In the fire service we use a term called “command presence”, which I’m sure is a product of our para-military history. We use it to describe an officer’s ability to lead without opening their mouth and when they do speak, people want to listen. Leaders with strong command presence stand confidently, look at people who are speaking; they walk with a certain rhythm that is smooth but not arrogant and you are confident following them. I’ll admit that it’s a little ambiguous and open for interpretation but I hope that I illustrated the point. The challenge when judging if a person has a command presence is being able to separate it from over-confidence or cockiness. We all need to be sure of ourselves at some point in our lives; for some it means thinking and acting bigger or better than they really are. Society has a wide variety of labels for these people. They want to talk about themselves and what great things they do. Others will have the skills/abilities to back up their huge self-confidence. These are the top sales associates who let everyone know that they are the best. We all love the person who is confident enough to lead others but humble enough to keep it in check. Pride is a double-edged sword. I’d like to suggest that people get their pride filled in two ways – artificially created in their own minds (writing checks with their mouths that they cannot cash) or it’s given to them by others, through well-deserved praise. And yet, we’ve all seen the person who is given praise (genuinely) and yet they have low self-confidence. They seem to miss the gifts (through praise) that others give them. Like all good double-edged swords, pride can be the source of great strength or can cut us deeply. We have two roles when dealing with our own command presence – be confident enough to be effective and humble enough to build up those that need it.
“A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.” Proverbs 29:23
When God talks about the pride that a man has, He is really looking at that man’s reaction to the gifts that he has received from God. The top sales associate will always talk about how hard they worked, how they beat the competition, how creative they got to sell the client or simply how great they are. This type of pride makes a man low in God’s eyes. They are focused on worldly attributes without any consideration to who gave them those gifts and opportunities. When things go bad, these types of people want to blame God but when the “world is their oyster” it was all them. God tells us through David that we have it all wrong. A man in lowly spirit (without pride) gains honor. This is not to mean that we shouldn’t be proud of what we’ve done or confident in our abilities, it means that we should remember who gave us the power to achieve these things. God is at work in our lives every day and we should never forget that. When we pray, we should be thankful for all that He has done for us. Most of us only “talk” to God in prayer when we are asking for help or need something. Imagine never hearing “thank you” when you did something for someone or gave them a gift. You wouldn’t stay connected to them very long. Tell God – Thank You. It will help you keep your pride in check. If you are not sure that you’re good enough (low self-esteem) remind yourself that God is with you and that you are glorifying Him in all that you do. My wife has said, “God doesn’t make junk”. We all have important parts to play in His plan, see your role and go on confidently.