Have you applied for a job or internal promotion recently? You probably had to update or refresh your résumé as part of that process. How did you go? Did you market yourself well? Did you convince the interviewer or hiring manager that you are the best person for the job? If you’re going to do that successfully, many times, an important leadership quality will be left outside the interview room.
When you walk into that interview room you are competing with all other applicants. You don’t have to be good, you don’t even have to be great. You must be the best! That means, somehow you’ve got to elevate your skills, attributes, features, etc above everyone else. Done that? Got the job / pay rise / promotion? Fantastic! What happens when you take that dynamic wow factor for leadership and try to serve in a Church or Christian ministry?
In Philippians 2:3 Paul says, “In humility consider others better than yourselves.” But how does that work? If I have a vision / dream / goal to carry out something great in ministry – should I be jostling others out-of-the-way so my idea gets traction before theirs?
The way a cycling team works gives us an idea of the text here. Not everyone on the team can or will win the race. But the team will work together to protect one another. That means things like drafting the guy behind so he can conserve energy for the final break to the finish line. Team members have to, in that instance, consider the guy behind them “better than themselves.”
In following Jesus, you will enter a Twilight Zone of sorts – where opposites become truisms. Up is down. Weak is strong. To carry out the greatest demonstration of power – destroying the power sin – Jesus humbled himself. He set aside the rights and privileges he had as the best guy in the room and endured the punishment intended for us. But, that is precisely how he won the day.
A Christian is called to follow Jesus, and take up their cross, deny themselves and lose their life to the cause of the gospel. When they do, they gain their life. The gospel tells me that I am not deserving of any of God’s goodness or mercy and I don’t have anything to show that could earn it. Neither does the other guy. But, if he gets it before I do, it’s not because he’s out performed me because grace isn’t a reward or payment.