Call me naive, even arrogant… but I want to do great things. I want to change the world; not for my own praise or to make a name for myself, but to make much of Jesus to the glory of God. I want to preach the gospel until I’m 90. I want to train preachers to go out into every nation. I want to see refugees loved, the fatherless mentored, and the hungry fed. I want to see entire nations turn from darkness to light.
And yet, despite these lofty desires, sometimes it’s just easier to sit on the couch. Sometimes it’s easier to just not stir up any trouble. I mean, clearly, it’s a whole lot safer to sit quietly rather than put a target on my own back by speaking up against the world. It’s so much less painful just to blend in rather than live with purpose, with conviction, and with passion.
That’s my struggle. This is why I found this blog post from Seth Godin so convicting:
This is a fear and a paradox of doing work that’s important.
A fear because so many of us are raised to avoid appearing arrogant. Being called arrogant is a terrible slur, it means that you’re not only a failure, but a poser as well.
It’s a paradox, though, because the confidence and attitude that goes with bringing a new idea into the world (“hey, listen to this,”) is a hair’s breadth away, or at least sometimes it feels that way, from being arrogant.
And so we keep our head down. Better, they say, to be invisible and non-contributing than risk being arrogant.
That feels like a selfish, cowardly cop out to me. Better, I think, to make a difference and run the risk of failing sometimes, of being made fun of, and yes, appearing arrogant. It’s far better than the alternative.