“Humble but confident.” That’s the ideal attitude of the Christlike leader.
They are humble because they are aware of their weaknesses. They remember their past mistakes, failures and sins. They know that the best decisions can backfire if the Lord is not in them.
Yet, they are confident, too. They have a growing knowledge that they are fully pleasing to God because they are His child. They know that God’s Holy Spirit has taken up residence inside of them and can strengthen them for whatever task lies ahead. They remember how God has blessed their efforts before and they trust He will do it again. They know that even when they make a horrible decision, God has promised to work it for their good.
Humility and confidence are absolutely necessary for the leader. If we have one and not the other, all sorts of problems arise. They must both be cultivated so that the person of influence is able to handle the task at hand.
In my Bible reading this morning (Exodus 34-35; Matthew 22), I came across a day in the life of Jesus that could have ended horribly. Some folks confronted Him publically and wanted to paint Him into a no-win situation. They wanted to ask well-crafted questions that would force Jesus to answer in a way that would either get folks upset at Him or could even get Him thrown into jail.
Talk about pressure!!!
Here was the first encounter:
“Then the Pharisees met together to plot how to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested.” (Matthew 22:15 – New Living Translation)
After Jesus humbly and yet confidently answered their question, Scripture says: “His reply amazed them, and they went away.” (Matthew 22:22 – New Living Translation)
The second encounter:
“That same day Jesus was approached by some Sadducees – religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead. They posed this question:” (Matthew 22:23 – New Living Translation)
After Jesus humbly and yet confidently answered their question, Scripture says: “When the crowds heard him, they were astounded at his teaching.” (Matthew 22:33 – New Living Translation)
The third encounter:
“But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question:” (Matthew 22:34 – New Living Translation)
After Jesus humbly and yet confidently answered their question, Scripture says: “No one could answer him. And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.” (Matthew 22:46 – New Living Translation)
People of influence don’t know when life will get tough. They often cannot predict when they will be put in the hot seat. They cannot be certain when the pressures of leadership will escalate and they had better be able to perform.
So, they would do well to develop the biblical attributes of humility and Jesus-centered confidence before it gets tough. If they wait until leadership pressures mount before they try to cultivate these attitudes, it will be too late.
Just as a runner had better be training if he is to do well in a race, so must the leader cultivate humility and confidence if they are to lead well when the storms arise. They owe it to their God and those who follow to be prepared.