When I stepped into the first day of my first full-time ministry position I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. I still cringe at the thought of how much I thought I knew versus what I actually knew. It wasn’t pretty. Still today, 14 years later, I find myself at times at a loss of how to move forward, confused at times…..perplexed.
Perplexed: to feel completely confused, baffled or puzzled.
This is not a desirable leadership trait. No one wants a leader that doesn’t know what to do next. I grew up being taught as a growing leader to “never let’em see you sweat.” The downside to this leadership style is as those in leadership put on this outward veneer of “the all knowing guru” this puts pressure on those following to put on the same external mask of having it all together when they don’t. We end up creating a culture where no one feels comfortable enough to make statements like, “I have no idea what I’m doing” or “I don’t know what to do next”.
But, what if I told you there are countless times when men and women of God were perplexed and didn’t know what to do next. Here’s just one example from the Apostle Paul:
2 Corinthians 4:7–9 (ESV)
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed….
Paul points out that these hardships that Christians endure: affliction, being perplexed, being persecuted, being struck down; are all normal for a follower of Jesus. I don’t know about you, but it’s a huge relief to know that as a leader and Christian it’s normal to be at a loss of what to do next or how to respond.
Paul also speaks to the truth that these hardships point to God alone being the one who is sustaining us and not ourselves when these hardships don’t finish us off. When we’re “afflicted but not crushed, perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” God gets the credit!
Bottom Line: We can put our hope in Jesus knowing that even though we may not know the next step, no matter what kind of season we’re walking in, no matter how hard life becomes; Jesus is sustaining those that follow Him with His power!
Your turn: What thoughts would you add to this post? How has God shown himself faithful when you’ve had no idea what to do next?