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
Yesterday we asked this question, “Can you live with the idea that you might not get to be the king?”
The beginning of leadership is accepting that we might not ever get anywhere and we might never accomplish anything. Why is this the beginning? Because we cannot do Steps 1-3*, we cannot submit ourselves to God, until we’ve given up control over the outcome of our lives. It is only when we release ourselves from the anxiety of manipulating the outcome that we want that we can be submitted. Then we can become useful to God and others. Again, why? Because it’s at this point that we stop treating God and people as pieces on a chessboard that we can move in order to win the game.
If we only use God and people to manipulate our desired outcomes, then we cannot be useful to either and will not support God’s vision for life and cannot help others thrive. If we cannot do these things we ourselves cannot thrive. It often seems like winning the chess game is what will lead to thriving, but this is a mistake. Winning one game just leads to another game and more anxiety.
When we’re through playing games, we’re ready for recovery.
*Here are Steps 1-3 for those who don’t know them:
1. We admitted we were powerless over our dependencies – that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.