Over the past nearly 30 years, I have observed a phenomenon common among those with great potential. Take a young person who is smart and talented. In the beginning, he or she may be given only minor leadership opportunities while waiting for maturity and character to catch up to his or her abilities.
So this person says to himself or herself, I know what I’m doing! I’ve read and studied. I can see my way! This young person sees a leader make a wrong decision and starts to give advice. Because the supervisor graciously receives the suggestion, in the subordinate’s eyes his or her importance grows. Self-promotion sets in, and negative comments about superiors begin. Pride and insubordination worsen, and disrespect for leadership surfaces.
Behind the scenes, the leadership team was actually thinking about promoting this person to greater responsibility. After they detected a rebellious attitude, however, they decide this person was not yet ready. Another is promoted, maybe not as smart or capable as the first person, but this individual is humble, broken and loyal. He or she is obedient and submissive.
Unfortunately, often the one with the most brains, instead of using the experience to learn humility, becomes even more arrogant. Until he or she chooses to submit and accept what God has designed, life will continue to unravel while this person thinks all the missed opportunities are someone else’s fault. In many cases such an individual may even be asked to leave or will leave on their own, going from one place to another, feeling the world is unjust.
How sad. God was planning a promotion. The leaders intended this. The Lord wanted to use this rising star in a greater degree, but this individual would not submit to God’s ways.
We all want God’s best for our lives. But how many times, without even knowing it was right around the corner, have we forfeited what was divinely planned for us? Is doing it our own way really worth it?