by Kenneth Boa

Leadership Qualities: Humility
Kenneth Boa
James 4:13-15

Woody Allen is credited with saying, ''If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.'' We could add to it, ''If you want to hear him laugh even louder, tell him how much you know.'' Just because it's true, however, doesn't make it easy to accept. It's hard to admit that we do not know as much as we think we know. And we certainly aren't in control of as much as we'd like to think. We make our plans, but it is God who controls the outcome. We make our plans, but we understand that, if the Lord wills, we shall LIVE let alone do this or that (James 4:13-15).

John Ruskin said, ''I believe that the first test of a truly great man is his humility. I don't mean by humility, doubt of his power. But really great men have a curious feeling that the greatness is not of them, but through them. And they see something divine in every other man and are endlessly, foolishly, incredibly merciful.''

The modern notion of the ''self-made'' man, pulling himself up by his own bootstraps and, by the sweat of his own brow, climbing to the pinnacle of success is so deeply imbedded in our consciousness that any other possibility seems foreign. It's humbling to recognize that God is more responsible for the achievements of our lives than we are, that we are people who have been GIVEN our abilities, time and opportunities. These things are not our possession; they are gifts from God and we will ultimately give an account for what we do with what we have been given.

Everything in us strains against this notion, for to accept this as fact is to be humbled. And humility naturally leads to submission. That's really the issue, isn't it? We don't want to admit that God is the giver of every good gift, because that would mean that we have to yield to his agenda. Humility, submission and obedience go together.

This doesn't come easily, and it is certainly not natural; we need help to learn how to live this way. This is ...

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