Where is our place? Do we have a place?
Does leadership have a place? When we evaluate all the people and activities that fill the places in our lives, where does leadership fit, or does it?
Regarding our influence, we need to consider the following.
Should immoral activities have a place in our life?
Do we allow inappropriate language to have a place?
Will we welcome questionable conduct into its own place?
Is there a place for hypocrisy in our lives?
There is no place for worldly behavior in the life of God’s spiritual leaders. We need to exemplify the place of spiritual leadership.
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Today’s lesson is from Luke 12:1-12. Jesus was against hypocrisy, it will be found out! The one to fear is the one who controls eternity. There is no fear in obedience. Pay attention and don’t reject the testimony of the Holy Spirit. If you enjoy the lesson, tell others about our program and check out searchinggodsword.org.
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We’ve all heard “actions speak louder than words,” or “a picture paints a thousands words.” Then, there is the old classic, “I’d rather see a sermon as hear one any day.”
The ideas presented in these thoughts emphasis the need for consistency in life’s daily activities. Our family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers all watch everything we do and listen to everything we say, and they seek to find inconsistencies in our character.
However, how do we go about examining ourselves to determine who we are and how we represent ourselves to those around us? Thomas Jefferson is credited with saying, “Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.”
At times, it’s hard to remember that neither our intentions or words determine who we are, but our actions. People judge our actions!
When we examine our leadership, how others see us act defines and delineates who we are as leaders.
Perhaps this is why Jesus said, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
What is a leader’s greatest asset? Answers to the question may vary from one individual to the next. However, in leadership circles the greatest asset is trust. If people lose trust in their leader, they will not follow and without followers there is no leadership.
Perhaps the most relevant area to consider involves developing trust as a leader. What can leaders do in order to establish a relationship of trust? A few suggestions include the following:
1. Demonstrate competence. The demonstration of wisdom in decision-making and follow-through helps leaders show a competence that followers demand.
2. Eliminate inconsistencies. Hypocrisy is one of the most detrimental and discouraging areas of leadership. Learning to align our words and actions with our core values eliminates inconsistency.
3. Cultivate character. While challenging, character development is vital to successful leadership and integrity is the cornerstone upon which we cultivate trust.
More could be said about this asset so desperately needed in leadership, but these three provide a basis upon which to begin our journey towards establishing trust.
The culture we live in has a great ability to act one way, yet at the core be something completely different.
We often refer to this as hypocrisy. While this is true, we also need to understand that our culture has worked on this long enough it is now accepted and normal.
A number of tragedies over the years have occurred where individuals walked into a movie theater, high school, restaurant, or mall and began a killing rampage. One of the most common thoughts expressed by those who knew the individual is how they never expected this kind of activity.
On the surface they seemed “normal.” However, at the core they were someone quite different.
There is also a connection to spiritual leadership. How many times throughout the past century has the core of a religious leader been exposed in sinful activity?
Our leadership needs to be characterized by a core that walks with integrity, works righteousness, and speaks truth in the heart.
Here is where we begin to develop the opportunity for our greatest influence.
Advancing the development of strong leadership is a task that cannot wait until a future date.
While several components are needed to advance this cause, the foundation begins with character.
Two primary areas of character are critical: trust and respect. In order to build these areas into our character, consider the following suggestions.
1) 10-10-10 Principle – In her book by the same title, Suzy Welch explores three questions: Can I live with this decision 10 minutes from now? 10 months from now? 10 years from now? Realizing the consequences should motivate us to think about the impact of decisions on our character.
2) Inventory Our Values – What has greater value: Character or money? Character or achievement? Character or popularity? Examine our actions over the past month. If there are inconsistencies, then work on them. Do not dismiss, excuse, deny, or rationalize them.
3) Challenge Hypocrisy – Nothing destroys character quicker than hypocrisy. On the job, at home, with our neighbors, in the community, and around other Christians, our character must reflect a consistent belief system.
These three areas are a few suggestions for building our character that establish trust and respect for stronger leadership.