If people in positions of influence aren’t careful, they will lead to satisfy the cravings of their ego.
They crave to feel important. They want to be liked and admired. They suspect that if they can get enough affirmation from others, then that will satisfy the longings deep inside their heart.
That’s why they lead. That’s why they find it difficult to tell someone, “No, can’t do it. Sorry.” That’s why they silently resent the pressures and demands of leadership but they do it anyway. Leadership, to them, is a drug that promises to satisfy their inner longing for significance. (It rarely does!)
Incidentally, many folks who claim to be followers of Jesus don’t cultivate a vibrant relationship with Him. The consequence of this neglect is a deep cavernous hole in their heart that longs to be filled. Thus, the need for ceaseless affirmation, admiration, etc.
A leader does everyone around him/her an incredible favor by pursuing a relationship with Jesus and filling up that ‘Grand Canyon’ in their heart so that they lead for the right reasons – to develop people and not to satisfy that inner longing.
It is obvious from Jesus’ example that He wasn’t debilitated by cravings for other’s affirmation. In fact, there were times when people were calling for Him to do things that would have brought upon Him more praise. His answer? “Sorry. Can’t do it. I’ve got other areas I need to focus on.” (And don’t miss the fact that He illustrated for us that inner security comes from developing our relationship with God through a vibrant prayer life.)
“Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. Later Simon and the others went out to find him. When they found him, they said, ‘Everyone is looking for you.’ But Jesus replied, ‘We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.’ So he traveled throughout the region of Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and casting out demons.”
This mindset is a sign of a spiritually mature leader!