There are few things the world needs more than leaders who know themselves and know God, who are able to differentiate from the countless voices around them and do the Father’s will. The following are a few makers of a life with a growing, differentiated self: Life becomes easier. More ability to choose between thinking and feeling. More ability to choose one’s emotions. Less worry about what other’s think. People in one’s family are doing better. Goals become clearer. An ability to “stay out” of others’ emotions. More curiosity. Clearer thinking. Thinking systems more often. Better health, fewer symptoms of all kinds. Able to take a well, thought-out position. More goals become realities. Better, cleaner relationships Are you progressing on this difficult journey of leading others? Let me encourage you to read, or re-read, chapter four in Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (“Know Yourself that You May Know God”) and The Emotionally Healthy Woman (This is. Read more.
Malcolm Muggeridge argued that, if Jesus was alive today, there may have been a fourth temptation. It is the temptation to a fast faith and a fast leadership. He describes it like this: One day a Roman tycoon named Lucius hears Jesus preaching in Galilee and is very impressed. “This Jesus has star potential. He could be a superstar!” He tells his representatives to “puff Jesus,” then bring him to Rome – along with the John the Baptist guy. Lucius promises: “I’ll put him on the map, launch him off to a tremendous career as a worldwide evangelist. I’ll spread his teaching throughout the civilized world and beyond. He’d be crazy to turn it down! Instead of a ragtag lot following him from Galilee, everyone will know him.” Jesus, of course, says no and is dismissed as irrelevant. “Away from me, Satan! For it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only’”. Read more.
Patience is a form of wisdom. Some things must unfold in their time. A child that rushes a baby chick to hatch ultimately kills it. The straining and process of birthing is God’s way to prepare the chick to survive into adulthood. In the same way, God rewires and forms us into our true selves in Christ, burning out that which does not belong to Him, through our slow sufferings and struggles. God’s process cannot be hurried. As Rilke says: “Have patience with everything that is unsolved in your heart, and try to cherish the questions themselves. Perhaps one day… gradually… you will live right into the answer.” Move towards your goals, but with a sacred patience. Prayerfully ponder the questions to which you have no answers. He will lead you into the answers.
Leaders have a number of key tasks if we are to operate out of high level of integrity. These include: 1. Confronting myself. Am I calm and clear about what God has given me to do? Where am I doing the easy thing, not the best thing for those around me? Where am I abandoning my own values? How am I allowing fear to cause me to ignore problems? 2. Mastering myself in the face of anxiety. When we don’t, we end up looking for validation from other people. We end up using the people we aim to serve. 3. Tolerating discomfort. There is never a good time to change things. In fact, it is impossible to create change while maintaining stability. To kindly bring up hard things others want is one of our critical tasks. 4. Getting clear on my goals and steps. This is hard work.The alternative, however, is much worse. Once. Read more.
Seth Godin wrote a great blog called, “The First Thing You Do When You Sit Down at the Computer” each day. He says, “If you’re an artist, a leader or someone seeking to make a difference, the first thing you do should be to lay tracks to accomplish your goals.” I think he is right – for artists and leaders at least. If you are a Christ follower, however, the first thing you are to do is “to get up and go” to the place of grace like the younger son in Luke 15:11-24. Soak in the unconditional love that God bestows on you. Let Him heal your shame and celebrate over you “with music and dancing.” Dare to believe that you are His beloved. Adam and Eve lost this sense of their blessed identity and listened instead to the voice of temptation. In their hiding God sought them, asking “Where are you?” God. Read more.
Geri and I were in the car last weekend driving in beautiful upstate New York, taking one of our daughters to look at colleges and began talking about the dynamics of leadership. Soon, we realized we had stumbled upon a simple, but powerful process of leading well – at least in God’s church — that is now helping us quite a bit. 1. Monitor Your Heart. Whether it is preparing for sermons, reading a book on strategy, sitting through a staff meeting, or deciding on priorities, I am guarding my heart. Is my motive really God’s glory or is this about me? Am I anxious? If so why, and how is that impacting my decisions now? Am I avoiding a challenging reality? a confrontation? Is the content of this sermon I am preparing simply head knowledge? How does it speak to my life? Am I really living what I am preaching? This of course requires. Read more.