There is a constant amazement when learning or picking up on phrases with such powerful meaning in leadership.
A good friend tags their e-mails with this phrase: “let my words testify…let my actions magnify…let my heart glorify the Lord.”
As the words play over and over, thoughts about spiritual leadership continue to sound loudly.
The words we speak, the actions we demonstrate, and the attitudes we portray become the building blocks for our leadership.
A similar thought is expressed by the Psalmist in answering the question “O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill?” The answer follows; “he who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart.”
The church, the world, co-workers, friends, neighbors, and our family are all watching us. They measure our character by the words and actions displaying our attitude.
Spiritual leaders must constantly and diligently guard every aspect of life.
Let our words testify…Let our actions magnify…Let our hearts glorify the Lord.
“In times like these it is good to remember that there have always been times like these.” Paul Harvey
No matter what these times may be in our lives, this is a great quote to remember, especially as leaders.
Over the past 50 years of life we have all seen several changes within the church. Some of these changes have been good and some destructive.
There were “times like these” on several occasions. At the time we may have wondered if this was the only time something like this has happened. Have others faced the same challenges and struggled with the same feelings?
Solomon reminds us there is nothing new under the sun. Paul Harvey expresses it another way, but the thought is the same.
Leaders will always face challenges when leading others. It may be a different generation, culture, gender, age, or time of day, but the outcome is the same. There will always been times like these.
Let us remember to seek God’s counsel and listen to His word. Here is the only place we will find the true answers to solve the problems we face.
Life presents difficulties, challenges too great to handle. No problem, just push the “easy” button.
While an easy button might help in the purchase of office supplies, life and leadership do not work this way.
Challenges tend to occur when the path is the smoothest.
Perhaps we just walked through the valley of the shadow of death and now see the “light at the end of the tunnel.”
Maybe success was in reach after months or years of intensive planning and work.
At times, when one challenge begins and another sits down beside it.
We are all aware of needing an easy button, a do-over. We just want a chance at a fresh start.
This is not unique. The challenge is recognizing the times in life when difficulties arise and knowing how to lead.
No one is exempt. Spiritual leaders have the task of helping those encountering struggles in life face them with confidence and assurance. We need to provide a measure of hope. Christ, our hope, is the only possibility of an easy button, not an easy life, but an opportunity to have a fresh start.
Does leadership influence culture, or does culture influence leadership? There is a great deal of controversy over the answer.
Examining the characteristics of culture from each decade over the last 90 years and the leadership of the country reveals interesting information.
The conclusion is split. There are times when it seems the culture influenced leadership. However, it would appear at times, leadership influenced culture, as with Harry Truman during World War II.
Amazingly, the definition of leadership changed each decade in relationship to the culture and the current leadership.
This is also biblically true. When men like Joshua led Israel, his influence led God’s people to remain loyal and faithful. However, we also find the mindset of Israel, at a divisive point, selecting Jeroboam as king. The result was spiritually devastating.
While we may never have a definitive answer, one thought is clear. God intends spiritual leaders to influence the culture and not the reverse.
The task before us is to be the influence in our world. Our prayer should be to arise and accept the challenge with courage and boldness. Eternity matters.
Everyone wants the best. We want the best technological equipment. We want the best car. We want the best clothes and food. We want the best service. We want the best leadership. We want the BEST!
The problem comes in defining “the best.”
The bottom line is “the best” is subjective. The best for one person may not be the best for another.
In addition, what is the basis for the definition? Will the best be defined by work effort? Cost? Achievement? Time spent?
When considering leadership, one might think the pursuit of the best is the right direction. However, it depends on the definition and the foundation of the definition.
Instead, we must pursue excellence. The pursuit of excellence provides a consistency to leadership, especially spiritual leadership.
Pursuing excellence acknowledges the present situation and need.
Pursuing excellence desires to learn and improve.
Pursuing excellence strives to constantly make proper application.
We should give thought to the direction of our leadership. Pursuing excellence will make a difference in our life and in others.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? We have heard the fairy tale and perhaps joked about the absurdity of a mirror responding to our requests.
However, have we looked in the mirror lately? The idea of looking into a mirror dates back to Biblical times.
Mirrors reflect the image standing before it. The concept can be literal or symbolic, physical or spiritual. James writes about the need to look into the mirror of God’s word and see if His word is reflected in our lives.
Sadly, mirrors have often become a tool of vanity, but mirrors also provide a benefit to those who take advantage of their purpose.
Spiritual leaders need to desperately look into the mirror of their leadership. The image reflected helps determine the core of our existence and what we desire to accomplish.
Look intently. Examine beyond the surface. Make the changes needed. Lead with purpose based upon our true reflection.
“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” John F. Kennedy
Generally speaking, two of the most important words in any language are “thank you.”
We live in a world often characterized by entitlement. While the youth are quickly identified by this thought, there needs to be consideration to where they learned it.
The age of entitlement influences everyone. We feel we have the right. After all, we are special, therefore entitled to receive. Others should want to give.
We could spend numerous posts discussing the topic and all the consequences of this mindset, but this is not the purpose of today’s thought.
The thought today is an exhortation to consider the people who make a difference in our lives and express appreciation.
Whether a parent, child, friend, teacher, coach, spiritual leader, or someone else, take a moment today to call, write a note, or go to them and thank them for the difference their influence has made in our lives.
We might be surprised at the difference it makes in their lives to do so.