Lead Well: Work on Our Character

A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech, winks with his eyes, signals with his feet, points with his finger, with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord; therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly; in a moment he will be broken beyond healing. There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. [Proverbs 6:12-19]

Nobody wants to be known as someone with bad character, yet this is the state many of us find ourselves in, if only for the lack of a little focus and intentionality. Such a state  brings calamity, demotion and in reality means people don’t want to hang around us.

Good character is not our default position.
Good character comes through purposeful design.

Think about it. We are inherently selfish. We give most of our attention to ourselves. We want to make sure we have what we want, not just what we need. We will bump people out of the way to make a way. We expect as much as possible for as little as possible. We praise and curse with the same mouth. The list of our character flaws is probably endless.

I have learned this lesson by getting it right and getting it wrong. Through awkward conversations and times of confrontation by people who care for me. I have discovered that to lead well in life is to be watchful and protective of the right kind of character. And such watchfulness takes concentration and effort. Start by avoiding the list of those things which don’t look good from Gods point of view…

Pride.
Lying.
Killing people.
Scheming.
Quick to do wrong things.
False witness towards others.
Bringing discord.

Then remember how Jesus took the standard higher on many of these in His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, 6 & 7. Let’s be honest, we all have our weaknesses, those unredeemed aspects of our personality which we can use to quickly blame our words and actions on.

Instead let’s be those who are different. Living by design. Who lead well. Are above reproach. Live a life worthy of the calling to which you are called. Honour God in all things. Watch. Be alert. Sin and temptation are always at the door. Stay focused on Jesus. Keep your eyes on Him. Don’t allow yourself to drift. Hold fast your confession of faith. Do not be afraid. Repent quickly.

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?

 

Original

You are.

Stop trying to be someone else. The world needs you.

Your original gifts, talents, performance, quirks and all. Don’t fight the originality. Don’t settle for being a copy. Stick with the God who made you you and allow Him to bring to the foreground those  original aspects of you that others need to ‘bump’ in to.

Go for the original plan. Let’s not just make do but instead be people who make the most of this life we have been gifted.

Think some original thoughts. Make time to hear from God who has a Word just for you.

Contribute in an original way. Pick up the dreams and begin to go after them again.

Live life with your original God. Reconnect with Him and all that He has laid up for you.

Be the best original you that you can be. Keep learning. Keep improving. Keep praying. Keep reading. Keep seeking after God. Enjoy the adventure that through the Holy Spirit God desires to take you on.

What does it mean to you ‘to be original?’

 

How Do You See Jesus?

Heard a story this morning about a little boy who upon reading the Christmas story was concerned by the swear words in it. The teacher was bemused by the comment and asked which words did he think were swearing. ‘Jesus Christ’ came the reply.

It’s an interesting story that maybe represents the culture of the day where the name of Jesus is known more as a word used when we are frustrated or angry than as the baby born to save the world.

How you use the name of Jesus? how do you see him?

I challenge you this Christmas to have a fresh look at the person of Jesus Christ. I encourage you to do some digging for yourself, read the Gospels in the Bible and discover the truth about Jesus and how he so much more than a swear word.

He is your Saviour.
He wants to be your friend.
He will always be with you.
He is alive.
He came that you and I could be restored in relationship with God.

Let this Christmas be the one where you find out that it’s about more than presents, food and beer. It’s about the joy of a baby born into our world to save it. Knowing the real Jesus might just change your life forever.