Tuesday, November 11, 2008

what I learned today

It is hard to believe that another week has gone by. Time to study. I read throughout the week, but knowing Tuesday morning is always a focused time to learn, makes me anticipate it even more.

The effort to devote time both to the study of God's Word as well as being a student of leadership skills, I continue to be amazed at how applicable the Word is to all areas of my life. I have mentioned in previous writings how I sometimes allow myself to become paralyzed by fear, fear of making wrong decisions, fear of disappointing friends, a boss or family. I have never witnessed such fear among God's people as I see now in the areas of politics and economics. Fear changes nothing, but stops everything.

This is an opportunity for God's church like never before.

As I continue to read through the New Testament my reading today was from Romans 13, "Every person is to be in submission to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are established by God. Wow, hits us right where we are!

Think about this, "there is NO authority EXCEPT FROM God...God appointed leaders are in place all around the world..."and those that exist are established by God." No need to fear!

Later in this passage, God says, "and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, "you shall love your neighbor as yourself." Are these passages connected?

Our relationship with our fellow men, women and children is inseparable from our relationship with God. Perhaps the secret is to recognize that our neighbor, whether it's the guy next door, the server at a local restaurant, or those in authority over us are as worthy of God's love as we are!

These verses from Romans directly impact my leadership. Can you imagine if I lead as if my neighbors are as important as myself? Fear has not power. In my work life I don't think the fear of failure is truly what bothers me, I am willing to take ownership for decisions I make that fail. What holds me back I think, is the fear of criticism. Especially non specific criticism, this kind of criticism shuts me down. Constructive criticism on the other hand, is specific and gives me direction to correct my mistakes.

Ministry if full of criticism. More than I ever experienced in the secular work place. Because it's "church", and truly does belong to all of us unlike a privately owned company, everyone has their opinion and many, many suggestions. How do we survive criticism in ministry? We submit to the promise that God has appointed our leaders and we love our neighbors as ourselves.

If, with God's help, I can live a life that loves everyone as much as I love myself, then those in authority are treated as they should be, and criticism simply becomes a part of learning instead of a focus on the wrongs committed against me.

God is in control and wants my life to reflect that confidence. I learned today there is no room for fear in a life dedicated to the Lord.

No comments: