Leadership Weekly

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Giving Your Best

They were completely amazed and said again and again, "Everything he does is wonderful. He even makes the deaf to hear and gives speech to those who cannot speak." — Mark 7:37

Leaders pursue excellence. They lead their organizations, their families, their businesses, and, in fact, their very lives striving for their best.

Jesus was committed to excellence. God gave his very best--his Son. And, as the New Testament writer Mark reminds us, God's Son gave his very best--his life. He made the best wine (see Matthew 14:13-21), and the limbs he restored were perfect (see Mark 3:1-5). His followers should do no less. Less than our best is inadequate, considering the fact that God has given us his very best.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry." Whatever our role, our position, our organization, or our lot in life, we should strive for the best. The measure of our success should not be attached to our particular career or what we earn but on our character and what we give.

Excellence does not mean being the best but being your best, understanding that variation makes all the difference in the world. Excellence is being better than you were yesterday. Excellence means matching your practice with your potential.

Some people have fame thrust upon them. Very few have excellence thrust upon them. Excellence is achieved. What will you do to have people say, like they said of Jesus, "Everything he does is wonderful"? read more

Don't Give Up

Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. — Hebrews 10:36

Effective leaders accomplish seemingly impossible tasks because they never give up. They never buckle under. Despite mounting criticism, intense opposition, and overwhelming obstacles, they persevere with determined resolve. They refuse to throw in the towel.

Often, the easiest thing would be to quit. Just give up. Forget about one's dream and return to the comfort and convenience of mediocrity. Give in to the words of the critics, give up to the opposition, and give way to the obstacles. Simply tuck tail and run away.

Great power is embodied in persistence. The race is not always won by the fastest, nor the game by the strongest, but rather by the one who keeps on keeping on, who refuses to give up. Consider the postage stamp. Its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there. Race car driver Rick Mears said, "To finish first you must first finish."

It is always too soon to quit. One of the most powerful and destructive tools that Satan has in his arsenal is discouragement, the subtle but dangerous compulsion to give up, to quit, saying, "What's the use?"

When you are tempted to quit: resist. We must endure in the battle until the evil day is over. We must press on in the face of the temptation to quit. Until the war is over, we must fight to the end. Until the race is finished, we must keep running. Until the wall is built, we must keep stacking bricks. Never give up. Never. The promises of God are always at the end. read more

Qualified

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. — 2 Peter 1:3

"Sorry, you just don't have the experience we're looking for."

"Sorry, but we're looking for someone with a little more education."

"What were some major accomplishments (if any), while being a stay-at-home parent?"

"While working at your previous company, did you do any volunteer work at all?"

It can really be tough in the job market. After a few interviews and even more rejection letters, a person can feel completely inadequate. Fortunately, in God's economy, every believer is immediately qualified for Kingdom work. Peter reminds us that the Holy Spirit equips each believer with everything necessary to please our Father. That's great news.

But, even within the earthly church, it's easy to feel inadequate when surrounded by believers with long histories of ministry or the ability to memorize long passages of Scripture. We need to remember that nothing more special than the Holy Spirit is required to serve God effectively. We all have everything necessary to do our jobs within the Kingdom.

Still, Peter doesn't stop with this reassurance. He challenges every believer to add personal disciplines that will build character, mature us, and be used to encourage the church as a whole. He goes on to write, "Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone" (2 Peter 1:5-7).

The pursuit of these virtues is just one way of expressing our thanks and love to the God who rescued us from our complete inadequacy. Having the Holy Spirit with us at all times, we can depend on him to guide us through the stresses that are used to hone these virtues. All that is asked of us is that we continue on and not give up.

Being fully equipped by the Holy Spirit, let's heed his guidance and pursue spiritual maturity. May we ever strive to become all that God has called us to be, and may he ever grant us the ability to serve him faithfully. read more

Rising Above

You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. — Genesis 50:20

Everyone faces adversity from time to time. A person is fired from his or her job. Bills are due, but there's no money to pay them with. A beloved family member dies. How we handle these situations can say a lot about our faith in the Lord.

In the case of Joseph, his problems began the moment he fell for his brothers' "we've got a really neat pit to show you" trick. They sold him as a slave to Ishmaelites passing through the area in an attempt to rid themselves of "the dreamer" (see Genesis 37:19). Eventually, Joseph was able to gain a good standing with Potiphar and was placed in charge of his house. But later, Potiphar's wife attempted to seduce Joseph and falsely accused him of adultery. Joseph ended up in prison as a result.

Joseph had plenty of opportunities to cry out about the injustice he was facing. He had chances to complain about the treatment he had received from his brothers. He could have become bitter when the king's cupbearer was released from prison and forgot about him. These actions and attitudes would have reduced Joseph to hopelessness.

Instead, Joseph allowed himself to be used by God to interpret Pharaoh's dream. Pharaoh removed him from prison and placed him in charge of Egypt, where he organized a plan to store grain before the famine occurred. Finally, Joseph was reunited with his brothers. What was intended for bad was used by God for good.

Obstacles have the ability to take us out of contention, but we also have the opportunity to rise above them. We can cry, complain, and live in misery because of our struggles. Or we can react like Joseph--allowing God, in his timing, to bring something good out of our circumstances. Are you allowing God to help you land on your feet? read more

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