We live in such a self-centered world. Our efforts and concerns are primarily structured around a what’s-in-it-for-me mentality.
This mindset is subtly developed and so difficult to overcome. Albert Pike said, “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
Think about the significance of this thought in relationship to spiritual leadership. We fail miserably and our legacy is meaningless unless we learn from this thought.
All we do should be done for others. This is what truly lasts. Think Souls!
Charisma is not a quality of self-centered leaders. How much of our conversations focus on us, what we do, our family, our interests, etc.?
When leaders have charisma they add value to the lives of others. They give others hope.
While we need to know what the Bible says about sin, we need to remember the Bible is a book about hope. Jesus is our hope.
Inspiring devotion in others is built on the ability of leaders to provide that hope.
The charisma of spiritual leaders is directly related to this ability. Pride, insecurity, and cynicism destroy the ability to lead others to hope.
What is our center? A few years ago, a Christmas movie presented this question. Finding our center is about discovering who we are at the core of our life.
When our center as a leader is spiritually motivated, life becomes about demonstrating toward others the qualities of godliness, rather than simply developing ourselves.
However, determining our center is not as easy as it may sound. Such an undertaking may involve years of searching. Learning to be honest about what we seek in life will help us on this journey. Here are a few questions to consider.
1) Do we feel inconvenienced by others?
2) Are we motivated by self preservation more than an eternal destination?
3) Are times in prayer, study, and worship more difficult to work into our schedule? Do we see them as having little or no benefit?
4) Where do we find the most pleasure?
5) Are our words and actions driven by a core that is self-centered or others-directed?
Answering a few questions provides us with a genuine understanding that will help us find our center.
For years, an idea expressed by Mark Twain was the signature line for several emails I received, “Great things can happen if we don’t care who gets the credit.”
Based on Twain’s statement, John Maxwell suggested another level that emphasizes how great things can and actually do happen when we give others the credit.
While both sentiments indicate a powerful thought, we all know the challenge of applying them to our leadership. Perhaps it is our lack of self-esteem on one hand, or the ego-centric problem on the other, but we seem driven to receive the credit.
When the project is completed, we relish in our pride that it was our plan, suggestion, or leadership that made it possible.
We know from a biblical perspective that spiritual leadership will not allow a self-centered attitude to exist. Instead, scripture repeatedly indicates that we seek after the needs or well-being of others.
Jesus provided this example for us and He desires we pursue the same direction. The result might just develop what Simon Sinek refers to as a “Circle of Safety.”
The idea behind this week’s word involves giving a brief statement of the main points. To summarize is to use fewer words to encompass the whole of the previous message.
How on earth does this relate to leadership, especially from a spiritual perspective?
If we were to summarize our leadership in a few words, what would we say? We need to take a few minutes and give some thought to the whole of our leadership. Could we express it in a word or two, or a sentence or two? Could we summarize our leadership at all?
Would our leadership be summarized by what is referred to as “others-centered” or “self-centered?”
Would our leadership be summarized by a spiritual or physical focus?
Would our leadership be summarized by our past, present, or future?
In reality, the fewer words we use the more challenging it can be to summarize our leadership, especially if we try to be accurate.
It would certainly be worth our time to give thought to summarizing our leadership and doing so in a way that accurately describes our intent. Think Souls!