I am learning about the power of honesty and vulnerability in leadership. Honesty unlocks the door to reality. Failing to be honest leads to deceiving ourselves into thinking we are better off than we really are. It takes guts to be honest and courage to own up to our limitations. Being vulnerable does not unveil weakness, it showcases strength. Only the strong dare to be vulnerable, honest, and real, simply sharing their reality without a fake veneer.
It’s easy for me to over-spiritualize things. I’ve learned to play the God Card when I want to shift the blame. I tend to procrastinate on doing important tasks. Instead of owning up to that fact and doing what needs to be done, I find a clever distraction that I rationalize will please God. This could be calling a friend, catching up on my To-Do List, you name it. Although the task is noble, it’s not what I should be doing at the moment, and when my procrastination affects others, I blame it on God because I feel like He led me to do what I did. If God made me do it, who can question that? It’s a deflecting technique. I don’t want to deal with my issues so I make them spiritual and blame them on God. This kind of dysfunctional over-spiritualizing is dangerous because it’s like a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. I caused the crime but place the blame on God instead of owning up to my brokenness. Honesty freely admits brokenness. Here is my admission: I feel overwhelmed by important tasks and I would rather put them off until I have no choice but to get them done because I work better under pressure. Or do I? Procrastinators are motivated by stress and no doubt, stress is a powerful motivator, but it is incredibly unhealthy. There must be a better way.
The better way is brokenness. When I am real about my brokenness, I discover strength found in weakness,
“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. ‘So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong‘” -2 Corinthians 12:9-10.
Was Paul masochistic? Who in their right might would honestly brag about their issues? How many people would admit to finding pleasure in weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles? In so many ways this Scripture blows my mind. It doesn’t make logical sense, but it makes perfect theological sense. If grace is the infilling power of the Holy Spirit to live life like Christ, then that’s truly all we need. Our own strength will run short but this strength never will. It is always available. It’s like a well in my soul that never runs dry. When I am weak I have more room for the water of God’s grace to fill me and empower me. When I feel strong, I get deceived into thinking I can run on my own strength. When I feel weak, I am reminded of how much I need my Father’s strength.
This is a secret of the Kingdom of God that flies in the face of survival of the fittest. In God’s Kingdom, it’s survival of the weakest. This is not an excuse to live a “less-than” life or permission to be a slacker and expect God to make up for your laziness. It’s a reserve for those in relentless pursuit of God’s purposes. It’s a glass of water for those exhausted from working hard in Salvation’s Vineyard. It is the One True Addiction that satisfies the thirsty soul. This is what it looks like to depend fully on grace. Literally, “My grace is all you need.” God is saying to us, “When you tap into this well of my strength, you will never lack anything you need. It doesn’t matter if you experience weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, or troubles, the well is still there. All you have to do is draw some water.