Lectionary Reading: Mark 10:35-45 (NRSV)
Many have the drive to lead. Not everyone has the capacity! Sometimes you don’t find out until after a person is leading whether or not he or she actually has the ability to do so effectively. There is a sense in successful companies today that you should not stigmatize failure but should actually allow people to crash faster so that you can move on when something doesn’t work. This will hopefully foster innovation.
I can think of many services, programs and classes that I’ve instigated that are no longer running.
Some of these had a small season of success before dying out. Others never took off the ground. I always appreciated congregations for allowing me to try though. Sometimes we struck gold!
I think we appreciate leaders who will look out after our best interests. We want to be able to trust them with our livelihood. If a leader lines his or her own pockets before helping the constituency, we often think less of this person.
James and John are seeking positions of glory. If one thinks about being at the right and left of the Messiah, these would be earthly leadership positions. You are not looking toward the heavenly kingdom but one that would be established right here on earth!
Jesus quickly fills them in on what true leadership looks like. You serve those for which you are responsible. Ugh. That is not near as glamorous!
When Jesus has glory and power and leadership offered to him when he was tempted in the desert, he is able to turn it down and point to God. We get the idea that if we are serving God, we are serving others too.
And yet, is all ambition wrong? What if you have a natural gift to lead others? How can we strive for leadership while at the same time staying humble?
Whether or not we are leaders, we all have some type of autonomy. We self-govern. Most people at least believe that they know what’s good for them. And yet, how many times do we make ourselves miserable? If we love our neighbors as we love ourselves, we might really do them some harm!
This Sunday, I hope to explore what it means to love ourselves in a way that is healthy. How do we enjoy the life God has given us to the fullest? I hope you’ll join us in person or online!
Check out more of Sam’s blog articles at www.precedinggrace.blogspot.com.
Photo by rainjelly via Flickr.com. Used under the Creative Commons license.