So I found myself leading a group of eleven other men who all had their own responsibilities in the context of our task at hand. There was an organizational chart, manual of job responsibilities, real authority and titles to indicate where everybody fit. Within the boundaries of the organizational direction, I had autonomy to lead in the ways that I chose as best.
One of the eleven men that was following had more experience than I did and enjoyed the position I was in most other times. In fact, I had served him numerous times previously as he was serving me now. He had invested in me and given me the room and tools to move as God developed the things in me that He wanted to deploy. Yet, this time the org chart would say that I was “in charge.”
Interesting dynamic . . . student becomes teacher, so to speak. That takes some skill and grace on all parts.
There were times that this submitted leader would naturally lead. It’s just who he is and what he does so he can’t really help it as that is what is bound to come out of him. Sometimes that style or those choices which he operated in where not identical to what I would have chosen. That’s not to say that he operated from rebellion or anything other than honor, just a different application of the same heart that I had related to serving those that we sought to lead.
At those points where I observed something or was even asked for permission to do something which was outside of my preference but well within my discretion, I had a choice to make. I had to choose to either honor and defer to allow the elder voice the respect that he deserved or squeeze tightly to control in an effort to maintain my position.
Time and time again, I chose honor. I’m not sure that I would have chosen the same way not too long ago, but I see the value of deference, honor and respect more than ever. I know the multiplication of wisdom and stature that is inherent and available for those that choose to submit even when their authority exceeds the position of subjection.
Authority, honor, respect and submission are heart conditions more than they are positions or even disciplines. We may have to discipline ourselves in the framework of positions to learn how to allow our hearts to yield but it’s in the heart of honor that our reward is hidden. Not the privilege of a position.