Leadership isn’t about “being the leader”, leadership is so much more, it’s about influence, it’s about team, it’s about servant hood. We all need to be good at being second, to be able to prefer & honour one another.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Philippians 2:3-4 NIV
Being second is about valuing the bigger picture more than our part to play in it, sometimes it means laying down our desires for the fulfilment of the greater vision.
And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in god. 17 “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.”
1 Samuel 23:16-17 NIV
Jonathan was heir to the throne, yet recognised the big picture, and was able to lay down his own desires for the sake of the greater picture. If any one had a right to be offended at David’s being anointed king, it was Jonathan, he was loosing out more than anyone else, yet he saw god’s plan at work, and so was able to be second to David.
The moment we’re not willing to be second is the moment it becomes about personal glory, rather than god’s glory
“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”
Harry truman / 33rd President of the United States
There have been some amazing people in second place through history… Especially film history…
The greatest ‘second’ of all though was undoubtably…
- David needed Jonathan
- Moses needed Aaron, Hur & Joshua
- Paul needed Barnabas
- Jesus needed John the Baptist
“one puts a thousand to flight, two puts ten thousand”
We can be second to others when we’re secure that god doesn’t see it like that, he sees us equally, in his eyes, we’re all first. Sometimes we don’t lift others up because we think it’s lowering ourselves in the process.
Our unwillingness comes from a thinking that say’s we have to fight for our place and position, that we’re in competition with each other – this is anti-kingdom thinking that comes from a lack of understanding that god’s love for us isn’t based on our performance, but is based on his character.
Jesus could lower himself as a servant because he was secure in his acceptance and place with god. (Ref. John 13)
How to win at being second:
- See the bigger vision
- Speak well of those around you
- Seek out and serve the needs
“Practice playing second fiddle.”
Romans 12:10b MSG
Hope this has helped!