Recently I had two conversations about the same incident.
One person described a series of actions that lead to a positive outcome. As they told the story to me it sounded like they were very instrumental in this great organizational victory.
Then I talked to another person about the same incident. Their description was a great deal different. They described what happened with the same basic facts, but the story did not include the first person as the hero. In fact, they stated that the first person had tried to stand in the way of this action happening.
Finally, I had another conversation with the first person and I began noticing something. This person was the hero of almost every story they told. Their actions were pure and noble with other people’s best interest at heart. They did the right thing at the right time. They knew the best plan of action and always tried to take it.
After that last discussion I was reminded of something that Edwin Louis Cole use to say frequently, “We judge others by their actions and ourselves by our intentions.” There is a tendency in all of us to view ourselves as better than we actually are.
I believe this is so important because God’s work in your life starts with admitting that I am not a hero.
– To receive salvation, I have to admit that I am a sinner. I must admit that I have done things wrong in my life.
– To walk in the Spirit, I have to admit that I continue to sin and need the Spirits guidance everyday.
– To overcome sin, I have to repent of my behavior and make a change in my actions.
– To live in harmony with other people, I have to work on my failures in relationships.
I once knew a pastor who encouraged me to “lead with weakness.” He would tell me it is okay to admit my failures to people because it will be freeing to me and disarming to them. We believe in a God who gives second chances to villains…and most of the time that is me.