I spent much of my life trying to measure up to other people’s expectations or standards. It seemed that no matter how hard I tried at times, I was never good enough, smart enough, good looking enough or fast talking enough to succeed. Despite sitting through Dale Carnegie classes on salesmanship and numerous other trainings, I still could not measure up and in the end I was fired, let go or publically disgraced.
Lost in the frantic desire to “window dress” people, turning them into perfect looking robots with no heart, was the hidden component to success called “heart”. Without heart, all that remains is a machine that looks good on the outside but is dead on the inside.
I remember rebelling when the leadership program I was a part of changed course and switched from developing individual leaders to a cookie cutter program attempting to churn out one carbon copy after another. Interestingly, a thriving ministry full of excited people soon started withering on the vine as the poison that had started at the root spread throughout the tree.
Leadership is not forcing everyone to conform to one standard and in so doing establishing control over the organization. Leadership is developing individual talents and raising people up to God’s standards of excellence. “God Inc.” was never the plan within the Church.
Those with dominant personalities, blessed with strong bodies and good looks and able to buy their way into leadership positions almost always end up on top. Those who must overcome handicaps, deal with adversity and have nothing financially usually either fail or are relegated to doing the most menial of tasks far removed from the public eye.
People are always trying to remake their image, thinking that in so doing they will gain a competitive advantage or will finally measure up. Hitting the gym five days per week, getting a “hip” wardrobe or an “in” hairstyle are all vain attempts to clean up the outer façade while doing nothing to change the heart.
In my years in the ministry and in ministry I have tried NOT to become as everyone else just because it is the accepted norm. I have always tried to lead from my heart and do what I believe God wants me to do, even if no one agrees with it. To me, the value of helping one person far outweighs the gold stars awarded for towing the company line and rigidly adhering to the rules, even when they are wrong.
Nearly 30 years ago I said “ENOUGH” and embarked on a three year mission to do what God wanted of me instead of what the ministry hierarchy demanded of me. With each passing year I fell out of favor more and more and finally I was “sent out to pasture” due to my belligerent spirit and rebellious nature. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.
I would not be alive today enjoying God’s goodness and grace if not for the decisions I made long ago to do as I believed God wanted me to do and not what men told me I had to do. I believe that God desires His leaders and servants manifest HEART far more than a cold methodical adherence to rules, regulations and legalistic constraints meant to keep the masses in line.
Some have said that I am bitter about what happened to my life in 1984-86. I laugh and say that I am anything but bitter, for I know that by walking away from the mess others had made of a ministry, I was walking into a whole new life where God could (and has) worked in my heart to help and serve one person at a time in a way that maximized God’s blessings to them and me also.
Follow your heart dear brothers and sisters. Do what God lays on your heart to do and NOT what everyone demands you do. Let your heart lead the way into the land of promise God has for you.