Lead Well: Repentance & Forgiveness

Leading well in life can be a challenge, even at the best of times. We will enjoy great days, followed quickly by what I lovingly refer to us ‘other days’.  We can create success out of nothing, yet sabotage ourselves just as easily.

And the biggest of sabotages will not come from problems we cannot solve, or from people who refuse to work with us, and not even from missing out on the success we consider we deserve. The greatest of sabotage will come from ourselves and how we respond to the mistakes we make along the way.

Will we cover up? Will we keep living like the other stuff hasn’t really happened? Or will we face the truth of it?

These are pivotal moments. Back in my twenties when I was confronted about certain lifestyle choices I had a decision to make. Ignore it or do the right thing. I had lied, covered up, behaved badly and now it had finally caught me out.

What I did was the hardest thing I had ever done, yet at the same time, it was the best thing I have ever done. I had some really difficult conversations with people I loved and asked them to forgive me.

It was a journey of repentance and forgiveness which was excruciatingly painful but beautifully liberating, all at the same time. I had learned one of my best lessons and I acknowledge that without travelling this path, I may not be leading the life I now am.

Be ready to repent. Be ready to ask for forgiveness. These two might be our greatest defence, helping us to keep leading well in life and to fulfil our true potential for God.

Repentance breaks the hold of whatever it is that has a hold of you.

Repentance disarms those things which can sabotage your God-given potential.

Repentance brings the truth out in to the open where it can then be dealt with.

Repentance gives God permission to get involved and to turn things around.

Repentance leads to forgiveness which leads to an outpouring of grace which sets you up for the future.

Repentance reminds you how much God loves you and how much those closest to you love you as well.

Let today be a pivotal moment kind of day. Be willing to be confronted or to confront yourself. For what and where do you need to say sorry? Who do you need to ask for forgiveness? Take the first step on this journey and don’t allow them to control you anymore.

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Lead Well: Embrace the WHOLE Process

Before we became Christians life was complete. Or at least we assumed so.

We were seemingly ‘whole’ without realising we were in fact incomplete, broken. We were spiritually dead, not understanding we had been created to be alive to God. A paradigm shift was needed, as it is impossible to know we are spiritually dead when we are spiritually dead.

We fill life with anything other than God in the hope those things will complete us, fill us, satisfy us. We place huge amounts of energy and behaviour into the pursuit of what should make us whole. But when we have them, we crave just a little bit more so will then be satisfied, again.

Yet, something seems to be missing. We can’t put our finger on it but we ask questions like, ‘Is this it?’ ‘Is there more than this?’ The promise of our deepest needs being met by all that the world has to offer is found to be untrue. The picture we think is real begins to show some cracks.

Then we encounter God. Our spiritual antenna begins to receive a signal and how we perceive everything starts to change. For the first time we question. We start on a journey where we have to acknowledge that nothing truly satisfies except God alone.

Significance, acceptance, security. Other things may temporarily fill these needs but only God can truly provide them.

We become whole. By faith in the complete work of Jesus Christ we are made whole. Inviting Jesus into our lives is the beginning of a journey from ‘whole’ to what I am calling a another level of ‘whole’. From WHOLE 1.0 with our basic faith, to WHOLE 2.0 as we add to this basic faith.

The journey is a lifetime long. Our role is simply to be willing to participate in the process. The process of growing in character and more importantly, becoming more like Jesus.

At WHOLE 1.0 when life takes a bite out of us we may still endeavour to cram it with temporary fillers. As we grow and mature in our experience of Jesus our sense of WHOLENESS changes. When life takes a bite of us we discover new qualities come into play. We have hold of our basic faith and see that through life’s moments God is adding to us. We display the characteristics of someone who has embraced the process, moving to WHOLE 2.0

Would love to hear what you have learned on the journey from WHOLE 1.0 to WHOLE 2.0. How has God added to your basic faith so you are growing in character and becoming more like Jesus?

 

 

Lead Well: Store Wisdom

To lead well in life, wisdom is essential. Check out my previous thoughts about seeking wisdom.

But where does great wisdom come from? We can have genius thoughts on occasion but let’s be honest, those times of absolute clarity and inspiration can be pretty rare.

