Many people have a wrong perspective of leaders. In the extreme, some tend to either place them on a pedestal or despise them. Hopefully, most of us view them with some normalcy, as people with a tough job who are trying to do their best despite their own weaknesses. But how do ordinary people do extraordinary things?
All leaders have weaknesses. All leaders have times when they are expected and required to perform a task when they really do not feel qualified or “up to it”.
From the perspective of a minister, I cannot tell you the times I have felt unqualified, unprepared, and too weak for the job. (People who think they have it all under control are the ones that really scare me!)
The Apostle Paul comforts me because he had some of the same problems. He talks about his weaknesses and people’s perspective of him. In his second letter to the Corinthian Church, he related this, “Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you” (2 Corinthians 10:1 NKJV).
I think some of my best messages were the times I didn’t think I had another message in me. I was either drained physically, sick, going through a spiritual battle, or had a disgruntled church member prick my flimsy balloon to let all the air out thirty minutes before the first song.
So how did strength come out of weakness? Paul describes his conversation with God concerning his weaknesses, “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. / Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NKJV).
We might be disappointed if we could see and hear Paul preach. He is bigger than life in the Book of Acts and one of my heroes of faith—yet a man like you and me. He was hated by more than those who loved him. In 2 Corinthians 10:10 (NKJV) he relates what others said about him, “For his letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” From what others said, he sounded kind of ordinary.
Paul was an extraordinary man, but he was also ordinary. What made the ordinary man into an extraordinary man was the power of God evident in his life. This is when God gets the glory. When others say, “I know Paul and I know his weaknesses but just look at what God has accomplished through him. It must be God!!”
So, my friend, you do not have to worry about being extraordinary—few people come close. Just give your ordinary to an extraordinary Jesus and He will turn your world upside-down. In the process, He may turn the world around you, upside down at the same time! Then, all your family and friends will give God the glory because they know how ordinary you are. They will say, “It must be God!”
Yours on the Journey,
Harry L. Whitt