Visiting any retail store reveals the multiple choices available. Very little is as simple as only one choice.
Consider something as simple as soap. There are hundreds of soaps available: laundry, bath, dish, liquid, antibiotic, foam, etc.
Along with these choices, there are innumerable name and generic brands on the market. Plus, the purpose of the cleansing agent needed influences the type of soap to look for and the amount.
The issue of choice is not only found in the area of soap. Walk down the isle of any store and consider the choices available on any product. At times, it becomes overwhelming to determine exactly what is needed.
A study of leadership also reveals the challenge of making choices. The choice made by leaders can make the difference in success or failure, so what choice(s) should be made?
Sadly, many choices must be made by trial and error. Only after the results of the choice are seen can another decision be made concerning the appropriate direction to take.
Nothing is more significant than leading others to make the choice about their eternal destiny. Think Souls!
As David expressed the need to be silent before God and praise Him, he concluded by saying, “And to You the vow will be performed.”
Without going into a complete background of the Psalm, the two words that stand out in this passage are “vow” and “performed.”
The idea of a vow indicates one who enters an agreement to which they must be committed to fulfill. Solomon emphasized the seriousness of vows when he wrote, “It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay” (Ecclesiastes 5:5).
The word translated “performed” is joined with the vow, indicating that when the vow is paid. It completes an agreement so that both parties are in a state of peace (Lloyd, 1999). As a note of interest, the word translated “pay” in Ecclesiastes is the same word translated “performed.”
A leaders first responsibility is to God and then to those who follow. They must be committed to fulfill the responsibility of the relationship to which they have entered as leaders.
When they do, both parties are in a state of peace.
*Carr, G. Lloyd. “2401 שָׁלֵם”. In Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, edited by R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr. and Bruce K. Waltke. electronic ed. Chicago: Moody Press, 1999.
The synonyms for the word this week make for some interesting application. Honest, sincere, genuine, and trustworthy are a few that seem natural and positive. However, candid, frank, forthright, and straight are words with a little more bite to them.
Considering the opposite of truthfulness leads in one direction, deception.
Leaders need to not only be truthful in relationship to followers, they need to be truthful with themselves.
One of the greatest challenges for leaders is to be honest enough with themselves to make the kind of decisions that demonstrate their integrity.
Being truthful with the direction we should take may not always align with our initial plans.
Being truthful with those who are invested in following will not allow us to be self-centered.
Being truthful with God will always lead in paths of righteousness.
The application of truthfulness often falls short because leaders can fall prey to justifying their actions and convincing themselves something is true, when in reality it is false.
Leaders must be careful not to allow good intentions to vindicate pretentious actions.
Be truthful with self, others and God in all areas.
No matter what sporting event on television, there is 100% certainty that at some point there will be an instant replay.
Action is slowed down to carefully examine every angle of a tackle or pass, the pitch or batter’s swing, three point shot or a gliding slam dunk, and the same is true with all other sports.
Several interesting questions are raised when considering instant replay in leadership.
Has there been a time when we said or did something we wish we could rewind and do over?
How would it affect our leadership if we reviewed our words and actions through instant replay?
What would the future look like if we were able to slow down and carefully examine events of the past?
We know it is impossible to rewind time and change the words or actions of the past. What can be done to help implement the appropriate changes?
1) Learn from mistakes of the past.
2) Recognize the warning signs.
3) Think before speaking and acting, especially if anger is present.
More could be said, but this is a starting point for leaders considering an instant replay.
“There is no passion to be found playing small — in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Nelson Mandela
We are left to wonder what could really happen if leaders knew how to think big. The passion that drives greatness, especially from a spiritual perspective, can be nothing short of global.
The challenge of settling for less than what we are capable of is only coupled with the limitations placed upon what God is capable of doing through us…if we will only let Him.
We often believe God will not do it because we are convinced we cannot do it.
The “grasshopper syndrome” of the spies in Numbers 13-14 orchestrates our own defeat. The problem was not how the Israelites appeared in the eyes of the giants in Canaan. The problem was in how they saw themselves, grasshoppers in their own sight.
Leaders must not fall prey to this mindset. There must be a passion that is driven by and for greatness, a greatness that is only measured by the power of God to work in amazing and powerful ways.
Opportunities are circumstances providing possibility, either to be gained or lost.
It is a matter of faith. If we cannot see the possibilities, we will never take advantage of the opportunities.
We cannot fall into the trap of thinking we can sit back and wait for opportunities. If we do, chances are we will accomplish little, if anything.
Leaders have the greatest opportunity to influence the lives of others by example and instructional guidance by leading them to heaven. This is obviously a twofold application, as it includes leading the lost to Jesus and helping grow the faith of those who belong to Him.
How will this opportunity be fulfilled to its greatest potential?
1) We must open our eyes to the needs, physical and spiritual, of all people. This specifically involves those who are not like us.
2) We must also be ready to get involved, meaning there is a need to get our hands dirty.
3) We must rely completely on the power of God to open the doors and use us to His glory.
Seize the opportunities by seeing the incredible possibilities God provides.
As the psalmist identifies the source of his strength in God, he concludes by pointing out that God is also his portion forever.
The word translated “portion” is often translated as “reward.”
The power behind this thought is a key to spiritual leadership. Realizing that God is our strength gives us confidence, but knowing that He is our reward gives us hope.
Spiritual leaders must always portray the kind of confidence found in God given strength. However, one of the most powerful components to great leadership is the ability to instill hope in others.
The world is filled with so many challenges, discouragements and disappointments. Among all the needs, or perceived needs, hope tops the list.
When leadership provides others with hope; no matter how high the mountain, how low the valley, or the size of the obstacle, then we can endure and overcome.
With this in mind, let us lead with an understanding of what the future holds for those who are faithful followers.