Know It All Leadership
There are times when I wistfully think I would love to be 30 again.
I had more hair on my head.
My Dunlop disease was not nearly as pronounced. (for those of you that don’t know what Dunlop disease is, look it up. :) )
I thought I could conquer the world.
However then reality sets in and I realize that being 30 also had its drawbacks, one of those being that I thought I knew it all.
Recently I had a conversation with a young 30 something pastor who just didn’t get what I was saying.
Of course, he didn’t get it!
I had to remind myself of how I was at that season of my life and ministry. I wouldn’t have gotten it either so I tried to love on him and move on.
Which brings me to this post.
Normally I do not do posts that are personal reflections. I usually stick to the main and plain as I see it.
However, there are times when just being open and transparent teaches more than any theological treatise. I hope this is one of those times.
5 Things I Have Learned Since I Knew It All
When You Have To Be Right You Are Probably Wrong
I don’t know how many people over the years I hurt or drove away because I had the need to be right. That need came from both an issue of insecurity in my life and an ample dose of hubris.
It wasn’t until I went through a major crisis in my life and a very painful situation that this need was burned out of me.
It was only when I realized that God’s grace covered and still covers my failure that I no longer needed to be right.
I was secure and I did not need to prove anything.
I had nothing to be prideful about.
I had learned that I was capable of being wrong and in learning that, grace was both given to me, and then extended to others with whom I might disagree.
Proper Theology Is Not As Important As Proper Attitude
The scripture says that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
Theology is the study of God. Theology is important, but not as important as your heart attitude.
When I first started out on my Christian journey, I had a problem with a performance mentality. That attitude tainted everything I thought I knew about God.
It led me to a works orientated theology that demanded a certain level of performance in order to maintain salvation.
Salvation might have been given by grace, but had to be maintained by a certain level of good works.
It was not until I needed God to extend forgiveness and grace to me in the midst of my salvation did I realize that my bad attitude had formed my theology.
I learned that the study of God had to include applying the character of God to my own life.
Not just His holiness, but His compassion, mercy, and grace.
To study theology without this practice is vanity.
God Is Big Enough To Defend Himself
I don’t know how many times I took it upon myself to be the defender of the doctrine and protector of the property.
God is more than capable of changing the hearts of people and defending Himself if need be. He doesn’t need my help.
Yes, there are times to chime in when issues are being discussed.
Yes, there is time to call a spade a spade, but remember it is not your job to defend God.
Now when it comes to essential doctrines, of course, we need to stand our ground, but most times the doctrine being defended with such passion is not an essential doctrine but a distinctive or something that makes one group unique.
Building bridges and making inroads works much better than raising walls and defending ground.
God Loves Baptists
And Methodists, and Lutherans, and Charismatics, and Pentecostals.
In other words, God loves His people.
Now that may seem simple, but you need to understand that we seem to always try to define ourselves by our differences.
Prior to God seriously rearranging my heart and theology, I used to feel superior to these groups.
I believed they were Christian but not passionate about the Lord.
That may be true for some but blanket statements like that reveal an exclusionary heart and not the heart of love that God has for these people.
God is a big tent God when it comes to the people who have placed their trust in Jesus for their salvation.
We need to embrace our brothers and sisters, not look down our nose at them!
That It Doesn’t Matter How You Start, But How You Finish
I have now been serving Jesus imperfectly for 35 years.
During that time, including when I started, I have seen many people launch out of the gate in a sprint.
The Christian life is a marathon.
Now that doesn’t mean that you try to “pace” yourself, but that means that you have a long journey ahead of you. You are going to make mistakes.
Other people are going to make mistakes.
You are going to change. I have changed. I am not the same person that started out serving Jesus 35 years ago.
What matters is how you finish.
Are you still in love with Jesus at 50 like you were at 20?
Are you still serving His people?
Are you still walking forward to that promise of eternal hope?
Finishing well is more important than how you start.
I have learned over these years that in all honesty, I am just an ordinary man with 1 talent.
I am doing what I can with that 1 talent to make it useful for my Master’s kingdom.
My desire is to hear Him say
“Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into your rest.”