Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Submitted by David Miller
Most leadership books and seminars focus on leader behavior and try to improve leadership style and methods.  The emphasis is on the hands of the leader.  They attempt to change leadership from the outside.  Yet, to lead like Jesus, effective leadership starts on the inside; it is a heart issue.  If we don’t get the heart right, then we simply won’t ever become servant leaders like Jesus.
In Philippians 2:1-4, the apostle Paul urges us to look out for others’ interests, not just our own. He says, If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
A heart motivated by self-interest looks at the world as a “give a little, take a lot” proposition.  People with a heart motivated by self-interest put their own agenda, safety, status, and gratification ahead of those affected by their thoughts and actions.  Cutting people off on the freeway or the church parking lot, punishing those who disagree with you or challenge your position, and exploiting the weaknesses and fears of others to get what you want are all actions that come from a self-motivated heart.
As you consider the heart issues of leadership, a primary question you must ask yourself is, “Am I a servant leader or a self-serving leader?”  The fact of the matter is that we all fall short of perfection and give in to the temptation to behave as self-serving leaders at times.  However, this question, when answered with brutal honesty, reveals your motivation as a leader.  It reflects your heart’s E.G.O.: do you seek to Edge God Out or to Exalt God Only in the way you influence those around you?  The answer to that question reveals whether you are driven to promote yourself or are called to a higher purpose of service.
Edging God Out is the self-serving way we seek to influence others.  Few leaders would admit to being self-serving, yet we observe self-serving leaders all the time.  Self-serving leaders say, “Given the choice, I’ll make a decision that benefits me.”  If these leaders are working in an organization, all the money, recognition, power, and status move up the hierarchy with them.  If they are in a family, they treat their children and spouses as supporting cast members in their quest to fulfill their personal agenda and self-image.  If we Exalt God Only, then we truly recognize that we are called to fulfil His purpose in us.  That means that our self-interests and self-centered desires move out of the way so that we focus on the needs of others and show Jesus to others through our actions. 
Our heart is the very seat of our soul, our emotions, and our passions. It is the very essence of our being and that which drives our thoughts and our motives. No wonder God tells us to guard our hearts.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
The heart of a leader is the foundation of his or her Kingdom Impression. It is what drives their passion for the Lord and their passion to truly make an impression on their family, church, and community. So, the question to leave you with is this:  When was the last time you checked your E.G.O.?

Scripture to Claim:
Don't just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ's servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you're really serving God."
Ephesians 6:6 (The Message)

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