#14 – Not A Show-off
The fourteenth characteristic of the man of God whom we seek is that he will model modest living, meekness (strength under control), and humility (a servant leader).
A more powerful man is one who possesses great strength, but who chooses not to use it indiscriminately, to show it off, or to boast about it. Jesus was such a man. As the Creator of all, He possessed all power, but He kept that power under His total control, choosing not to use it in the times when it would have been most advantageous to Him. We know that as meekness – strength under control. Showing off His power in that way was not why He was here; rather, He modeled for us much greater power by His restraint and His total focus on His mission.
One who has the ability to purchase much and to live extravagantly often gives up more than he gains by doing so. For one, he diminishes his options to help other people; for him, it is the ultimate opportunity cost. Rather, if he chooses to live modestly and to use his resources for larger purposes than himself, he is exhibiting another form of strength under control. And he understands, by personal practice, the blessings of giving, of practicing personal philanthropy.
As a leader, this man operates in humility, not brashness or braggadocio or bravado. He leads by serving rather than by giving loud orders or commands or by threatening or intimidating. Those who follow him do so out of a sense of privilege and honor, not of obligation or duty.
Where does such an idea hail from? From the head of the ecclesia, Himself: “But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’” (Matthew 20:25-28)
Are you such a leader? Or do you know of such a leader?