24 Now when the other ten disciples heard about this, they became angry with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them over and said, “You know that those who rule the Gentiles show off their authority over them and their high-ranking officials order them around. 26 But that’s not the way it will be with you. Whoever wants to be great among you will be your servant. 27 Whoever wants to be first among you will be your slave— 28 just as the Human One didn’t come to be served but rather to serve and to give his life to liberate many people.” Matthew 20:20-28, CEB
Is leadership all about manipulating people?
Granted, Jesus doesn’t use the word leadership, but I believe what he’s describing here is, roughly, his vision for leadership. This vision isn’t about self-promotion and it isn’t about power. In other words, life in general, and leadership in particular, isn’t about becoming the person with the most influence or the person with the most authority. It’s not about becoming the stereotype of a “boss” who gets to tell other people what to do, as fun as that can be at times.
Instead, Jesus promotes the idea that life (and therefore leadership) is about helping other people thrive. If your end goal in life is to find ways to promote yourself then you may just find that this simply won’t do in the new reality God is in the process of creating. If your end goal is doing for others so that they may thrive then you’ll find yourself very much at home in this new reality.
How we go about doing this is complicated, particularly in a recovery context, so it’s important to stay tuned over the next few days (and maybe go back and read the previous days on sacrifice too).