Having “Little Hitler” as a nickname is no compliment, yet that is what our immature hearts called our teacher behind his back. He ruled us with an iron fist and it was his way or the highway in all things. Though the guy was small in stature, he was rather scary. In my time at that Christian school, I never evidenced a moment where he personally displayed to me the character of Christ illustrated in Philippians 2:5-8.
WHAT I THOUGHT LEADERSHIP WAS
If I could have seen that, it would have been pivotal. Instead, I mentally packed Little Hitler into my heart’s baggage which was already filled with encounters with off-kilter power figures. Through his example, and the life stories of others, I thought that Christian leadership was all about one’s own agenda and how to could push one’s desires on to others. How wrong I was!
NO SELFISH GRASPING OF CONTROL
In opposition is the example of Christ in Philippians 2. There were no hidden agendas with Him, no power plays, no selfish grasping of control. He had no desire for advancement or promotion. All this was fully displayed in the life of One Who had 12 legions of angels at His disposal. A legion was pretty impressive because it was composed of between 4,000 and 6,000 soldiers. Christ could have obliterated the religious Pharisees and His Roman persecutors.
WHAT HE CHOSE
Instead, He chose every day to invest His life into students who often did not get along with each other and misinterpreted or ignored His words. He patiently put one foot in front of the other, carefully only listening to His Father’s voice for direction. So many were curious about the One Who they thought would be their political savior and the answer to all their selfish desires.
Jesus is the only One I know Who would choose to climb out of His own agony on the cross in order to reach out to save yet one more (Luke 23:32-43). That’s what humbling oneself is all about.
THE CRUCIAL DECISION
So, the question arises: how are your personal agendas working out? Have you made it your life’s work to straighten others out? To give them a piece of your mind? To take your demands for justice into your own hands? Or have you handed your personal desires over to God? Have you decided, no matter what, you will humble yourself before the One you love best, and quietly and obediently go about the Father’s business in all things? This decision can drastically alter your life’s path and your perception of your journey here on earth.
Are you continuing in the footsteps of the little dictators on earth? Is that how you want to be known? If I could have seen a godly character transformation in the behavior of my teacher, it would have drastically impacted my life. I would have wanted to follow his example in my own life. I ask you, are you the one that displays the character of Christ in all things, or are you the one who goosesteps, following the example of a power grabber? It’s a choice.