In Between Sundays

The Forbidden Phrase

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If you are a leader in any capacity, I am guessing you have used the phrase “Our/My people won’t…” “My people won’t work/sell like I want them to work/sell.” Other similar phrases might include “the manager refuses to…, our sales team just doesn’t…, and my kids won’t...” I am just as guilty as the next person.

         This is the forbidden phrase. In that moment we are casting blame on people for something they haven’t been shown. I think great leaders don’t give blame, they accept blame. When the head coach wins, it was a team win. When the team loses, it is the coaches’ fault. That is why they fire the coach and not all of the players. The leader is responsible. Instead of casting blame we cast vision. Instead of saying, “our people won’t…” we turn that phrase upside down and say “I haven’t led to them to…”

         Part of casting a vision for a business or organization is showing the people why they need to care about what you care about. Leaders lead people and move them toward a desired action. If you want to see the greatest example in history, look no further than Jesus. He led by example and literally practiced what He preached. He showed 12 men how to live like He did and it totally transformed the whole world. Most of them even died brutal deaths like Jesus.

         My pastor, Teddy B, and I were talking recently about “why” and the importance of finding one’s “why.” He said that when people lose their why they lose their way. Brilliant! When I have my why, all of the other noise in my life begins to be drowned out because I know where I’m going. I have a why that directs my life.

Here are two questions to think about:

  • What is your why? (Your why has to be more than a result. Making a profit is a result. That is a superficial )
  • What is the number one excuse you are making about your people?

Much of this content was provided by a leadership podcast by Craig Groeschel.

Holiness over Happiness

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Our culture can be convincing if we are not careful to listen. See, happiness is what seems to be the ultimate virtue in our culture. At all costs, we must be happy. Culture continually teaches us that if it feels good, it must be good - even if it isn’t. If it feels bad, then it must be bad - even if it is good for us. God calls us to a completely different standard. He calls us to holiness. Holiness has wrapped its arms around the objective morality of Jesus. Whereas happiness will struggle with great might to keep its head above water depending on the tide that rolls in.

A quote that I am fond of by Pastor Steven Furtick should help with this idea. “Happiness is a symptom of circumstances. Joy is a product of perspective. God is still good. I will be grateful.” If we are focused on happiness for the end goal of anything, we will inevitably be unbearably disappointed when the circumstances change. For example: when people marry for the purpose of, “they will make me happy,” the foundation of that marriage is at best like riding a bike down a hill with loose gravel, no brakes, and no helmet. It is unlikely to end well. What happens when the other person isn’t holding up their end of the bargain of happiness? Divorce becomes the only way out of this miserable life that is devoid of all happiness.

However, if a marriage is built on pursuing Jesus and becoming more like Him, we get to practice those marriage vows that proclaim durable covenantal vows: In sickness and in health, for rich or for poor, I will love you no matter what. That is Jesus toward us!

Even though we often fail in our thoughts, words, and deeds to please God, He still has never and will never stop loving us. When we act out in rebellion toward God, He steps in like a loving father and puts His arms around us. Before He put His arms around us, He had them stretched out on a cross dying a death that we should have died. He is the example of holiness over happiness that we should look to.

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