing and how they are succeeding. And I see a lot of pastors and other church leaders who proclaim that they have some kind of "corner on the market" when it comes to God. They stand above their followers and act as if they are above accountability and, most dangerous of all, beyond the loving correction of God or His people. No wonder many churches flounder today with a lack of direction and no evidence of God's presence. Honestly, I tremble when I think of what correction awaits these men and women. The Bible is clear (Hebrews 13:17) that those who are called (me included) must give an account for the leadership we give. I just pray that when I lead, I'm taking people some place that is worth the journey.

I have learned what I am good at and am working on the areas where I need improvement. I still have my stubborn moments but I can see where God is humbling me and re-shaping me constantly. I guess the bottom line is my desire to hear God say, "Well done" rather than "What the heck were you thinking?" There aren't many guarantees in life but there is this one: God's word will guide you into truth and truth will set you free. Free from failures that limit you. Free from fears of incompetence. Free from the unknowns of life.

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