What is true authority, and what is not?
The simple answer is humility and pride. Do we desire to truly lead people in humble authority because I have been blessed with a mantle of understanding and talents, etc. that allow me to do so? Or do I desire to “lord over” people because I have been given a “position” of authority?
Herein lies the difference. And there is quite a difference. I have lived both sides of this issue. In my early days in being given that “position” or, office, I thought I wanted to be the humble leader, and was “humbled” that I was even given such a position. And… at the same time… I experienced the pride and ego of that position, due to my immaturity, and desire/need to lord over others that “I” was in charge.
In God’s economy, this would not work. So in short order, He began to work on me, and in me, humiliating me, until I learned to humble myself. He did this through my own actions in dealing with people. For example, I really wasn’t desiring to raise others up, I wanted them to do what I wanted them to, so I could show my leaders how good I was…. which alienated them from me. They could see through my mask of humility and see my ego, but I was blind to it.
I would learn to admit my prideful motivations in humility, so that God could refine my heart motivations, remove the masks, and show me that His grace was sufficient. I didn’t need to make myself out to be bigger than I was. He had put me there in that position not because I was better than anyone else, but because I was to raise others up in the same humility that I would learn and adopt.
True authority is found in serving others and in humility, not in an ego driven, prideful, “authoritative” posturing. I pushed people, I didn’t lead them. A few deep encounters that exposed my heart allowed me to enter in to true leadership and I grew and matured. This is known as “servant leadership.” If you are called to lead, you are called to serve the people you are leading, and more importantly, you are accountable not only to those leading you, but to those you are leading. Not only for “outcomes”, but for how you are leading.
“When you are a leader your accountability is to all the people you lead, not just those you desire to lead. We are accountable to people not to things, events or situations.”
Bill Hoffman – Quote from Sam Silverstein – Canva Pro Graphics