Humility and Leadership By Dr. Kayon Cameron
Humility in Leadership Reflects Christ
Humility and leadership are two words that are always congruent when discussed in leadership. The expectation is that a leader should be humble, but one cannot help but wonder if the expectation of humility has changed over time. Not just in the world but also in religious practices? Merriam-Webster defines humility as “freedom from pride,” but has religious practices blinded Christian leaders from living a life of true biblical humility?
The World’s False Humility
According to author Andrew Morris et al., who wrote an article titled “Bringing humility to leaders,” describe how if one boasts about their humility, they are showing pride and are not executing actual leadership practices of humility. The world’s culture is shifting to encourage boasting about one’s life and tearing down others for their choices.
The use of social media, news, and much more are tools used to exude pride, elevating oneself or another as if they are a god. The world is constantly displaying pride while claiming humility, but what is disturbing is how Christians act like the world in false humility.
Lisa Harper best said in her sermon “The Humility Gap” that “humility leads us to divine glory, but we rarely experience it in our culture because we’ve gotten a little too proud and wrap verses around our pride and call it humble.” Many Christian leaders are negatively impacting those around them by being prideful and quoting scriptures out of context to justify their actions of disobedience to God.
Whom Do You Want to Be … Job or His Friends?
Job is a person who held his integrity despite all the horrible losses and traumatic physical complications he endured. Job was humble not because he denied himself but because he did not sin against God by becoming prideful (Job 1:22), and he was obedient to his directions despite all that he endured and was blessed (Job 42:1-10). Unlike his friends who quoted scripture and, in their false humility, acted as if they knew better about his life, we can see in Job 42:7 how God was angry with them while praising Job instead.
Take a Lesson from Jesus
The one person in the bible who lives a life of humility without any faults is Jesus. Philippians 2:8 describes how Jesus lived a life of humility by being obedient to God even to the point of death. How many of you can say that you will be obedient to God to the end of death? Take it one step further; as a leader, will you obey God’s standards of honoring others even when no one is around to see it? When a person has slandered you, do you still respect them and show them the love of God? Do you encourage others publicly even when it is not popular? Biblical humility is living a life for God even when the whole world stands against you.
Ultimately, the world will continue on its destructive path, but a Christian leader must always rise above it all. Most importantly, a Christian leader must watch out for false humility, aka pride; it has no place in humility, leadership, and God’s kingdom. Christian leaders must check our words and actions to align with God’s biblical truths publicly and behind closed doors. Caring for your employees and coworkers is just as important as praying for them, as God commanded Job in verse 42:8.
Can you, as a Christian leader, make a difference in your church, community, and network? I would challenge you to live a life based on biblical humility vs. the world’s standards of false humility, which in turn, is pride.
Dr. Kayon Cameron is a project manager at Familylife and her background expands to strategic leadership, and hospitality. She has a passion to foster leadership development that empowers others in achieving their goals while living a life for Christ.
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