“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” John Lubbock
While this appears to be a simple thought, there is great depth to the application. Jesus reminds us of the value found in the priority of seeking the kingdom of God, and when we seek we will find.
Again, it depends on what we are seeking.
Are we seeking to find the best in others…or the worst?
Do we seek the truth…or are we satisfied with preconceived ideas?
Are we content with seeking to get by…or do we seek ways to excel?
Do our passions seek to be authoritative….or do we trust in good intentions?
Will we seek to provide compassionate and understanding leadership…or will we seek our own way?
The list goes on, but we all get the point.
Remember, people reflect the attitude and character we demonstrate. Be cautious, because they will also find what they are looking for in us as leaders.
Their attitude truly reflects leadership. What we look for in others is exactly what they will look for in us. Are we leading with this in mind?
There will not be enough space in weekly leadership posts to exhaust every possibility about the subject of character.
However, it should go without saying that a leader’s character is invaluable. Without godly character, a leader cannot succeed in leading as God desires.
Character is the very substance of leadership. Where there is character, there will always be leadership.
John Maxwell claims, “Talent is a gift, but character is a choice.” Character in leadership will be indicated by the actions created from the choices made. With each choice, character is developed.
Within a fortune cookie from several years back the following statement was found: “God gives us one face and we make for ourselves another.” This is character.
Why is it so significant to examine areas regarding leadership character?
How should character be defined? How does character define our leadership? What happens when our character is flawed or seen as no longer credible?
We will explore these questions and other important areas about the need to understand character and our leadership. We will also consider several practical areas in developing leadership character.
Levi, better known as Matthew, is an unlikely candidate for leadership. He was a tax collector and hated by the Jews. They were betrayers not leaders. They were not seen as an example to follow.
What makes Matthew a great Bible leader? He was an apostle called by Jesus, but what made him different? Consider two reasons.
Committed: The text is explicit about how Matthew, when he was called by Jesus, immediately left everything behind to follow. He walked away from security and also a wealthy job. He left any opportunity of providing for the future of family. If that doesn’t take commitment, what does?
Compassionate: Matthew hosted a great feast for Jesus. He did not invite the “well-to-do.” He invited what the Pharisees called “tax collectors and sinners.” Matthew wanted all his friends to hear about Jesus.
There is not a great deal known about Matthew, but these two areas alone cause him to stand out as a great Bible leader. Our prayer should be that we all realize the need to be committed and compassionate in leading others. Think Souls!
How should help be defined? A quick look in the dictionary reveals a number of thoughts: “making it easier (for someone) to do something by offering one’s services or resources; improve (a situation or problem), be of benefit to by assisting, serving, and the list goes on.”
The challenge has never been the definition, but the application. There is a difference between helping and enabling. There is also a difference in how we perceive helping and the reality of our actions.
Remember the proverb defining the contrast in giving someone a fish to feed them for a day and teaching them how to fish and feed them for life. Which one is really helping?
Our leadership needs to be based on the same idea. When we strive to help someone, it should be considered beyond the temporary need of the moment, lest we find ourselves placing a bandaid on an open wound.
Let us lead with the conviction of helping others long term, perhaps eternally. Here is where the legacy of our leadership will be determined.
Leaders must be concerned for the common good of all people.
Biblically, God’s people have always been charged with caring for the poor, widows, and orphans. More than 2,000 verses in the Bible touch on this subject.
Somehow, we need to consider how we are going to carry out God’s justice / righteousness in caring for these needs.
James is explicit: “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world” (James 1:27).
We know the discussion regarding individual or congregational application. Let us consider, regardless of the position, we are doing a very poor job of fulfilling it!!!!
We often excuse ourselves by allowing other organizations to assume this responsibility, or we throw a few dollars their way.
This post is not an attempt to take anything away from the necessity of spiritual concern for all people, but when our efforts to help the poor, widows, and orphans are minimal, are we leading them to the Lord?
It is time for leaders to lead all, especially the most unlikely.
“Never make a promise you can’t keep.” Herb Tatum
The intent is not to discuss the possibilities that exist when it comes to making promises. We all realize there can be circumstances that prevent us from keeping a promise. However, this is not the point of this thought.
What is the point? We need to be careful and thoughtful before speaking. It is not about making a promise by swearing on the Bible, “a dead relative, or even those who are not feeling so good.” (If the last part does not make sense, then watch the 2002 movie, The Count of Monte Cristo)
Jesus noted several times the need for us to be careful about our words. Our “yes” needs to mean “yes” and our “no,” “no.” When we say we are going to do something, then do it.
Nothing is more frustrating than when someone says, “I’ll call you right back,” and then they never do. This is magnified even more when it extends into other areas.
Be a leader who is bound to their word. Never make a promise you can’t keep!
One of the greatest needs in our world and yet one of the greatest challenges involves love. Without understanding God’s love for us we face the obstacle of how to lead others with love.
We say this because God loves us for who we are and where we are, unconditionally. Unconditionally is what introduces the challenge.
As Christians who grow and nurture our relationship with God, we can easily lose sight of our past life and the expression of God’s love at the time when we were helpless, ungodly, sinners, and enemies. In this condition, Paul tells us God demonstrates His love toward us.
Notice Paul did not say demonstrated, as in past tense. The word is present active showing that God demonstrates His love now and there is no assessment of it ever ending.
To lead others to the love of God, we must demonstrate the nature of God’s love to them.
We must show love even toward those who are not always the easiest to love. Is it easy? We cannot say it was for Christ, but He did so anyway. Therefore, can we do the same?