One of the easiest areas to manifest in pursuits of leadership “position” or office, is what would commonly be called “over-zealousness”. This indeed can be problematic, but a more destructive description would be “zeal without knowledge.” It’s like one colleague of mine mentioned to a young counselee who “knew” too much for her own good… “you’re sophisticated but you don’t have the wisdom to match your sophistication.”
These issues of course are all related to ego and/or insecurity of some kind. In my early years coming up, I thought I didn’t care about position and I humbly just wanted to serve. While a part of me was true in that way, another part of me did indeed want the recognition and position. For me it was my insecurity that drove my ego into a place of desiring position. And my quest for position drove me to cut-throat competition. I had the “zeal” to love God, serve Him and others, but the “knowledge of the Truth” part had not yet rooted in my heart. I was a”maverick leader wannabe.”
Things like, loving my neighbor as myself, laying my life down for others, desiring to raise others up above me were not in the picture yet. I would have to be humbled and even humiliated for that aspect to be burned into my heart to transform my “zeal” into genuine pursuit of God’s intentions for my life, which was for the raising up of genuinely zealous leaders with the knowledge, wisdom and understanding to match. My zeal was much more for “me” than others.
In Galatians 5 in the Message version of the Bible it says this: “It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community.”
That was me before I acquired the “knowledge of the Truth” that set me free to love others more than my ego. And to clarify “knowledge” again, we are also taught that it’s possible to keep learning, and never come to the “knowledge of the Truth”.
What does that mean?
It means that mere intellectual assent to something doesn’t automatically give me the heart to carry out what I am learning. Zeal without “knowledge in the heart”. Sophistication without Wisdom.
This is true “emotional intelligence”, to know the Truth intimately, which will set you free to be and become the genuine you that God intends. Then you can become a “maverick” leader with the zeal, wisdom and understanding that it requires.