~John Ruskin, British writer 1819-1900
|photo from http://www.lawrencewilson.com/how-to-be-humble/|
We know what happened to Saul and that somewhere along the line he began to feel entitled and grasped his position with such fierceness that he feared rivals, including his son-in-law. Taking 3,000 soldiers with him he pursues David relentlessly.
A second Saul of the tribe of Benjamin becomes part of God's story in the book of Acts. His initial demeanour is proud and hard-nosed--a Pharisee who shunned others for being less righteous than himself. He takes a delegation to the Damascus synagogue in order to arrest followers of Jesus.
However, God humbles him on the road, causing him to become blind and helpless. When he regains his sight he becomes a new man, one who is ready to be an ambassador for Christ to the far reaches of the Roman Empire and among non-Jews.
Saul is renamed Paul (meaning "little") even as he takes the lead in missionary journeys with Barnabas and later with Silas and Luke. He receives a thorn in the flesh that further reminds Saul of his weakness. His missionary achievements and his visions of heaven do not make him proud.
By God's grace, Paul passed the test of a great man to the end, even though he would have failed it at the beginning.
Wherever God has placed us in some level of authority (as a parent, in our workplaces, church work, etc.), we need to retain that "curious feeling that the greatness" is not of us. God is the source, so a posture of submission to him is fitting for all leaders.