Trust is one of those fascinating subjects. At one point or another, we have all said to someone, or heard them say to us, “trust me.”
Biblically, we know the emphasis in scripture on trusting God. When we consider the implications behind this, the intent is for us to understand that God is worthy of our trust. The reasons are fairly simple; He is faithful to keep His promise and guard what we entrust to Him.
This idea raises an interesting question: can God trust us? Do we have and demonstrate the type of character that is worthy of that trust?
The answer should align with the same reasons described with God. We must be faithful to our promise to Him and we need to guard what has been entrusted to us.
While both are critical for our development as Christians, the second needs a little clarification.
God has entrusted us with His word. If we are trustworthy we will be good students of His word and be diligent to make application of His word.
When this happens, it makes it easier to share it with others.
If there was ever a word more needed than this week’s word, it would be interesting to know what that word might be.
Certainly, there are many words that are needed by all of us when it comes to leadership and building relationships.
We need to consider, however, the significance of this word – apply.
From a biblical perspective we are talking about acting, doing, or making something happen with the information we learn. Jesus claimed that wisdom is based on hearing His words and acting upon them (Mt. 7:24-27). James warns of the self-deluding mindset that exists when we do not prove ourselves doers of the word (Jas. 1:21).
The list goes on, but the idea is the same. What good does it really do us to hear something that will improve our walk with God, help us mature in the faith, or strengthen our relationships with others and then do nothing? The answer lies in the two passages above.
Leadership requires us to provide an example of application if we ever hope to lead others in doing the same.
The general idea of walking a mile in someone else’s shoes is almost a foreign concept. We want others to understand what it is like to walk in our shoes, but walking in their shoes is not an appealing thought.
One of the qualities needed in leadership, however, is the ability to sympathize and empathize with others. Thus, we need to see through their eyes.
What will we see when looking through the eyes of others? A number of possibilities exist.
We may see ourselves differently than we expected.
We may see more hurt or pain.
We may see greater joy, love, faith, and peace.
We may also see different levels of need that we overlooked before.
Yes, the idea of this post is figurative, but whatever we see when taking time to see and feel what others see and feel, our leadership will unfold in ways that are “others-directed.”
Nothing is easy when considering the “how-to” of sympathizing and empathizing with others. The effort is worth the time we put into it because of the difference it makes for others and our own leadership.
“If you plan for a year, plant a seed;
If for 10 years, plant a tree;
If for a hundred years, teach the people.” unknown
This thought was shared by a good friend who has been a mentor for some time. The idea behind this thought leads to the direction of changing, not just the future, but generations to come.
Fads are quick to come and go, often without much remnant as to their influence. This is why it is fairly easy to plan for the short-term.
Thinking more long-term, however, requires more extensive consideration to the goals and plans to bring about the kind of transformation that influences our grandchildren’s children.
Now we are looking at a strategy that is more outward and others focused, one that examines how the future can be sustained beyond the present generational consumption that gives little thought to anything beyond the here and now.
This is where leaders are needed. The global culture that is developing requires leadership to step up and act in ways that will teach people. Here is where life changes, where the future changes, where generations change!
Is it even possible that there can be too much of a good thing?
Before we jump to any conclusions or provide any answers, maybe we need to consider exactly what is meant by a “good thing.”
A “good thing” is generally subjective to each individual based on their worldview. Obviously, this introduces a number of challenges to the task before us.
When we consider the range of mindsets from self-serving to self-denying, we realize quickly that a “good thing” can either be about what benefits “me” or “others.”
From a biblical perspective, the servant leadership model is one that focuses on the benefits of others, placing their needs above our own.
If everyone understood and practiced this form of leadership, would it be possible to have too much of a “good thing?”
The answer seems clear and certainly one that requires each of us to examine where we are on the spectrum of evaluating the idea of a “good thing” and how we apply what is needed to influence the people within our “worldview.”
This post relates to more than hunters, but since hunting season is not too far off, they will certainly relate to the idea of having only one shot. When the opportunity is present, there may only be one shot, so it needs to count.
Metaphorically, the same is true when considering the opportunities God provides in reaching out to others with the gospel, leading them to Christ. If we only had one shot, we can understand the necessity of making it count. What factors need to be considered to make it count?
The priority must be focused on Christ. Scripture is clear; Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (Jn. 14:6).
The reality is we do not know how many opportunities will be provided, yet the need is the same. People need to know Jesus and we develop those relationships in hopes of sharing a message that will change their lives eternally.
One shot may be all we need, so we need to be ready for it and make it count!
The idea of controlling every part, however small, of a project or activity defines the word of the week.
In the realm of leadership, there are those who practice a micro-management style of leadership. They want to have a hand in every intricate part of the project or activity.
There seems to be a level of fear involved if something happens they are not explicitly involved in controlling.
They also fear, perhaps above all, the idea of losing control and, ultimately, losing their job.
At times, there is even the idea of having such responsibility they need full control.
We need to rethink the approach we take in leading others for the sake of our Lord and Savior. We need to reassess our role and that of our God.
We plant and water, remembering that He is the One who will make it grow. If we can focus on doing our part, He will do His!
The challenge enters when we think we are responsible for God’s part and micro-manage our influence in leading others. Trust God to do His part, as we do ours.