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Tag Archives: forgiveness

Ten Principles for Exercising Power and Wise Boundaries

I have been working hard in these months writing The Emotionally Healthy Leader (Zondervan, 2015). The following is a sidebar from a chapter on power and wise boundaries that I trust you will enjoy: Do an honest inventory of the power God has granted you. To be faithful we need to be profoundly aware of the various sources of power God has granted us. We are at risk to use it poorly if we ignore or minimize our power. Unresolved family of origin dynamics that are buried alive resurface when joined with power. The workplace and church are key places where our triggers and “hot buttons” will emerge. Enlist wise counsel to monitor dual relationships. Mentors, therapists, wise elders and mature friends give us perspective and counsel. It is critical we know our limits and defer to others discernment. Watch for early warning signs of danger. People change. We change. The church changes. What works now may not work. Read more.

Midday Prayer: Forgiveness and Celebration

Silence, Stillness, and Centering before God (2 minutes) Scripture Reading – Luke 6:12-18 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles…(Then) he went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there…who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by evil spirits were cured, and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all. Devotional After being in solitude all evening, Jesus chooses the Twelve and forms a community. Henri Nouwen notes that two disciplines make community possible: forgiveness and celebration. He writes: “Forgiveness is to allow the other person not to be God. Forgiveness says, ” I know you love me,. Read more.

Midday Prayer: Forgiveness and Celebration

Silence, Stillness, and Centering before God (2 minutes) Scripture Reading – Luke 6:12-18 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles…(Then) he went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there…who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by evil spirits were cured, and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all. Devotional After being in solitude all evening, Jesus chooses the Twelve and forms a community. Henri Nouwen notes that two disciplines make community possible: forgiveness and celebration. He writes: “Forgiveness is to allow the other person not to be God. Forgiveness says, ” I know you love me,. Read more.

Forgiveness-The Most Difficult Spiritual Discipline

At a Fuller Theological Seminary event I attended last week, a student from the Congo named Patrick asked an Anglican bishop, “How do you forgive those who have killed a member of your family?” The bishop answered, “It is very difficult.” In a private conversation afterwards, I asked Patrick, “Were any of them Christian?”  “Yes,” he answered, “But they were of a different tribe.” This put my forgiveness struggles in perspective. Robert Muholland, a theologian and retired New Testament professor of Asbury Theological Seminary, recently said at our New Life Leadership Conference that forgiveness is the most difficult spiritual discipline. I think he is right. I have not thought of forgiving others as a discipline like prayer, Scripture study, worship, etc. This is a fresh nuance for me. It can take weeks, months, even years to forgive certain hurts done to us. The deeper the relational investment, the deeper the wound. Every leader in God’s church I have. Read more.

Shame and Leadership

Marjorie Thompson, in The Way of Forgiveness (Upper Room Books), distinguishes between guilt and shame.  She notes that guilt is about what we have done (“I did something bad”) while shame is about who we are (“I am bad”). Recognizing we’ve made a mistake, i.e. guilt, is very different from believing we are a mistake, i.e. shame. This led me, this past year and a half, into an exploration into shame –in Scripture, in my own life, in conversations with seasoned therapists, and to researchers of shame like Brene Brown. Shame is cruel. Like a hidden taskmaster, it drives us to overachieve, overwork, overcompensate, and protect ourselves with a face that is not our own. Shame is, at its essence, demonic. We can’t lead well without resisting the shame-based messages that come to us from the culture, our churches, our failures, and inside our own head. We can’t lead well when we feel deeply flawed. Read more.

Lance Armstrong, Grace, and Repentance

Lance Armstrong’s public apology this past week drew severe criticism for being incomplete, tentative, evasive, and lacking in true remorse. Yes, he admitted some things, but he still seemed to be spinning. Most people were unimpressed. I related to Lance Armstrong and was impressed. Why? I understand something of the deep, cunning nature of sin in my own life and the long process and stages of repentance. I also understand a little about the challenge to distinguish the complex, interior movements of my own heart. Tyler Hamilton, his former friend and teammate, reminds us of his own journey in coming clean. He too lived years of denial and lies around his use of performance-enhancing drugs. “When I first started telling the truth, it came out like water trickling out of a faucet,” Hamilton said. He talked about his early stages of admitting his guilt — the pain, the incompleteness, and the slow and brutal. Read more.