One of the books that had a major impact on me in 2016 was: Leading with a Limp: Take Full Advantage of Your Most Powerful Weakness by Dan Allender. From the early illustration of Jacob to his diagnosing of pastoral difficulties this book caused me to ponder and reflect on more than one occasion. One of the larger challenges he lays out is the need for transparency and vulnerability in leaders. This goes against the grain and most of our training. We have been trained formally or mostly by life to be strong, to not acknowledge weakness, and to never let anyone especially our followers see us cry or sweat. Nothing frightens leaders like vulnerability and transparency. It makes us uncomfortable. We are uneasy listening to someone bare their soul. I know because it makes me exceedingly uncomfortable. I think it scares most of us to see someone being vulnerable and transparent because we understand that we are neither some of the time. It’s as if in the church we believe we are leaders because we are special, not because God has called us and transformed us and helps us continually . We like to think we made it on our own merit even though we believe that without Christ we are nothing. We may believe that theologically and spiritually but we do not operate as if we believe it, in the leading iof our lives. Maybe if we quit acting like we were perfect leaders, and even in a holiness church acknowledged we are works in progress we might be farther down the road. In the church we would rather cover up the obvious then to admit we don’t have it all together. This is not holiness this is humanism. It matters not what state of grace you attain to and what your background, education and life experiences are, all of us are vulnerable human beings. And we would do our followers much good if we periodically pulled back the curtain slightly for a peek into what reality
looks like. We are not self-made people! We do not have it all together! We have messed up! We have been wrong and we will continue from time to time to be wrong. And if we were totally transparent, some of our greatest lessons were learned from the trash heap of our failures as we picked through the garbage looking for the diamonds of lessons learned by faith. We need help, God’s, the folks, our families and just about everybody else we encounter in life. Now I’m not for doing therapy in front of a crowd on a Sunday morning at church. I’m not for constant whining and complaining and victimhood. But once in a while we should give enough of a glimpse into our own struggles that it would give comfort and help and encouragement to the people. If we act as if we have it all figured out we are only kidding ourselves. God knows who we are, our family knows who we really are, and the people in our lives are not nearly as clueless as we suppose them to be. Again I have failed at this miserably. I would be the most guilty of anyone I know! Again, I have at times refrained from giving God the praise for working through a faulty vessel. I think God receives greater glory when I understand and acknowledge I am a human being with all that goes with that reality. Today I ask God’s forgiveness. In this year and the rest of my days I want to be a person who is not only honest with God but honest with myself and honest with the people in my life. It does not matter where you went to church where you went to school or the pedigree of your family, what matters is I have been changed and transformed by the grace of God and to Him all the glory belongs! Help me Jesus in 2017 and beyond to live this kind of a life. As people see me walk with a limp may they ask the question what happened to you? And may I say where sin abounded race much more abounded!