Sunday, January 23, 2011

Above Repraoch a Leadership Character

I think I heard it best stated once that character is what you do when no one else is around.  How much closer to the truth could you ever get!  How tempted are you when your friends or associates are watching you and waiting for you to be and act like them? Your character is on the line.  This is a huge challenge for Christian leader’s in corporate America.  To be like them because you become like them and fit in. Our leadership is not of this world or as my wife says our leadership should be “out of this world”.  God tells us in His word that in the end times we will be most misunderstood.  Why are you so weak “Why won’t you get back at them for what they did?” it is easy to follow our nature of selfishness.  The feel good lie that you are beind sold. 

          1 Peter 2:11
                     Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in this world, to abstain from sinful desire, which war against your soul.

It is easy to go the way of secular society because that is the path everyone takes.  In my walk with God there has never been a day that my faith was not attacked in some way.  Being a Christian leader takes practice and hard work, and most importantly preparation.  You don’t want to come off as “Holier than thou”.   In our society there are so many books and tapes and shows on self help.  What has been forgotten is helping everyone else. Let’s take a moment to follow this illustration:  I have a long commute to my office everyday what I see amazes me at how selfish people are in their cars.  As we discussed a little bit ago what we do when no one is looking defines our character.  This also goes to the level of how we act when no one knows us and chances of you seeing this person again are very slim.  The blinker is on, or it is just a movement of the car without regard for anyone else to change lanes.  Then what you see is people start using their vehicles to push their way into traffic.   We fight for meaningless pieces of asphalt at a price of great stress and aggravation.

All this to maintain a spot in a lane of moving traffic on the highway, what did you gain, 1 to 3 seconds of time?  Think about it.  What is wrong with being nice?  Why is it so important to not allow someone to get in front of you in traffic.  As if this is a defining point for your being, and this makes you "who you are".  It is meaningless frustrations like this we put on ourselves by not ever wanting to give someone a break.  I have actually observed drivers being criticized for letting someone in their lane as a courtesy.  “What is wrong with you!”. 

In leaving your selfish ambitions behind it actually can irritate some around you.  Now why in the world would this irritate some?  In following the example of God’s design we will leave the things of the world behind us.  People will be confused by what we do.  What is not understood can bring on anger in some around us.  It is amazing to me that what I see as simple and even healthy, others are confused by these actions.  The part that is healthy if you really think about it is this:  When you are fighting with someone, maybe you are blocking them from getting in front of you.  What is happening to your body at that time.  Isn’t your blood pressure going up?  Aren’t you in a higher state of anxiety?  Probably because the person that is trying to get in your lane is pushing their way in anyway, they are cutting close to your car.  This only makes you angry.  Your temper is getting can be unhealthy.  Now, when you get to your destination, whether this is work or home, you take this frustration out on those that you really care about. 

God has called us to be above reproach.  What does this mean?  To reproach is to reprimand, or condemn or criticize someone.  If you allow these little temptations of sin to pull you away from the goal it affects those around you. As God’s Word says:

1 Peter 2:11 “Abstain from sinful desires”

James 1:19-20 "So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God".

This is anything that will take your eyes off of God.  When we look away from God we are looking towards sin, and you have a choice.  In your daily walk there needs to be a commitment to honor, prefer, and respect God, your family and friends, and anyone you come in contact with.  It is a way to change your thinking of those around you. See them as Jesus did with nothing but love. Your personal well being is important to build appropriate leadership.  But, this is how many lead in today’s world "its all about me baby!".  If I help that person others will think I am wierd, or I will be weak.  We fail to be the examples because we are too worried about our own personal gain, or how others will think of us.  Some even take it to a point of not wanting to share or distribute a task because then I will have to train the person, and if they end up being better then me I will become expendable.  Everyone is expendable in the corporate world. We are called to be courageous and bold:

Joshua 1:7 "Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. But what you have is greater by far than anyone could imagine.”

You are heirs to the throne of Christ!  How do you want to be remembered?  Do you want to be that selfish person who wouldn’t let me in his lane this morning?  Or, do you want to leave a longer lasting impression by building a great relationship with a small example of grace as God gave us (undeserving I might add).  Let that person get in front of you it is ok and you will feel better for it, and they will appreciate your kindness, and even if they don't you have stepped in the role of a leader with a small event even as letting someone in your lane.  This is one building block of many that God has a plan for you, but you need to put the blocks in place by your actions.  He wants you to be firm and unwavering, and courageous. 

