Life and leadership are related in this way – one aspect OF leadership is helping others accomplish what you have already accomplished in your own life.
An insight the LORD has shown me recently fits along this line and is a type of “personal archaeology”: DISCOVER, UNCOVER, RECOVER
The difficulties of life (situations, conflicts, health challenges, etc.) usually serve, among other things, to help us DISCOVER some deeply held belief, ingrained habit pattern, besetting sin, unwise behavior, lack of faith, etc. that really needs dealing with. It’s as if you were walking along and suddenly trip on something. You look back to see the end of a bone sticking up out of the ground. Something strange eerie is down there, and the “trip” enabled you to discover it.
It’s at this point that many people (most people?) ignore it and go on. There’s something fearful about digging things up, whether in the ground or from the past. But for God’s people, it should be an exciting prospect – for our LORD has used the routine circumstances of life to reveal something to us (Romans 8:28) – and He does all things well!
For those brave souls who aren’t content with ignoring the bone sticking out of the ground, the excavation begins. Too often Christians run to a secular or Christian therapist when a trusted, mature Christian friend or Pastor could serve them just as well (or better). They don’t need someone with letters behind their name, they need someone with whom they can have a truly trustworthy relationship.
It’s in the uncovering of these discoveries that we begin to get clarity, begin to understand some of the things that have hindered and tripped us up for a very long time. It’s often-times painful to do this kind of digging, but the LORD is gracious by giving us such pain. He uses it to etch the lesson deep in our souls, bringing about godly grief (2 Corinthians 7:10) that leads to lasting change… the transformation we call “sanctification.”
But the excavation isn’t over until something new is built on the site. We have to do the equally hard work of developing a new truth-based mindset or behavior to help us in overcoming the old. This is what Paul calls “putting off the old” and “putting on the new” (Colossians 3:8-10). The Spirit of God is ever-present to help us in this task as we learn to walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) and see His fruit produced on the very site where there used to be only bones (Galatians 5:22-23).
THE LEADERSHIP CONNECTION
Leaders dig up the bones of past issues in their own lives (or should) – and then help others do the same, using their own deeply etched lessons to help in guiding the process. That’s leadership. That’s discipleship. That’s the Christian life, lived together as one body (1 Corinthians 12:12).