I Assume You’re Brilliant

You don’t know me.  So why should you trust me?  Some church planter guy in West Virginia talking about leadership.  What do I know about you and your situation?

Of course, on the other hand, your cynicism might keep you from something that could create a breakthrough in your situation.  And what if you miss out on that?

This is the tension of insight.

And it has nothing to do with me.
(And everything to do with you.)

There’s this approach we often have to the world around us.  It’s the approach of cynical skeptics who for better or worse seem to believe that their own, localized situation buried in their context and assumptions and problems and opportunities has nothing to do with anyone or anything from the broader world outside their context.

And you know what?  They might very well be right.

But sometimes they’re not.

Sometimes a voice, a story, a spark of insight… Sometimes someone far removed from our life–a business owner in Germany or a Kindergartener in Iowa–sometimes these people learn something or see something or say something that sends lightning down our spine and speaks directly to our hearts as the Truth we needed to hear.

I know this because I’ve had it happen to me.  I’ve written people, things, and places off in a flash.  I’ve assumed they have nothing to do with me or my life.  I’ve brushed them away like the dust on an old book.

And I’ve missed out because of my approach.

The tension here is that maybe, just maybe, we should always be awake.  Maybe we should always have our radars turned on and our ears tuned in.  Maybe it’s better to assume greatness and wisdom in everyone and everything around us rather than idiocy.  Maybe the arrogant boss still has something to offer.  Maybe the annoying student has brilliance inside.  Maybe the broken single mother will paint beauty all over this world.

And maybe, just maybe, you’ve got something amazing too.


2 replies
  1. Dave
    Dave says:

    Thanks for sharing Justin. Reminds me of the Emerson quote: “In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.”


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