We don't get to choose how people perceive us. I also believe that we’re not responsible for their assumptions about us or the lives we live. We simply do not have that kind of control.
That's why I've stopped trying to control how others perceive me. I'm tired of trying to look good without feeling good.
I think I have the right to have human moments too. Authenticity is better than imposter syndrome, even if it contradicts people’s unrealistic perceptions or expectations of me.
If you’ve ever been in any kind of leadership role, then you might agree with the statements I made in the paragraphs above.
Everybody excels at something, and everyone is a leader in some large or small way. We naturally look towards leaders because they show us an example of a way of thinking or living that is attractive or appealing. As a result, we often put them on a pedestal.
The bigger the pedestal, the harder they fall. You can hear the thud they make when they hit rock bottom. It's disappointing.
Let's keep our focus on Jesus.
The best leaders don't know they are leaders. The best leaders excel at serving others. So, serving others equals leadership by my math.
Here is the question I have been pondering:
Do leaders have permission to be human?
Think about this:
Leaders face a lot of scrutiny. But, because of the visibility related to their leadership role, they bleed publicly when they're wounded by life. What I mean is this, they may have lived a squeaky clean life before the tragic event happened in their life. They may have lived a life that checked all the right boxes and followed all the rules. But, when tragedy strikes, they make confusing choices that contradict the wisdom of the life they’ve previously lived. When they come to their senses, their emotions, their regrets, and any other pent-up emotions come leak out of them like blood from a wound.
Will you be there to support, like they were there to support you in your 11th hour of need?
When caught up in the suffering and trauma of their tragedy, leaders find themselves feeling alone, abandoned, misunderstood, and perhaps even let down by God. So, in their desperation, they allow the intense grief and emotions they're feeling to override their faith's logic and wisdom. The aftermath is usually embarrassing and humiliating.
What can you do to make it safe for them to come out of their shame and trauma?
I'm glad you asked!
Be sure to remember that spiritual leaders are human too. They make mistakes that can let you down, so don't put them on a pedestal. All attention and praise belong to Christ and Christ alone. Christ is the only one who will never fail you or let you down.
PS. God gives you permission to be human (me too).
Allow me to share a few thoughts on forgiveness.
God's forgiveness is extravagant. I don't know how else to describe it. What Christ has done for us exceeds my capacity to understand it.
His sacrifice has advanced my life further than any self-sacrifice ever could. When I've messed up, like royally screwed up, God already knows and has already unleashed his forgiveness upon me. it leaves me stunned.
God's forgiveness in full force is fierce.
Here are the facts:
Life is so good when God can take what the enemy meant for our destruction and make it conform to his purpose.
Life gets better every day!
Trauma-Informed Faith: As I learn more about the impact of trauma on my life, I am also learning about how it has affected my faith.
I hope these thoughts inspire you. -JE