“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me.” Ps 139:23 NLT
Growing into Leadership (3)
In his Pogo cartoon strip, Walt Kelly said, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” The hardest person in the world to lead will always be yourself. Human nature seems to endow us with the ability to size up everybody except ourselves. After having a victorious Goliath experience, followed by a devastating Bathsheba experience, the Psalmist wrote, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life” (vv.23-24 NLT). That’s a prayer you need to pray every day because we all have two problems. What are they? (1) We don’t see ourselves as we see others. If we don’t look at ourselves honestly and realistically, we will never understand where our personal difficulties lie. And if we can’t see them, we won’t be able to lead ourselves effectively. It’s said that Frederick the Great of Prussia met an old man who was walking ramrod straight in the opposite direction. “Who are you?” Frederick asked. “I am a king,” replied the old man. Frederick laughed. “Over what kingdom do you reign?” Proudly the old man replied, “Over myself.” (2) We are harder on others than we are on ourselves. We judge others according to their actions, while we tend to judge ourselves according to our intentions. When we do the wrong thing, we let ourselves off the hook because we believe our motives were good. And the problem is, we are usually willing to do that over and over before requiring ourselves to change!