Word for the day: “Personal Dysfunction”

Matthew 23:11-12 (NRSV) The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted”

Jesus clearly saw kingdom success in terms of being, not in terms of having or even doing. Kingdom success is entirely distinct from those of us living in a consumer-oriented culture that is fixated on possessing more and more stuff in an effort to be somebody.

The idea that a leader in any capacity could have aspects of their personal lives considered dysfunctional is not a popular topic for discussion. However, it has been my personal experience and observation that personal dysfunction exist in all of us, and the only problem is when we deny the existence and avoid healthy conversations with those involved in the matter. Today’s families, churches, communities, schools, governments, and various significant sectors of society, and our world are touched in a real way by personal dysfunction. Today’s word is especially for leaders, leaders in the making, do you see or have critical areas of personal dysfunction in your life, family, church, job, or friendships, etc.?

Every leader suffers from some degree of personal dysfunction varying from extremely mild to extremely acute. Personal dysfunction, in one form or another, can often serve as the driving force behind an individual’s desire to achieve success as a leader. Many leaders and people are not aware of the shadowy side of their personal disposition that drives them towards the notion of success.

The personal characteristics that drive individuals to succeed and lead often have a shadowy side that can disable them once they become leaders and very often cause significant personal failure. This dynamic is what I am calling “personal dysfunction”; learning about this aspect of our lives can prevent and mitigate the potential negative impact in our exercise of leadership in any context.

I have discovered that scripture has much to say about the shadowy side of human personality and the motivations that drive us to achieve. Seeking an understanding of our human capacities can be helpful to us as leaders in our efforts of leading others in a spiritually healthy manner. When we see the continual growing number of moral failures in the lives of leaders: in churches, government, families, jobs, and in our own lives. We need to become desperate to learn how to protect ourselves from various types of humiliating failure and as a part of our desire to help others. Have a great day of self reflection on today’s message “Personal Dysfunction”.

Elder Baker

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