Brandon and I have been hitting a mini-series of sorts on the idea of leadership in faith lately, and it’s been a fertile field for my thoughts and wondering. This week, we were talking about the impact of leaders in our own ability to answer our call, and it put me in a mind for humility. Sure, we need a level of confidence to be able to put ourselves out there and serve the way that God is calling us to, but confidence and humility are not actually opposite.
Since we have taken our name from the Inklings, I can’t pass up this opportunity to cite one of our inspirations, CS Lewis, who said that humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. When we feel called to do something, it is really easy to get so fired up and excited that we want to fly forward, but it’s often better for us to tap the breaks a bit. After all, if we are indeed hearing a call from God to do something, it won’t be primarily for our sake. Instead, all the gifts of the Spirit are given to build up the body of Christ, that community which is the Church. For that reason, we have to seek out the community as well. Our call to humility is to make sure that what we do isn’t for our glory, but for God’s. In evaluating our own call, though, we are often too close to the situation to view it objectively. Our own perspective is too involved in our judgment, which is why we need trusted leaders who can help bring that sense of objectivity and perspective to our consideration.
Throughout the New Testament, we see again and again the call to bring everything before the Church. Our material goods, our gifts, our struggles, and even our conflicts are to be brought to the community, because doing so helps the entire community to grow stronger in their relationship with each other and with God. Doing so, though, is only possible if we possess the humility and confidence to lay ourselves bare before our brothers and sisters in the faith, trusting that they desire our good as we desire theirs.