Teach others what God has given you in strength of leading by example.  There is a tremendous hunger in our society today for kindness.  Not too long ago there was the move for “Pay it Forward”.  This whole process amazed people at the generosity and kindness of others.  This is nothing new to Gods Word.   

Act 2:44-45 “Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.”

God did not command everyone to sell their possessions and give to the family of church members.  Out of the excitement of what God was doing they all joined together and not one person had any needs that weren’t fulfilled.  There was no debt that wasn’t satisfied.  This was in a sense the “Pay it Forward” mentality.  What was being done was because of an unconditional love and respect they had for Christ and each other.  In doing things such as this it enables you to be above reproach.  Not looking for the spotlight or the glory in what you are doing, but doing this because it is the right thing to do.  This is the character builder that makes you stronger.  You are creating a character which allows you to be above reproach.

What would you say if on your way to your office there was an interaction with another motorist.  Lets say this person is driving way too fast and they cut you off.   As you continue to drive there are several interactions with this person to the point of extreme aggravation to you.  You take note of the car because you are angry. As you continue on your way to the office, and pull into the parking lot you notice the same car that cut you off in traffic.  Now, to take it that extra mile in this example you walk into your office and the person waiting in the reception area is the same person that was driving that car.  What is your initial thought of this person?  If they were looking for a job would you hire them? Probably not due to the character they showed you. 

You immediately come to a conclusion in your head that you have seen this persons character unbeknownst to them.  They have shown you what they do when know one is looking is .  They have shown a lack of caring for anyone around them.  Now, what if the story changed, and lets say this time that the individual driving the car was kind to you in a situation that required for you to change lanes.  They were the car that let you get in front of them and allowed you to avoid the obstacle in front of you.  Which person would you hire?  Which person is above reproach?  You have nothing to hold against the person that let you into their lane.  Each of these cases the person driving their cars have shown their true character.  It is these examples that we must make in every action we take every day.  It is a challenge that only through the study of Gods word and prayer can help us to accomplish. 
Building a great leadership character takes time.  A big mistake many people make is they take on more than they can handle.  Don’t rush into leadership.  Don’t make this mistake.  What you need is to study a great leader.  Ways of doing this is to first study Gods Word, and pray.  Jesus was the greatest leader of all time.  It is important to understand how to edify the people around you.  They will in turn lift you up into a greater position.  Jesus taught that it is not important what you look like to impress people.  Where is your heart? 

James 1:3-5   Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 
How do you build a Character that is above reproach? Let’s take a look at a great character that the world knows.  What is that in the sky?  It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!  It’s Superman!  Superman Mr. Do-gooder of all time for all the comic book junkies that wasted away precious sleep late at night with a flashlight to read under your covers hoping your parents wouldn’t notice.  He was the boyhood dream that many of us wanted to be like.  We wanted to be stronger than a train, faster than a speeding bullet and able to leap any building with ease.  He was a great character of an individual that always fought for the underdog, and never let the bad guy get away.  

He was the night in shining armor for the damsels in distress.  Even though he was not real what gave him this character?  Did he just come to earth in his space ship and tad a! Everyone knew he was a good guy.  No, of course not.  He had to learn from examples and gain wisdom.  It took time to build his reputation.  But, where did he get all this wisdom?  And who were his examples to follow? Remember he had that crystal that he threw into the glacier and a great city of ice was built.  He would go there to view the video records his father left for him to follow.  Instructions on how to treat people appropriately, how to act in times of trouble.  We have that same crystal to throw into the glacier it is Gods Word written for us to follow in His footsteps. 

He packs His Word full of wisdom to help us in our daily walks to avoid being drawn into the pathway of destruction.  Do you think Superman was above reproach?  I feel that he was.  By reading Gods Word and taking time each day to focus on His word you enable yourself to take on a character above reproach.  You will learn how to avoid your temper from getting the best of you when no one is looking.  Or you hope no one is looking.  As you study God’s word each day take time to pray.  In this day an age there is less time for us to spend quality time with anyone else but getting to and from work.  Use you time wisely.  Set aside the time each day to turn on the T.V., or listen to the radio.  Instead use this time to do the following:

  1. Open God’s word – pick a book.  Any of them are good.  Get a version of the Bible that you will enjoy reading.  I enjoy the King James version.  But, there are many people that I know that really don’t enjoy reading King James.  Try the NIV, or the New King James version.  Read the book.
  2. Take time to memorize some scripture.  My wife and I have found great refuge in memorizing chapters of Psalms.  After each prayer we recite either Psalm 91, or Psalm 34. 
  3. Pray fervently.  Don’t be afraid of what to say.  Say what is on your heart.  It is ok to be angry with God.  If your frustrated with Him let him know.  Tell him what is on your heart.  I always have this picture in my mind of God sitting in a chair.  He has a big smile on his face and all of us (His children) are running around the feet of His chair jumping and playing and making all kind of noise.  He wants so much to talk to us and give us some insight of wisdom yet we don’t slow down long enough for Him to talk to us.  When we finally slow down we fall asleep.  Pray to God, and let him talk to you. 

