Being a leader also means people observe and scrutinize my actions and words and evaluate through their own perceptive grid what they see. An important thing to realize is that our perceptions are our reality, so even if I may think a particular thing is no big deal another person may hold it in a place of great importance. These things can cause women who are in leadership positions or aspire to be in leadership to have pause or to become frustrated with the frequent introspection that is required.
Sadly, our introspection can be motivated by the wrong things. When I am criticized I can choose to change the behavior because it will please others and cause them to think well of me. This is man-centered change for the purpose of improving my reputation before man. Or those around us can be great signposts that direct us to look to the heart of the matter.
I see within myself a desire to look good to others and yet I want to remain comfortable with inner sin. It is the fleshly desire to have all the right actions, correct protocols and wear the right “church face” and yet not care how my heart looks to God. Perhaps to say “not care how my heart looks to God” is incorrect. More accurately I could say that I have more of an emphasis on what people think than what God thinks. I doubt if I am alone in this desire… Maybe you are seeing that within yourself too as you ponder these words of mine.
This is the part of me that says I will fight the desires of my flesh that want to remain comfortable. This part of me says that I have been a Christian too long to still be dealing with some of these same old things and to have my heart unaffected for change. It asks, “What is wrong with me that these things remain?” That answer is simple: my heart is unyielding and hardened toward change in these areas. These “pet” sins- respectable sins that I love so dearly mean much more to me than my desire to honor the Lord and I have ignored the Holy Spirit for so long that in these areas He is very quiet to my ears.