“The habit of always putting off an experience until you can afford it, or until the time is right, or until you know how to do it is one of the greatest burglars of joy. Be deliberate, but once you’ve made up your mind – jump in.” Charles R. Swindoll
Today’s thought is filled with encouragement. How many times have we continued to procrastinate when a decision needed to be made? Our intentions were in the right place, but we were waiting for the “right time.”
This can happen when beginning a family, i.e. getting married or having children. We also see it pop up in areas of career choices. Someone once said, “If you don’t love what you do, then do something else. Life is too short to not enjoy what you do each day.”
Our lives should be deliberate and intentional. Once we choose the direction we want to pursue, the area we are most passionate about, then jump in. When we do what we love the most, then we will notice how joy finds its way back into our lives.
Now that we have all the hoopla of the New Year’s festivities behind us, it is time to keep the ball rolling.
Apart from the challenges of learning to write 2016 instead of 2015 (usually takes about a month), what areas do we need to focus on regarding our leadership?
We need to take the adequate time to evaluate what has been done over the past year. The only true picture for the year ahead is built upon understanding past failures and successes.
We need to implement the proper changes necessary to bring appropriate growth. Change is essential to growth, but understanding the proper changes is the key.
We need to provide the appropriate support to the individuals who will contribute to the changes. Remember that any progress made by proposed changes will not be made alone.
We need to work according to available resources. Using and building upon our strengths will increase our strengths for greater stability and development.
Avoid procrastination and pursue dedication. Seek out and follow the counsel of those who are closest, then give our best to every endeavor.
Moses is an obvious choice for several reasons.
The fact he led the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage, even through the challenges of their excessive grumbling, would rank him as a great Bible leader.
Looking at his character, more humble than any man on earth, we see a great Bible leader.
Recognizing his willingness to follow the advice of Jethro, preserving his mental and physical faculties, we find a great Bible leader.
However, it is not for these reasons we consider Moses today.
Moses is an example of a great Bible leader because he started like most of us, denying God’s power to use him to lead His people. When Moses finally submitted himself to God’s authority and direction, we find Moses becoming what God needed him to be.
He had flaws, needed patience, and he needed to treat God as holy.
The objective for us is to learn how God can use us with our flaws and imperfections. If we submit to God’s authority, we allow Him make us into the spiritual leaders He needs us to be.
Community comes from the idea of commune, which involves sharing something in common. Location, interests, pursuits, and many more make up a few areas that fall into the category of commonalities.
From this basis, we connect to the concept of people in a community. Biblically, we find this sense of community in the example of the early church. Acts 2 and 4 record the beauty of community that shared all things: spiritually, physically, and psychologically.
The challenges we face today stem from the contrast of individualism and community. With a culture bent on pushing individualism, the influence can devastate the church. Perhaps this is the underlying cause of many who leave one congregation for another; their individual needs are not met.
Promoting and implementing the concept of community will not be an easy road to walk. Overcoming the individualistic mindset that is so pervasive will be difficult.
Community is more than meeting for worship three times a week, but the intermingling of lives on a daily basis, as demonstrated in Acts 2:46.
Our prayer should be to develop a greater sense of belonging to God’s community than the community of the world.
Maintaining good physical health does not come easy. We need a strong determination to structure our lives with discipline in areas of physical activity and healthy eating habits. Maintaining good spiritual health requires the same determination and application of discipline.
Paul wrote, “I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (1 Co. 9:27). In the context of leading others to Christ, Paul knew the challenges of aligning the example of our physical life with the truth of the gospel.
People need to see the message as well as hear it. How do we make this alignment possible? Two simple ideas:
Reflection: Each night, look back over the day and consider conversations, actions, attitudes, etc. Do they reflect what we want as an example of Christianity?
Correction: Do not make excuses, make changes. Each day is a new opportunity to start fresh and work on the areas of our conversations, actions, attitudes, etc.
A little forethought goes a long way in developing the right kind of discipline for spiritual health.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” Rumi
Read this quote several times and think about the implications of what is said. Most of the people associated with spiritual leadership desire to change the world. An unending list of questions would need to be answered to even consider the task.
We know the gospel is the power of God to save those who believe. The idea of changing the world, or in this context changing others, cannot be achieved by compulsion or coercion. If change is achieved by such means the results will not last.
Because this is true, the wisdom of today’s thought introduces us to significant ramifications. When we focus on changing ourselves we provide a living testimony for the world as to the benefits that come from implementing change.
The time involved to develop wisdom of this nature varies, but the value of realizing this thought cannot be overstated or underestimated.
Leading a worldwide effort of change begins simply with changing ourselves. The rest seems to take care of itself.
Chances are if you are reading this post, you have a computer or electronic device. If so, there is familiarity with the idea of downloading.
Downloading is a common occurrence with files, programs, or general information from Internet sources.
Think about the concept. Literally, the idea is about transferring information from one source to another in an understandable format. The purpose is to give the receiver beneficial information.
There is also the experienced challenges of downloading a virus. A virus can hinder, shut down, and/or destroy the working function of the computer or device.
Computers commonly download updates for programs we use frequently. These updates are beneficial to the overall performance of our computer or device.
Consider our spiritual leadership.
People who listen and follow are constantly downloading information from us. Is the information hindering, shutting down, or destroying the working function of their service? Are we providing information in an understandable, beneficial format? Does the information received improve the overall performance of the individual or group?
Our leadership can make a difference. Make sure those who follow download the right material.