The idea of potential is prevalent in every area of life, but what is potential?
Basically, potential is an ability or capability with the possibility of being or becoming something.
In his book, 9 Things A Leader Must Do, Dr. Henry Cloud writes, “One of the worst things you can die with is potential.”
The wheels ought to be turning. What is our potential? How do we achieve our greatest potential? While other questions came to mind, these two need priority.
We cannot know or reach our greatest potential without taking some level of risk. We must determine our desires and the necessary path to reach them. We must be willing to step out of the comfort zone and do whatever it takes.
Cloud goes on to point out “potential is something to be realized, not guarded or protected. So, dig it up! Invest it!”
Our spiritual leadership involves potential. Others follow and depend on us. Reaching out to maximize our potential enables us to help others reach their potential. Spiritually, when the potential of God’s people is unleashed, we will change the world.
The fourth step up the leadership mountain is a beautiful step of fulfillment, “blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” The thought is often expressed in relationship to the word of God, but the word of God is not mentioned in this context.
The terms used are interesting: “hungering and thirsting” for what is right with God or what God calls right.
From the Old Testament, familiar to the Jews Jesus addresses, it was not uncommon for righteousness to be associated with justice for the poor, orphans, and widows (Proverbs 14:31-35; Isaiah 11:1-5; and Jeremiah 22:15-18). These are a few passages addressing the subject.
Consider the way Jesus used this term in Mt. 5:6, 10, 20, 45; 6:1, 33. If righteousness is replaced by the word “justice,” and seen in light of helping those in need, imagine the impact in application.
Leaders are needed who understand the righteousness / justice directed to the afflicted and recognize that climbing the leadership mountain of God demands attention to the kind of satisfaction that comes by hungering and thirsting for this kind of righteousness / justice.
“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.” Bruce Lee
Reading this several times brought a number of thoughts to mind. We understand the value of working a little each day to improve who we are and what we do as leaders. This post is not intended to diminish that thought.
While reading the thought of the day, the expression is one not considered before when thinking about how to develop our leadership.
The idea of hacking away at the nonessentials, removing the weight that easily burdens us and slows us down, eliminating areas of life that are unimportant to the greater development of our spiritual well-being, or eradicating the distractions vying for our attention, is a thought that can be a game changer.
Take a moment and evaluate the areas in life that fall into the category of nonessentials. This exercise alone will help prioritize life, regain needed focus, and strengthen our resolve in matters of eternal consequence.
Our health, our family, our jobs, our God, and His church deserve consideration of this thought.
Everyone seeks, or at least they should, timeless nuggets of advice. I am talking about those pieces of information unaltered by time, generation, or culture. These nuggets are not always easy to find and often they are overlooked for something believed to have greater value.
Joshua was given a piece of advice meeting our criteria: “be strong and very courageous.” God emphasized strength and courage three times in this context.
As we consider the timeless nature of this advice, the context has powerful implications in the realm of spiritual leadership.
Notice the key thoughts associated with this advice:
Be careful to do according to all the law.
Do not turn from it to the right or to the left.
This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth.
You shall meditate on it day and night.
Be careful to do according to all that is written in it.
God specifies that Joshua’s success depends on following this advice.
The success of our leadership today depends on following this timeless advice. How different would our world be if spiritual leaders had the strength and courage to do so?
Tax day is not one of those days that people look forward to, at least not in this country. The deadline of submitting the proper documentation and funds (if required) is not one that excites most of us.
The concept of paying taxes is nothing new. We read throughout scripture the idea of paying tax. As a matter of fact, Jesus is credited with saying “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s” (Mt. 22:21).
Additionally, Paul instructed the church in Rome, “render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due” (Rom. 13:7).
While the primary focus of this post is not about paying tax, nor is it politically motivated, the idea represented here is important to leadership.
The idea is one of respect for those who are in positions of authority, with the ultimate respect for God’s authority.
Spiritually motivated, leaders who model this thought not only follow God’s instruction, but they also help others understand the need to do the same.
Instead of speaking against authority, let us model respect for it.
What comes to mind when the word ecstatic is used? Energy, electricity, elated, euphoric? Truth be told, this word is not used often enough when it comes to leadership.
For some reason, leadership is generally seen as one that carries the responsibility of dealing with all the problems, negativity, and challenges of an organization.
Leaders are responsible for solutions, maintaining a positive morale, and addressing the challenges head-on in order to keep the company moving forward.
Rarely do we hear that leadership is glamorous.
Imagine the difference in leaders and followers if words like ecstatic were used frequently to describe the atmosphere. Consider the impact a leader has when a level of energy is the driving force to accomplish established goals.
What it comes down to is a decision to demonstrate this quality in our leadership. We can permit ourselves to be drawn into the negative side of leadership, or we can choose to step up with a different approach, changing our direction in ways that influence others toward greater achievement.
Either way, the choice is ours. Let us take the road less traveled and make an ecstatic impact.
The third step up the leadership mountain is one that naturally flows with the progression of humility and the outward affection / mourning over the sins of others. The idea expressed by Jesus is “blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.”
Other translations use the term “meek,” but often times the idea of meekness is misunderstood as weakness and this does not relate the significance of this word.
Gentleness, as seen in this step up the mountain, is one that involves gentle courage. We are talking about the ability to handle situations with courage and an ability to do so carefully and thoughtfully.
Leaders who are not careful to give thought to their decisions and actions without considering the outcome for others, leave a trail of wounds that hinder their ability to lead well.
When leaders are considerate and contemplative of both decisions and actions, the approach of those who follow is one of gentleness.
Interestingly enough, synonyms for the word “gentle” include considerate, tender, compassionate, kind, and understanding. All of these words qualify the leadership of Jesus and should qualify our leadership also.