Extraordinarily Selfish

“”For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 19:45) […] They [the disciples] soon learned that servant leadership ultimately means giving up yourself so that others can have the life God desires for them.”
— C.Gene Wilkes, Jesus on Leadership

I’ve done this terribly.

Like many of us, I’ve spent the latter half of this week intentionally diving deep into the story and life of Nelson Mandela, desiring to know who he was, what he was motivated by, how he accomplished what he did, and generally desiring to know what life looked like through his eyes.

What moved me most was simple; a handful of letters he had written to his wife during his 27 year long political imprisonment. What was immediately apparent was that he loved her deeply. What also quickly became apparent was that he detested the fact that in many ways, the movement had to come before his family. He hated that.

But he did it willingly.

That is leadership.

That is why I fail at being a leader. I serve as long as it is convenient or beneficial for me. I serve people all the time, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t lay my life down. I do a little bit, give some encouragement, share some knowledge, but I don’t get all the way in and suffer, cry, and love people with all of me. I don’t give until it hurts consistently. I boast in my freedom and I love it so much it keeps me from pursuing my mission. Yeah, I serve, but I don’t live to do it, my life doesn’t revolve around it, and it isn’t what I’m all about. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t tell you what my life revolves around… Well, I guess that means it revolves around me, doesn’t it? I guess I’m just being selfish.

I’m not discouraged though. I’m excited because all of the difficult discussions I’ve been finding myself in recently are adding up to this moment. Every person that has told me that I’m not where I need to be, that I’m capable of more, that I have so much more to give than I currently am. I’m ready.

#71 Growing Pains & Preparation

The amount of writing I get done for this blog directly correlates with the amount of free time I give myself to write for leisure, hence my lack of updates.

I’ve been frightfully busy lately, and not only with school, work, and ministry; but I’ve been very concerned with my personal growth. Honestly, it’s been overwhelming. I’ve made a lot of unflattering discoveries about who I really am and a lot of my real motives are coming unearthed and they’re a lot more selfish than most people would ever expect of me.

I’ve made a number of apologies, broken a number of promises, and lost a couple friends because I’m not who they expected me to be; who I tried to make myself. I’ve been reminded several times though:

God is preparing me for where He’s about to take me. If I find my identity in presenting myself well before people, how much more would that consume me if I were given a large platform? If I found my solace in being a gentleman and treating women well, how much more temptation and heartbreak would I expose myself to if given a platform? As God breaks my preoccupation with being in total control, my penchant for isolation, my fear of structure and discipline, my fear of working hard for something, and my unconscious habit of building 5 levels of protection around my own ego, I’m starting to understand that I could not really be who I’m destined to be without this deep cleansing.

No matter how uncomfortable I get on some days, “This momentary, light affliction is absolutely incomparable to the glory that will be revealed in us” — Romans 8:18

#66 Immature.

As I finished teaching my high school class yesterday, I was walking through the church office on my way to put my classroom materials away when I bumped into a crowd of people. As I greeted them each, I came to my friend’s mom. I hugged her and she inquiringly mentioned that she had seen that I was recently single on Facebook. I confirmed it.

“Good.” her words shot at me full of blunt intent, “You don’t need to be in a relationship anyway.” Continue reading

#37 Sight=Lies, Faith=Truth

It’s funny,

How we know exactly what we want until we get it

And how,

We are so sure of ourselves

Until we turn around and see we are not who we thought

Our track records are not what they ought to be

Who are we to say what we’re not if the evidence contradicts it?

Who do we become when we see it?

When despair is a legitimate option, do we find ourselves there?

Do we give in to our reflections or reject them?

What will I do?

Who am I to deny my own track record?

Is my reflection realer than grace?

Am I what I look like if it ain’t what God says?

Should I trust my sight or faith?

That’s why they told me to walk by it…

I see now.

I can’t be trusted.

I’ll try to embrace your words though I don’t always feel that way.

You are more real than my perception.

I believe that.

I’m done making exceptions.

Help me believe that.

#25 God Opposes the Proud

When I’m really honest with myself, I fall a lot. Hard. I mean, I’ve accomplished a lot and I’ve come far in the last couple years of my life, but I always seem to find myself back at square one somehow. Same place different day, after day, after day, after day. Sometimes it seems like something is very subtlely holding me back… I think I see what.