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Humility In Leading

When you watch fantasy medieval movies or shows, one usual plot is that there is an evil and tyrant king who rules only for himself. The evil and tyrant king does not care about his people, imposes heavy taxes on them despite not knowing the condition of their businesses, and neglects the needs of his people. Basically, the evil and tyrant king rules only for the benefit of himself. Then someone will come—the rightful heir to the throne who is the complete opposite of the evil and tyrant king; a king who wants to rule, not in order to have power, but rather to cater to the needs of his people. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? That is servant leadership itself (see the article about servant leadership). Despite being king, one thinks about the interests of others rather than merely one’s interests.

Philippians 2:3-4 explains what this humility is. It is when one counts others as more important than oneself and looks at the interests of others rather than one’s interests. Let’s say, for example, a leader and his people are about to evacuate a certain place and need transportation. The transport arrives and what usually happens is that the leader goes in first because the leader looks at his or herself as more important since he or she is the leader and therefore should be saved first. This is not so with a humble leader. A humble leader will make sure that the people under his leadership get inside the transport first and are safe because they are more important than he is. With regard to one’s interest, a humble leader or perhaps king, when having collected, let’s say for example, taxes from the people, will use those taxes for the needs of the people or any expenses that will benefit the people instead of using it for his own self-interest. A humble leader, you could say, is a good example of selflessness. Perhaps it’s hard to be that kind of leader if you are not yet a Christian, but the Bible says that we can have that kind of mind or thinking in Jesus (Philippians 2:5).

The best example of someone who practiced humility is, of course, none other than Jesus Christ Himself. If there is the greatest leader of all, it’s no other than Him. He is the king of kings and the lord of lords (Revelation 19:16). The fact that He is God is more than enough. But the Bible says (and we can see by just looking at His life) that He did not count equality with God. Nowhere in the Gospel will you see Jesus commanding the people to bow down before Him and treat Him as God. Though He could, He did not. But instead, He served instead of being served. There is no greater act of humility than a God who clothed himself with flesh and blood and suffered under His very own creation just to save the very creation that put Him to death (Philippians 2:6-8). In other words, Jesus led without entitlement. 

Knowing what our king did for us also motivates us to do the same for others since the point of everything we do as followers of Christ is love. One way or another, you will surely have people under you to lead. The Bible says that we ought to imitate Christ, and that includes His kind leadership. Now that you are a new creation and have a new life in Him, your former manner of life is no more. As the Bible says, put off your old selves and put on your new selves, created after the likeness of God, for that is who you are right now in Christ (Ephesians 4:21-24).

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