Why Drivenness Should Be a Red Flag for Leaders

Let me start with a disclaimer. Please know that I deeply long to see God’s purposes accomplished. I earnestly pray His Kingdom come and will be done. And I absolutely agree that all Christian leaders need to be good stewards who serve sacrificially and wholeheartedly.

However, whenever I hear someone say they are “driven,” a red flag goes up. I immediately wonder who or what is driving that leader.

Listen to Jesus’ invitation, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Jesus isn’t driving anybody anywhere. He’s calling weary and burdened people to rest, to freedom and to a new and sustainable way of life. He’s calling people to Himself.

Jesus isn’t driving anybody anywhere. He’s calling weary and burdened people to rest, to freedom and to a new and sustainable way of life. He’s calling people to Himself. Click To Tweet

Somehow, I missed this calling. I chose drivenness instead. As I reflect on my “driven-leader” years, I now recognize that I was mostly pursuing a cause rather than intimacy with Jesus. I was desperately trying to earn my way with God and somehow impress Him. In the process, my relationship with Him became transactional, mechanical and guilt-ridden.

My driven ways were also exhausting. I evaluated everything by output, and I never knew when I had achieved enough. I was my own worst critic, but I was also overly sensitive to criticism from others. I spent too much time comparing my status and output to others.

Perhaps the biggest problem with my drivenness was that it was mostly focused on me. I was preoccupied by what I could or couldn’t do in my limited strength rather than being preoccupied with Jesus.

Thankfully, I have discovered Jesus’ call to “come to me” is an ongoing, everyday invitation. It’s an invitation to surrender. To humbly and gratefully rest in what He has already accomplished through the cross. To walk with Him moment by moment and enjoy Him forever. To depend on Him and to be sent out with His presence and all He can do through His unlimited power.

Jesus’ call to “come to me” is an ongoing, everyday invitation. It’s an invitation to surrender. To humbly and gratefully rest in what He has already accomplished through the cross. Click To Tweet

This discovery has been a game changer for me. I am serving from acceptance rather than striving for it. I am experiencing the intimacy, rest, freedom and sustainable way of life that Jesus offers—and it is good!

Reject the invitation to drivenness. Embrace Jesus’ invitation to “come to me.”

Cheering you on to live and Lead Different.

Dr. Steve A. Brown
President, Arrow Leadership

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