A note from Kelly King: I can’t think of anyone better to write this article than Sheila West. Why? Because she is a woman who is extremely wise! I’m sure you will learn from Sheila today as we consider the lies that prohibit us from wise leadership.
In Hamlet, William Shakespeare, an English poet, playwright, and actor, penned, “This above all, to thine own self be true.” In Scripture, the psalmist reminds us of God’s perspective. “Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom” (Ps. 51:6, KJV).
In leadership, honesty with yourself about yourself clears the way for the wisdom to lead effectively. Tragically there are lies we can buy into that can undermine our leadership. Here are five subliminal untruths that can so easily be bought into.
1. I have to be in control. God has not called us to be “in control” but “in Christ.” The thought that we have control is self-deception. The only thing we control is our own choices. God’s Word says, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand” (Prov. 19:21, ESV)
2. I can do this myself. It is true there are many things we can accomplish individually. But God’s plan is that we never feel we are doing anything alone. The apostle Paul said, “I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). It is Christ in us that gives us the ability to accomplish anything with significance. It does us well to listen to what Jesus said, “I can do nothing on my own…” (John 5:30).
3. I’m right. It is good to be confident, but it is easy to cross the line into the self-deception that we know it all. Not only does God’s Word tell us to be quick to listen, but it also warns us “Woe to those who consider themselves wise and judge themselves clever” (Isaiah 5:21).
4. I don’t have an ego issue. Any of us can have a good “ego attack” especially when God is doing some mighty things. Be sensitive to the Spirit revealing the difference between confidence and cockiness. God’s Word says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2 (ESV)
5. I don’t need to constantly be encouraging others. Oh, how our minds can deceive us. Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT) says “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” As leaders, we have a unique responsibility to encourage others. That does not mean contributing to a prideful spirit, but to stir them up, motivate them, mobilize them, and appreciate them.
Just as Eve was deceived in the garden, the Enemy is always working to get you to buy into his lies. Be like Jesus when confronted with His lies, “But he answered, ‘It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4, ESV). Learn to be aware of the lies you might buy into and respond with the truths of God’s Word. Then, as you live, so shall you lead…with wisdom.
Sheila has been involved in women’s ministry for over 35 years, serving as Director of Women’s Ministry for over 20 years in the local church. She is presently on staff at Heritage Community Church, Fruitland Park, Florida as Director of Administration as well as serving as Director of Women’s Ministry. She is the founder of Real Living Ministries, a speaking, teaching, and leadership development ministry to women. Sheila is also a contributing author to Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level, Revised and Expanded edition. Sheila has appeared on numerous Christian radio and television broadcasts, including The 700 Club, and100 Huntley Street. She is the author of Beyond Chaos, published by NavPress and is a LifeWay Women’s Trainer. She and her husband, John, are the parents of two and proud grandparents of seven.