You were probably raised to believe that men don’t cry. Breaking News! Jesus wept (John 11:35). You might also have picked up the idea that as a leader, your followers must not know that you don’t know it all, and that they must believe that you are Iron Man and so you can’t have any part of your life that isn’t just perfect.
Well, when the bible says to put on the whole armour of God, it didn’t exactly have becoming Iron Man in mind. Iron Man is a figment of someone’s imagination. Reality is that, real leaders are sometimes making the journey for the first time themselves and they are just as weak and lost as their followers. What differentiates them is simply that they have the courage to find a way.
Contrary to the idea that you lose credibility as a leader if the people you lead get an inkling that your life isn’t exactly picture perfect, people are actually more inspired by your stories of survival against all odds than they are by your make believe life of perfection.
Apostle Paul in his usual candour wrote to the Corinthian church…
We don’t want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead! And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation—I don’t want you in the dark about that either. I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God’s deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part. (2 Corinthians 1:8-11 MSG)
Where do you find yourself in a leadership role? In a family? over a congregation? At work? It will do more harm if you keep acting hypocritically, pretending that all is well, than if you were ‘real’ and instead inspired people by sharing how God is helping you overcome your own limitations and struggles.