Tag Archives: humility

Meeting is Called to Order

Meeting is Called to Order
by Danny Tariman

“Each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself.” (Philippians 2:3)

I had attended a number of meetings recently and there is one common thing I had observed: exchange of ideas are heated, two opposing views are shot at the same time while voices are raised. It is almost chaotic.

As I was going out of the room after the meeting, a leader appeased me “Danny, I hope you won’t get disappointed with the way the meeting went. We are like that, and after the meeting we remain friends.”

Deep inside, I thought “Yes, it is alright that you remain friends. But as Christian leaders, I believe, we should exercise restraint.”

The Bible is very clear about it: we should in humility, treat each another as more important than ourselves (Phil 2:3).

When someone is speaking, we should let him speak his view, without interruption.

When you have another view or suggestion, wait for your turn to speak, wait until the person speaking is finished.

You may raise your hand so the leader can acknowledge your wanting to speak, but control yourself not to speak until the one speaking is done.

There were instances that because the argument is heated, the speakers don’t hear any more the leader’s call to order; to the point that the leader is disregarded.

I urge you to pay all deference to such leaders … and be subject to them (1Cor 16:16 MSG)

The Bible tells us that we should give deference to our leaders.

Webster dictionary defines “deference” as “a yielding in opinion; submission of judgment to the opinion or judgment of another. Hence, regard; respect.”

It is a call of God upon us Christians, that we should yield and submit to our leaders with respect.

When the leader or presider speaks, everyone should listen. And listen attentively.

I pray that the next time you have a meeting, let it be a meeting called to the Lord’s order, and may you have great success in your meetings!

My Parking Attendant

My Parking Attendant
by Danny Tariman

“We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.” – Luke 17:10

“Your unworthy servant….” I was struck with these words as the Archbishop of Port Moresby was saying the prayer at a Mass referring to himself being Bishop of the Diocese. Maybe this is a regular prayer but this time, it rang differently in my ear.

On another occasion, the good Archbishop, who arrived a minute ahead of me at a Talleres Convent, guided me with hand signals as I parked my car.

“This is too much!” I mumbled to myself. “The Archbishop as my parking attendant?”

Considering his stature, the Archbishop’s humility and readiness to serve his flock touched me deeply.

As a servant-leader, it’s natural to delegate the “dirty jobs” to the “low ranking” servants. But not with this man of God. He really lives up to the title of “servant.” He lives up to what Jesus said, “If anyone serves me, he must follow me” (John 12:26). Just like our Lord, He “came not to be served but to serve” (Matthew 20:28).

Reflection: Are you following the footsteps of the Lord whom you serve?

Prayer: Lord, I am sorry for being “title-oriented”

[This reflection was first published in Didache, November 12, 2013]

[Photo downloaded from dailyrecord.co.uk/news]


by Danny Tariman

“All bitterness… must be removed from you. Be… forgiving!” (Ephesians 4:31,32)

“Lord, I forgive this man.”

I uttered this prayer in my heart as I received another unwarranted bullying from my boss. It was truly a humiliating experience. He is the most difficult, stone-hearted fellow in the management team.

I was assigned under him upon my arrival in this overseas job. I can’t move. I can no longer think. I was blocked. To the point that even writing in my email the words “God bless!” was criticized.

Trying to witness for the Lord in my workplace, I just smiled. I learned to live in its truest sense the Word to “put on [then], as God’s chosen ones … kindness, humility.., and patience.” (Col 3:12)

In the days that followed, the harshness and the provoking words continued to fly. I was no longer productive.

I was bitter. But I decided to forgive.

One day, about 3 weeks since I started on this new job, the Chief Executive Officer circulated a memo that I, as a Division Manager, will be reporting to him directly.

Oh, how sweet to my ears this news is!

The Word of God is indeed true. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (James 4:10)

Do you feel like retaliating when someone insults you?

Lord, teach me to be humble and forgiving.

[This reflection first appeared in Didache Aug 9, 2009]

True Leadership

by Danny Tariman

“With humility think of others as being better than yourselves. Do not be concerned about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others.” (Phil 2:3-4)

“Sir Dan, I’d like you to meet our…” thus Ger was about to introduce me to the project team.

“Just call me Dan or Danny. Please don’t call me ‘Sir’”, I interjected.

Having worked in a different culture overseas, I had been used to addressing persons in their first name, even those who are of higher positions than I do.

But Ger, who is the Head of this bank’s group was insistent on calling me ‘Sir’. His position has the initials “VP” in it. He is not a lower-ranking officer. His group is composed of a number departments.

The same with Sally who is with our project team. She also calls me ‘Sir’. She too is the Head of another group within the bank and under her are a number of departments too.

At first I was uneasy.

But it struck me that even with their high positions in the bank, they truly respect me not just by calling me “Sir”. They defer to my opinions, they listen to me when I speak. In our meetings and dealings, I can sense their humility.

Despite of their humility, I have observed how their subordinates respect them too.

This is what I call “true leadership” – a leadership that does not use force nor intimidation, nor fear. True leaders are able lead people by influence through their humility.

But don’t get me wrong. Leadership in humility does not mean weak leadership. Because there is an inner strength and an inner power to influence in humility. Actually, leadership is influence (according to leadership guru John Maxwell). People are more likely to follow persons who does not bully them, who cares for them, who regards them as a co-worker or co-leader. These people would tend follow their leaders because they want to, because they know their leader cares for them.

And this affirms a Biblical principle in Philippians 2:3-4: “with humility think of others as being better than yourselves… also be concerned about the interests of others.”

I pray that we will all lead like our Leader – Jesus Christ Himself!

Related post:

A Key to Unity

A Key to Unity
by Danny Tariman

“If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” (Mark 3:25)

“Ayoko na!” an elderly parish servant approached me in exasperation. Earlier in the day, she solicited donation for food from another “servant” who, instead of helping in the work of evangelization, has bad mouthed an on-going parish activity. The elderly servant was so impacted by the response that she decided to stop her “food service”.

Bickerings among people who are suppose to be “servants of the Lord” divide and break the unity of community. All of these squabbles and tiffs are traceable to the five-letter word spelled as P-R-I-D-E. Self-centeredness, vainglory, rivalry, envy – all these are children of pride, that is why it is called “the reservoir of sins” (Sirach 10:13) Because of these, the unity and relationship that took so long a time to build, are destroyed in an instant!

Today’s passage in Mark 3:25 warns us that as Christians we should keep the unity of the body of Christ. And I believe that humility is of one of the keys to unity.

The Bible tells us in Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory, rather humbly regard others more important than yourselves”.

Do we easily see the wrong in others when we are not the “center of activity”?

Lord, teach me to be and to remain humble.

[This reflection was first published in Didache on Jan 28, 2008]