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Never Fails

It never fails. As soon as I take a stand on something, that’s where the enemy tries to trip me up. I write a blog on worry, and my teenage son has to navigate big city traffic all alone for the first time. I write a blog on why I don’t drink and am offered a drink for the first time in twenty years. I tell my daughter to avoid gossip and walk right into the big middle of an unkind conversation about someone I struggle to love. I’m relieved to say that I passed those tests, but that isn’t always the case.

I mess up. A lot!

I used to think that meant I wasn’t fit to lead and let it keep me from saying things I knew I should say and taking positions of leadership I felt called to take. Big mistake.

Thankfully, the Lord sent my friend Amy Sampson into my life. Quirky but wise, she taught me that true leadership is not about knowing everything or getting everything right all the time, but about seeking the Truth, applying it to your life, and allowing others to watch you struggle. I don’t know that she ever came right out and said those words, but I have never witnessed a life lived as honestly and openly as she lives hers, her sincere and beautiful desire to please the Father laid bare at all times for others to see. An invitation to be Amy’s friend is an invitation to join her holy mess and be changed. In this way, she reminds me of the apostle Paul.

In the New Testament, Paul does something very bold. He tells new believers to imitate him because he imitates Christ. It seems like an arrogant thing to do at first, but Paul never claims to be perfect. In fact, he is very honest about his struggle to obey God and resist temptation. No, Paul wasn’t full of himself. He was full of the Holy Spirit, the only qualification he needed to be the effective leader of the early church that he was.

More concerned with glorifying God than preserving his own reputation or image, Paul lived a transparent life, inviting the public scrutiny that so many of us avoid. He was confident, not in his own abilities, but in God’s ability to use him, imperfections and all, to further the Kingdom. Humbling himself, he served. Denying himself, he endured. I want to be like him.

I used to believe that my refusal to lead was an act of humility, but it wasn’t.

The truth is I was prideful.I didn’t want anyone to see me face plant or get caught with my nose in the corner. I was selfish. I didn’t want to share or play with others or deal with the challenges and difficulties that leaders often face. I was stubborn. I knew I needed to repent and change, but didn’t really want to.

Now, you and I both know that I’m still a long, long way from perfect, but I’m making progress.God is working on me, and I’m letting Him.

You can follow if you want.He never fails.

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