I was once asked to consider taking a new job in the organization I worked for at the time. Instead of just talking with Pam and making the decision, I decided that since I wanted to be a learner, getting counsel from some other people, including some of the young leaders I was mentoring at the time, would make sense. The people I asked had divergent views of whether I should take the new job or not. Through the process I was challenged, and the input I received gave me plenty to think about.
Along the way, I talked to a business leader outside our organization. He was shocked that I would ask other people’s opinion. “What if you ask their opinion and they tell you something different than you want to hear?” he asked. “What will you do then!?”
A lot of people think that way. They’d prefer to just go up on a mountaintop, talk with God, and then come down with their decision, based on their desires.
God’s better plan is for us to walk humbly with others in community and allow them to influence, teach, and guide us. Paul encouraged the church at Ephesus in this way:
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2, NIV).
How about another quote from the book The Boys in the Boat (2013. Daniel James Brown, Viking/Penguin Group)? The author speaks of how the rigor of battling together had produced humility in the young men on the University of Washington rowing team, and that humility had an effect on their ability to succeed:
“Each in his own way, they had all learned that nothing could be taken for granted in life, that for all their strength and good looks and youth, forces were at work in the world that were greater than they. The challenges they had faced together had taught them humility—the need to subsume their individual egos for the sake of the boat as a whole—and humility was the common gateway through which they were able now to come together and begin to do what they had not been able to do before.”
And that’s God’s desire for us as well, for to join Him in His purposes means living life the way He’s designed for us to live it!
What friend(s) are you currently learning from and submitting to in humility? What action can you take to move forward in this regard?