“I have no interest in what you have – only in you.” (2 Cor. 12:15 MSG)
How do we get our lives to this point? In a world of social networking where all relationships seem to be leveraged for some personal purpose, how do we build lives, how do we build churches, that are led void of self-gain? We all need each other (it’s part of God’s design), but even in a place of spiritual leadership I notice how easy it is to become engulfed in what I need others to bring to the organization or movement I’m leading. Musical talent. Artistry. Organizational skills. Money (hey, let’s be honest). People can easily become commodities, and if we’re not careful, we begin to lead out of what we need from people, rather than what we can do for people.
Leveraging people’s gifts, talents, and resources for God’s purposes is part of the reality and the beauty of the church. But if we only build into relationships for what we will get in return, it doesn’t take long for that emptiness to show itself. The apostle Paul (who penned the opening words of this post) wasn’t driven by what he needed from people. He didn’t coddle them to keep them happy. He didn’t use their gifts for his personal gain. He led out of conviction, passion, and obedience, and the results have shown themselves in generation after generation for the last 2,000 years.
Just food for thought…how do you see people?