Here I’m talking about delay in promotion or a failure to have your gift recognised for someone already established in ministry. When a leader finds that he or she is not moving forward in ministry, that’s the promotion test. Tempted to become angry, bitter at the lack of progress and being shut off from influence in life and ministry - this can happen at any age and any season – at any point in ministry. The more developed the gift or ministry, the harder this is likely to be to endure.
At the same time we have to recognise that at some point we all reach our limit. We come to the end of the amount of grace we have for the measure we are. It takes real maturity to get to a point of recognition, ‘This is my measure of achievement. I’m going to be satisfied with it rather than always wanting to be something else.’
The alternative is real unhappiness and a grinding sense of disappointment. Such a situation, like many personal crises of this kind, needs to be resolved before God and lived out before men.
There is a huge range of negative emotions that can accompany such situations. Anger, resentment, a sense of hurt, isolation, rejection, bitterness, feeling misunderstood, loneliness – all these are possible. Some leaders fall into depression. I’m not talking about sin here – it’s about life. How you process the emotions could be the thing that makes you, or disqualifies you…
How you handle these various tests will have huge influence on how you progress to the next phase of life and leadership.
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