Does the ax raise itself above the person who swings it, or the saw boast against the one who uses it?

Isaiah 10:15


“Holy Father, I am but a tool in your hands. Forgive me for the times that I forget my position.”


Three attitudes of the heart keep us from being the tool we ought to be:

  • Pride can say, “I am great, on my own.”
  • Anger can say, “I should be greater!”
  • Bitterness can say, “I am less great than I was.” 

A leader is especially susceptible to these poisons of the soul because success, aspiration, and examination beget great distractions for the heart. A leader receives attention and glory, and these things can serve as a catalyst for decay.

The good tool waits in faith and serves in humility. God’s plans our better than ours, and they are often beyond our understanding.

  • Success is a good thing! It means God has been faithful and so were we.
  • Ambition is a good thing! It is an expression of sanctification, the process to become more like Jesus.
  • Examination is a good thing, we cannot grow if we cannot learn.

However, we must not let success lead to pride, or ambition to anger, nor examination to bitterness. These ways limit our leadership, and more importantly, dishonor God.