A well-managed ego is a powerful weapon when things fail to go your way. When things don’t go your way, it’s easy to strap on an entitlement mentality. Especially in leadership, we have paid our dues, so to speak, to be where are. We can get the idea that we have staked a claim for things to go a certain way or people to act in a particular manner.

You know who had a well-managed ego and as a result didn’t fly off the handle when things failed to go his way? This recently popped out at me a couple of weeks ago as I was reading this again. There is the story of something Jesus did a day or two before his murder. He knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father, so he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him (cf Jn 13:1,5).

That’s not the scene that shows me he had his ego in check. Later that night Jesus confronts Judas about his betrayal and it starts this whole conversation where Peter says he’ll die for Jesus. That’s when Jesus predicts Peter’s denial. If it were me, this would have been the point where I put a guilt trip on my team. I would have really rubbed their noses in the fact they would fail me.

It’s Jesus’ response in the midst of this that tells me an in-check ego guards a person from disappointment. The chapter ends there and it gives the idea that the conversation did too. But it didn’t; the conversation continued. Guess what Jesus said right after predicting Peter’s denial? “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe in me.” (John 14:1) Only a well-managed ego could respond in such a gracious way in the face of failure. If anybody was entitled to an entitlement mentality it was Jesus, yet we don’t see him reacting out of disappointment when things failed to go his way.

What isn’t going your way right now? How are you handling it? A well-managed ego can go a long way when things fail to go your way.


Title Signature Screenshot Cartoon 2015