“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” Johnny Cash
The thought today is directly related to an idea expressed by Paul in Philippians 3:13-14. While Paul was not necessarily focused on failure, when forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, the implication is connected.
Of all people who might allow the past to hinder their forward movement in the cause of Christ, Paul is near the top, if not at the top, of the list.
However, the key to remember with today’s thought is that we cannot live in or change the past. We must learn from it, good and bad. We must use our time, energy, and space to move forward in the development of a future that leads others spiritually. We build on the failures and improve our direction.
A revolution carries different meanings, depending on the individual listening.
On one hand, the idea of a revolution is an overthrow of a government or social order to be replaced by a new system. The American Revolution is only one of many identified throughout history.
On the other hand, the idea includes revolving around or orbiting another object. We associate the idea with the number of times a planet revolves around the sun or a moon around a planet.
Both ideas can be associated with the role of leaders. There are times when leaders need a revolution, a means to replace the current system with a new one. Spiritually speaking, this revolution occurred in the first century with the beginning of Christianity. Not only was there a replacement of the Jewish system, but Christianity replaced “all” systems.
Additionally, the revolution of one object around another indicates the power of consistent endurance. Regardless of the challenges, a sense of tenacity exists and strengthens when consistently enduring to reach the goal.
The ideas express a beautiful picture of Christians who understand the need for one more revolution.
The expression “pay it forward” describes the repayment of a good deed to someone other than the original benefactor.
The idea dates back centuries of time, even though the phrase was coined in the early part of the twentieth century. We see an application by people ranging from someone paying for the car behind them at a drive-through service to numerous physical blessings provided by generous donors who desire to better the lives of others.
The concept has a spiritual connection with biblical teaching in the book of Hebrews. The author urges readers to remember the person who led them and “considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith” (He. 13:7).
The emphasis relates to the word of God and how someone took the time to lead us to Christ. No greater act of paying something forward occurs than by duplicating the conduct of this person.
When we imitate such action, we are paying forward the spiritual blessings offered in Christ.
Naturally, by our leading others in this activity, we multiply the efforts by encouraging those who are led to emulate the same conduct.
If there has ever been any wonder to the validity of this word, confirmation exists today. According to the dictionary, the meaning of persnickety has powerful implications for leadership.
Two definitions characterize this week’s word. The first involves too much emphasis on trivial and minor details. The second requires a particularly precise or careful approach. Both ideas relate to areas concerning leadership.
Leadership can be hindered when mountains are made out of mole hills, when we major in the minors and minor in the majors. While trivial and minor details are a part of the overall picture, they must not be the priority and emphasis. These details can create a greater distraction from the need.
Our leadership, however, expands when utilizing a precise and careful approach. An approach to goal-setting, planning, decision-making, and task implementation with precision and watchfulness, establishes credibility in our adeptness to lead. Imagine the difference such an approach makes.
Based on the ideas expressed, adding a little “persnickety” to our leadership lends itself to developing a stronger approach when leading others.
We garner from the name itself the traits portrayed in this personality. The good traits include perfection, attention to detail, organizational skills, and they are usually very talented and skilled in art, music, and composition.
Perhaps the thought is, “we need someone like this on our team,” and that might be right as long as the melancholy personality can control whatever negative personality traits they possess. These include: depression, mania for perfection that keeps them from completing the job on time, mood swings (up one day and down the next), or sometimes a complete lack of interest in doing anything.
When motivated and controlled, they are productive and the most caring about detail and doing the job right the first time.
There can be, however, a hindrance when they spend too much time trying to get it perfect. There is also the difficulty of working with others because of their moodiness.
Knowing each type of personality enables leaders to understand those who follow and how to lead in the most beneficial way for the good of the individual and the church.
“Either do it or don’t do it. No more wishy-washy, half-hearted attempts. Either say ‘no’ to achievement or dig in and get to the bottom of the persistent incongruence between what you say and what you do.” Dan Kennedy
Today’s thought is convicting on a number of levels, but the idea of consistency and compatibility between words and actions in our leadership cannot be overstated.
Leaders cannot afford to approach decision-making with a half-hearted hope that it may or may not be the right decision.
Goals must be set with a confident assurance that the direction established will achieve the intended results.
Four ideas are portrayed when leaders dig in and work to achieve success: 1) Hope is instilled in followers, 2) A stronger morale drives the tasks in order to get the job done, 3) Doubt is eliminated, and 4) Credibility for future development is created.
Let us lead with such focus in mind and dig in until we achieve the task.
Making memories is an expression primarily used with families. The role of parental leadership in the family is vital to the success and future sustainability of the family.
Parents have a responsibility to insure they make memories with their children. Time flies by too quickly and children grow up too fast to be consumed with our personal goals and aspirations.
Thinking we have plenty of time and will get around to it tomorrow, next week, month, or year, is a dangerous way to think. Before we know it, our children grow up and move on and they are left without the memories of a childhood that should be filled with the joys of a family unit with the right balance.
The only perfect formula that can be used in raising children is given by God. Along the way, the memories we make with our children provide a foundation for the authority of God’s word to guide the instruction and discipline of our children.
Time passes too quickly not to give credence to this vital component of the family. What kind of memory-makers will our children remember?