Wise people place themselves in the right environment where there is opportunity to receive such new understanding. Wise people have their antenna up, looking to capture wisdom and store it up for future opportunities. As we go through life, each day and each experience provides us with wisdom gathering moments by which we can learn and grow.

Be on the look out today for any of these places where wisdom is stored up for us to glean from and access for ourselves whenever the moment calls for it…

Wisdom from our past experiences. Nothing is wasted.

Wisdom from when we have had success.

Wisdom from when we have failed.

Wisdom from trying. Just ask Thomas Edison how that worked out for him.

Wisdom from feedback. Both the asked for and the sort people just love to give you.

Wisdom from reading & learning.

Wisdom from the right people.

Wisdom from starting. Stepping into something new. Doing something for the first time.

Wisdom from Gods word.

Wisdom from hearing God’s voice.

Where would you go for wisdom? And why not share the best piece of wisdom you have been given?

 

Lead Well: Get Back in Sync

I’m a little out of whack at the moment. I don’t seem to have a good rhythm or flow to my week and it is frustrating me.

There are legitimate reasons for this. I’m covering some extra responsibilities so my week is a little more full than usual. But this just demonstrates more reasons to make sure the flow is right. 

When I’m out of sync I am less productive. Don’t get me wrong, stuff still gets done but I flit from one thing to the next, trying to do multiples tasks at once and this is never the best way for me to approach my day.  Posts don’t get written. The book just seems to take ages to finish off. Each day seems to own me.

Being out of sync equals increased levels of agitation and frustration. 

When I’m in sync the opposite is true, productivity levels go up. My focus is better. I have a clean desk and clarity of thinking. The right things get the right focus at the right time.

Being in sync equals increased levels of enjoyment towards the work I am doing.

It doesn’t take much to get back on track, to re-align my working week. 4 things usually help me…

Plan ahead. This is not about having the mother of all to-do lists although that can help. It’s more to do with knowing what are the things which only I can do and which tasks can be delegated. This involves taking some time out to review projects and tasks I currently have ongoing and marking them in one of 4 ways – for me NOW, for me LATER, for someone else NOW, for someone else LATER.

6 by 6 idea. Every now and then I do this Pastor Bill Hybels idea. What are the 6 things which need my attention in the next 6 weeks? These are the projects, tasks or people who should be receiving the greatest of my time and investment.

Sort the diary. Block times in – for actually getting stuff done. Make sure meetings are needed and then don’t overrun. We may not all be systems people but the diary can help create and protect a good flow for the week.

Say NO to some stuff. This can be the hardest thing to do but often the most powerful. It may only be for a season but if it helps make the best use of your time and increases your effectiveness, then NO may have to become my best friend for a while.

This is just my thinking of where I am right now and how to get myself back on the front foot and feeling a little more focussed and productive in all the right areas. Starts tomorrow when I’m back in the office after a few days off. 

What do you do to get yourself back on track?

Lead Well: Think Things Through

For three days this week I was at a Conference in Peterborough with some of the Xcel Leaders. The topic this time was mission and evangelism. In reality the topic of conversation is not important. Instead, it’s the principle of what we were doing which is more important.

If we want to lead well in life we have to be willing to give time to thinking things through And to do so the following 3 step process we were encouraged to use may help.

1. REALITY: Whatever the focus of thinking, how are things right now? What’s working, not working? Be honest. One good thing to do is give yourself a score between 1-5 (where 5 = good).

2. POSSIBILITY: Take some time to think about all the possible ideas. What could you do? This provides a great opportunity to dream, create and innovate, alongside the seemingly obvious stuff too.

3. ACTION: From all the possibilities choose no more than 3 which you could work on. Attach milestones to each one, dates for accomplishment and metrics to measure success.

This process for helping our thinking process could be used for just about any issue. In the end it creates some focus for our energies which have the potential to bring about the much needed turnaround or transformation.

What do you think? How could you make this work for you?

Lead Well: Good Company

We know this is true ~ who you hang around with shapes you. The right people in your life with the right words at the right time can make the right kind of difference.

