“Don’t push your way into the place of prominence.” Pr 25:6 TM
Aspiring to leadership is commendable. Paul said, “If someone aspires to be an elder, he desires an honorable position” (1Ti 3:1 NLT). But there’s a difference between stepping forward to take on the responsibility of leadership, and stepping forward to project yourself into the limelight. Harry Truman said, “If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.” The question isn’t whether you enjoy being the focus of attention, but whether you can take the heat that goes along with it. For every person who acknowledges your skills and appreciates your accomplishments, there’ll be ten who make demands on your time, talent, and treasure. Consider Barnabas. When the Gospel was first preached to the Gentiles, church leaders in Jerusalem sent Barnabas to check it out. “When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and…faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord” (Ac 11:23-24 NKJV). Barnabas had three sterling qualities: (1) He’d nothing to prove. He never sought the limelight. When he mentored Paul, he happily let the emerging apostle rise above him, supporting him every step of the way. (2) He’d nothing to lose. He didn’t seek to guard his reputation or fear losing his popularity. He wanted to serve, not be served. (3) He’d nothing to hide. He didn’t try to maintain a facade or image. He remained authentic, vulnerable, and transparent. And best of all, he rejoiced in the success of others.