I like Christopher Columbus. Last year I posted about Columbus and the Crocodile Hunter. Their common trait: Passion. Columbus did what he was designed to do – explore and discover for the glory of God and country.
Unfortunately he left a mixed legacy. He gets credit for ‘sailing the ocean blue’ and being at the forefront of the movement to settle the new world. But he and his men also ended up oppressing the natives and confiscating their gold. This year I will talk about three factors that conspired to sabotage his work, because they can torpedo the work of every leader. They are found in this verse:
1 John 2:16 (NASB)
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
Let’s break these down:
- Unrestrained Appetites: Desires of the flesh
- Greedy Coveting: Desires of the eye
- Pompous Arrogance: Boastful pride of life
We will focus today on the desires of the eye.
Envy. Jealousy. Covetousness. Greed.
I was trying to update ‘covet’ into a word that we use more commonly in modern day English, and it is actually hard to do. I think the reason is that we don’t talk about it very much. ‘Keeping up with the Jones’ or ‘making things fair’ is part of our culture. Whole marketing campaigns are designed to tell us: “They have this, so you should too.” We don’t like when people are greedy, but even our attacks against the greedy have a hint of “You shouldn’t get more than me.” Bottom line – coveting is undercover in our culture, so beware!
Christopher Columbus faced all kinds of dangers and deadly situations while commanding his ships. But these 3 sins were the most dangerous of all. The passion that Columbus had when he began was overridden and undermined by these 3 deadly traps. He failed to restrain his men and himself, so his brave discovery ended tragically.
And now, back to us. Our temptations are different. We don’t have vulnerable people groups, fortunes of gold, and the praise of kings to pull us off track. But our challenges are just as real. And so are the consequences. On this Columbus Day, make sure that you are acting as a true Servant Leader. This will ensure that your passion will lead you to true success, with no regrets.