Good company is different to hanging out your ‘friends’ after work for a drink. These are the friendships which go beneath the surface. More than a like on social media, these are the ones who show up when you really need them.

Good company is people who encourage, support, pray for and speak life over you. It is the ones who come alongside through the toughness, not necessarily to try and fix you but to simply sit in silence with you. It is the ones who don’t mock your grand ideas. Or let you get away with not chasing after those same ideas. Good company is saying more than ‘do what you feel’ or nothing at all. It is bringing words of comfort and a good old fashioned shove when you need it too.

This kind of good company can take a lifetime to flourish. This kind of good company is not broken easily. Fox-hole friendships. Grown through experience and season.

Good company may only be one or two and to be honest, when the good company is like this, then one or two are more than enough. Find them. Appreciate them.

Who is your good company?

With no good company the alternative is bad. This kind of company can say the same kind of words but with different motives, which leads to very different kinds of outcomes.  This kind of company isn’t thinking of you, it is thinking about itself.

Bad company corrupts, leads astray, doesn’t pray. It is well-meaning, yet not life-giving. It is surface friendship. Not encouraging, supportive or God-focused.

A well-meaning ‘whatever’, may be meant as support to your grand ideas but it isn’t really.  This kind of company are unreliable, not inconvenienced and unprepared to sit alongside. This is not a fox-hole friend, more like a ‘pity-party’ companion. It is those who love to talk about themselves, so they are encouraged.

Bad company may only be one or two, and to be honest, when the bad company is like this, then one or two are more than enough. Beware.

Who are your bad company?

People are important. This is not an instruction to get rid of all your friends. This is more a reminder about the value of great friends and knowing the difference. We can have lots of good people in our world and that’s alright. This doesn’t mean every word they share has to be acted upon. Find the better friends for the life-changing conversations. Those who share the same values for living as you, the same faith as you and the same God at the centre of all that they do.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

Lead Well: Repair Your Integrity

Lead well in life: keep your integrity intact.

But you have upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in your presence forever [Psalm 41:12 ESV]

In Psalm 41 David lets us know how God has upheld him because of his integrity, which allowing for how David behaved at times may seem a little incredible. Or does it rather point to a different way to view of integrity.

Integrity is not about perfection. Instead it’s about how we deal with situations when we don’t behave with perfection. Wholeness is difficult to attain and even harder to maintain. So when things break that, how we respond will either preserve our integrity or if we are not careful, maybe damage it beyond repair.

David messed up. But when confronted, he responded. He prayed. He called on God. He wept. He repented. He repaired his integrity. And God upheld him. More than that God set him in His presence forever. I can definitely relate to the messing up part and am a thankful recipient of Gods endless grace

Repair your integrity.

It may not come naturally. Be willing to be honest. Things happen, so let’s learn to respond well. To ask for forgiveness. To forgive. To repent from patterns of behaviour. To work hard at lining your life up with the Word of God. Integrity is hard won, easily lost. When a chip appears, fix it. Otherwise, a chip becomes a crack, which if left untended becomes a break which could be impossible to close.

The world needs people who are willing to work at protecting and maintaining their integrity. The world especially needs Christians who are able to stay strong, and who when they make a mistake, deal with it, get right with people and with God, and by doing so, protect and maintain their integrity. God rewards those with such a heart and sets them in His presence forever.

What do you think to todays thought?

 

Influence 2017: Session 4

This session from Dr Robi was without exaggerating, phenomenal. 

Sharing about what forgiveness is and what it isn’t. 

It is making a CHOICE: we like to hold on to our pain, that it feels good to be bad. But we must choose to let it go. 

It requires a SACRIFICE on our part. 

It’s TRUSTING God to take care of the justice to avenge, that He knows what He is doing. 

It’s a GIFT given even if undeserved: only when you give it as a gift do you understand that the gift is for you. 

It is NOT an EXCUSE for what people did to you, for their behaviour. 

It doesn’t mean we have to BEFRIEND them. 

It doesn’t mean we have to continue to be ABUSED by the perpetrator. 

It doesn’t require us to FORGET what is being forgiven: instead the memory can be a great hallmark of forgiveness and be part of our story. 

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Amazing!!