Jim Collins wrote the hugely influential Built to Last in celebration of the highest kind of leadership, what he calls level five leaders. They combine two qualities. One is the persistence of a tenacious will and the other is humility. The latter displays itself in leaders who view themselves as servants, who sacrifice their own egos for the benefit of the many. Collins goes on to say they are more like Lincoln or “Father Abraham” than Douglas MacArthur the “American Caesar.”
Humility is a tricky thing. To boast about one’s humble nature is in fact a very prideful thing. So how does a person keep a humble mindset and not become prideful in their posture of humility? The world that surrounds us is a world where the lowliest of the low are seen differently than they were two thousand years ago. Often, we think of ourselves as morally superior to members of the ancient world, but we have to be reminded that we are no better because we live later.
This Sunday, my church will look at John 6:30-50, where Jesus deals with a group of people who claimed moral superiority in their search for truth. We will see how Jesus redirects their superficial desires and lack of humility in seeking the truth into eternal promises related to his personhood and work. We will be reminded that our great King entered the world wearing swaddling cloths and left wearing the towel of a slave.