My Article on Foster Care, Adoption, and Leadership


My article, “What Foster Care and Adoption Taught Me About Life and Leadership,” appeared today at InfluenceMagazine.com. Follow the link to read the whole thing, but here’s an excerpt:

And so, my wife and I found ourselves providing full-time care to other people’s kids. (Did I mention that they were girls? In diapers?) We found ourselves downtown, in a government building, interacting regularly with people struggling with addiction, joblessness and homelessness. It was a far from the comfortable, middle-class, suburban life we had grown up with, and that we had, in turn, created for ourselves.

It was hard. (I’ll get back to that in a moment.) But the key thing I learned in the process is that we’re supposed to use our privilege. In contemporary public discourse, the word privilege is a dirty word, something that’s supposed to be checked rather than used.

I agree that privilege should be checked if it’s used for self-aggrandizing purposes. If you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, don’t look down on others because they use plastic utensils when they eat. Know what I mean?

From my perspective, though, if you won the birth lottery — if God has providentially blessed you in many ways — then you’re supposed to spend your win on behalf of others. According to Paul, that’s the example of the Lord Jesus Christ himself:

who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:6–8).

No matter how many times I read these verses, I can’t get over the staggering fact that Christ used His privilege for us. He put His equality with God in service of sinful humanity, for whom He died.

What privilege do we have that we’re willing to use in service of others?

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