Sheryl Sandberg was a relatively unknown name until just recently. In the last few weeks, Facebook’s chief operating officer has received an onslaught of press, but by her choosing. At 43, Sandberg represents the mere 4% of women in the United States who are at the head of large Fortune 500 companies. Her recent press has very little to do with Facebook, but rather much to do with her initiative to elevate women.
In her efforts to achieve such a mission, Sandberg developed an organization called ‘Lean In’. The general concept behind this movement is to encourage women to lean in to their potential and key gifts in order to achieve both professional and personal success. That being said, Sandberg’s views and methods seem to be highly controversial.
As I’ve spent time researching and reflecting on Sandberg’s endeavors, it struck me that the most powerful venture to develop from this is the simple notion that we should lean into our lives, into who we were created to be, and with humility, believe confidently in who we are. This is substantially important for us as Christians and spiritual beings.
Insecurity and self-doubt plague both men and women in the household of God. We question our gifts, our talents, and even our callings, especially when others don’t seem to see things as we do. We sweep under the rug what God has given us specifically to use for God’s glory. We tell others loudly how bad we are at praying; yet we nowhere near as loudly pray in public. We brag about our failures and shortcomings as if they are badges of honor; as if God wants us to publicly mock ourselves. We fail to walk confidently in the love and grace of Jesus Christ. We doubt our own salvation and out of that pain, lash out at others with vile condemnation. In essence, we ‘lean out’ of what God has equipped us with and thusly, we ‘lean out’ of the greater mission.
I wonder how the church might look if we stopped comparing ourselves to others and merely leaned in to the gifts God has placed in us? When I stop worrying about the things that others can do for God that I can’t, and start joyfully leaning in to what I CAN do for God, my faith walk changes. I think this is because my perspective shifts. Lean in to your faith formation and spiritual journey, and lean in to your relationship with God and others. Lean in to the endless potential you have to make a difference for the kingdom. This world needs you to be YOU…as God made you to be. God’s equipped you, now it’s time for you to be empowered to achieve your greatest calling.