What I’m Reading Today: Ephesians 3
If you were ask me to evaluate myself as a leader, I could do so with some degree of objectivity. I have a sense, for instance, that I do a pretty good job communicating with most folks. I also do an effective job delegating to others because I’m not a micromanager. Those would be a couple of my strengths.
I also certainly have my weaknesses. By nature I’m an ideas person. That means sometimes I can get so focused on the forest (ideas) that I forget to tend to some of the trees (details). I also have difficulty confronting difficult personalities who are extremely rigid and put their own interests before the well being of the group.
Why do I find it so difficult to engage difficult personalities?
I suppose there are a couple of reasons for that. First, I was raised in a household where conflict was supposed to be avoided at all costs. Thus, my first tendency (even at 42!) is to avoid conflict whenever I can. Second, I have codependent tendencies buried deep within me that cause me to want to be liked by everyone. Being in conflict with another obviously impairs my ability to be liked. Therefore, I sometimes end up shooting myself in the foot as a leader because I am hesitant to deal with difficult personalities.
I can’t help but be encouraged by two things said in today’s passage from Ephesians – for each of them gives me hope in addressing situations I have a tendency to avoid.
First, in speaking of his call to spread the Message to all people, the author noted: “It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details.” This reminds me that I’m not alone in living out the challenging dimensions of my call; God is deeply present/involved in my attempts to live out that call. Second, the author noted: “When we trust in him, we’re free to say whatever needs to be said, bold to go wherever we need to go.” Those permission-giving words encourage me to take risks to go beyond those things that would otherwise impede my journey.
Now if I can only live into those words.
I’ve been very candid with you today in my assessment of self. I would encourage you to use my self-reflections to do the same for yourself. What are your strengths and challenges? Once you’ve identified them, see if the words from today’s passage can give you the strength to boldly go forth and address the challenges (i.e. name the elephants in the room). I’ll be right there in the struggle with you – challenging myself to practice what I’ve been known to preach
Til next time…