Hi all our partners and friends, i hope spring has sprung in your area. Here in Toronto we are still shivering but we can always hope…
I have been meditating recently on a leader’s confidence and how it is often shaken. For our family newsletter this month rather than writing a full expanded article, i have written the following outline just to share with you my basic thoughts on this. I know that many of us have too much to read already but may i encourage you to a least browse through this outline and ask the Lord if there are applications to yourself. Feel free to adjust or expand it for yourself to teach or preach.
A Leader’s Confidence
As a leader our confidence is constantly under attack. The purpose of the attack is to get us to:
- Quit or surrender: (Peter: I am going fishing : John 21:3)
- Settle into complacency: (Eli the high priest: 1 Sam. 3: 1-2)
- Bury your gift: (Matt. 25:25)
- Stop risking: (Numbers 13:31-33)
- Settle for mediocre or second best: (Gen 49:14,15)
- Get us to start attacking others: (Numbers 14:4)
- Engage in our work half-heartedly: (2 Kings 13:18-19; Col. 3:23,24)
Some synonyms of confidence:
Mild To Severe Paranoia
Surrending To Intimidation
Sources From Which Our Confidence Is Attacked
- Our own flesh. The old man is either aggressively brazen or coweringly fearful. It has no balance and one of it’s characteristics is it turns easily on itself. (self cannibalization). That’s why we are told to put it off.
- The devil’s accusations: we are used to this one. A voice, an emotion, a pressure from outside ourselves reminding us of our failures, weaknesses, and sins.
- Comparison with others: the seeming success of those in similar roles in life as ours can be very intimidating.
- Our past and present major failures. Peter’s failure during Christ’s crucifixion caused him to want to go fishing again, back to the former occupation and out of his calling.
- Our past and present setbacks. This is different than a failure. It is a series of little negative pressures or not meeting our goals that add up to cause self doubt or emotionally nag us.
- Difficult people, whose situation starts overly defining to us what ministry is. These are leeches. (Prov. 30:15) they have no intention of receiving genuine help or changing. They suck your life and confidence out of you. In reality there are many good people who are being genuinely helped by us. Che Ahn helped me a lot in this, in telling me he spends 80% of his time and energy in that which is healthy and growing, and 20% on the weak or questionable.
- People who are disappointed in us and either subtly or overtly express it. (1 Samuel 30:6…. “for the people spoke of stoning him)
- Not meeting our goals. (Prov. 13:12… Hope deferred makes the heart sick)
- Overcommitment: over-extending ourselves beyond god ordained boundaries, thereby not fulfilling the tasks he has given us and becoming discouraged. (2 Cor. 10:13)
Timothy is an example of a leader who needed a reminder to stir up his confidence. How??
- He was in close relationship with someone who genuinely loved him, enjoyed spending time with him (greatly desiring to see you) and believed in him…(II Tim. 1:4- 5)
- Paul encouraged Timothy by saying he was persuaded of the faith that was in Timothy. We need to intentionally be around people, especially leaders, who believe in us and will express it.
- He was reminded of his gift, (2 Tim. 1:6) (the energy and ability entrusted to him by God to build the kingdom of Jesus)
- He was reminded of the source of the gift. That is…. God’s gift given to him in a stewardship. (2 Tim. 1:6). A portion of heaven had been deposited into him.
- He was reminded of the exact point of his calling (2 Tim.1:6) (the historical moment Paul laid hands on him. Boy, that would be something to remember and mark in your journal and review in difficult moments!)
- And the Holy Spirit encounter by which he got the gift. The sense of the presence of God when the gift was given.
- He was reminded of his responsibility in how his gift worked. He was not a robot that God would automatically work through. He had his part in stirring up the gift.
- Apparently Paul felt it was okay and helpful to address Timothy’s emotional state: v. 8… “do not be ashamed”. We need to realistically, at times, review our emotional state, whether it is shame, anger, fear, dullness, apathy, etc.
- Get to know intimately, not casually, God’s grace. 2 Tim. 2:1 (be strong in grace)
- Accept that it’s going to be hard sometimes. 2 Tim. 2:3