These are the simple steps to becoming above reproach.  It takes time and commitment to build this type of character.  But, over time you will reap a great harvest that God has planned for you.  Each day you study his word and pray you will become stronger and God will change you over time.  Trust Him and He will deliver you.  Take these steps to build your character of becoming above reproach.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Good morning!  Continuing today I want to start with Moses. 

Moses had already done great things as a leader.  He had overcome tremendous obstacles with Pharaoh; one of God’s designs for Moses was to get the people of Israel out of Egypt. This was a incredible moment for him and Moses felt he was not up to the task. This is what he said to God.

Exodus 4:10
Then Moses said to the LORD, "O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.

Even Moses, in all his accomplishments and the best education money and power could buy in his time, was not up to the task. He was raised with great influence in all of Egypt in Pharaoh’s palaces. Moses needed Godly counsel to give him insight into how he could use his leadership.  The important things to see in his conversation with God are he listens and uses the counsel he receives.

The  Art of Listening can be such an easy task.  However, many of us find it very difficult to sit still for a moment and simply listen. Listening is the quiet time you need to take each day and open the Bible and see what God has in store for you.  Try not to break any speed reading contests in this time.  Use the time to its fullest and allow God to speak to you, simply listen.  Moses listened to God and he led the people of Israel out of Egypt and God blessed them. 

Exodus 12:36
And the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.

This is what God gave the Israelites from the Egyptians even after all the plagues they had just been through and in the final plague even lost their first born to the angel of death.  Moses argued with God because he didn’t feel he was adequate to do what God was call him to do. But, even though Moses had a hard time believing God at first, he had great faith and trusted God.  He took the steps to do as God had commanded him and God used him as one of the greatest leaders of all time. He successfully met with Pharaoh and his court and finally led 2 1/2 to 3 million Israelites out of Egypt.

God will give you the wisdom to decipher His word if you use the information you are being told.  Also, God loves you and wants you to be a strategic instrument for Him to use.  God will provide you with resources.  Jethro was Moses’ father-in-law.  He was a Godly man and Moses listened to him and what he had to say.  In Exodus chapter 18, we see how God uses Jethro to instill wisdom to Moses.  Here is a portion of how God used Jethro when he was looking at what Moses was doing everyday:

Exodus 18:21 – 24
          But select capable men from all the people men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.  Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves.  That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you.  If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.  Moses listened to his father in-law and did everything he said.  (NIV)

This is an example of good leadership principles as I will outline from God’s word.  This is probably the first example in the Bible of corporate leadership outlined exactly as is should occur in our daily jobs.  God noticed the burden Moses put on his own shoulders to resolve every dispute that was happening in the camp of Israel.  Can you imagine?  I think I am tired after a long day at the office.  I can’t even begin to imagine the fatigue the Moses must have felt dealing with 2 ½ to 3 million people whining about who really owned that goat! 

I will discuss how to use God’s principals to find the appropriate leaders to build your team or how to build up the personal level of leadership to direct your own personal life.  Not all of us are called to be leaders of over thousands or hundreds.  But, you are called to follow the principals that God outlined in His word.  As you do this, you will see God will direct your lives to be in control of your emotions and feelings of events around you.  You will feel better about how you handle situations that could be potentially volatile. 

I have noticed during my career that there are tremendous amounts of people reaching out to try and understand what leadership is and asking themselves “Am I a leader?  How can I become a leader”? The first place many people go to find the answer is a bookstore or the library.  These are great places to start, yet the thing that troubles me most is what you find in great volume are books telling you “It’s all about me”.  

Self- help becomes everything you ever wanted to be in spite of everyone else around you.  The trouble with this is they misguide you to believe that only you are important, don’t worry about anyone else. What we need today is for more leaders to step up and show that humility and meekness are not weakness.  Putting other people before you is not foolishness.  Trust, honor, and valor don't have to be a thing of the past like Latin. We are all called to study God’s word, pray, and be examples for others to see appropriate leadership.
Pretend you are an eagle soaring over a beautiful country side with grassy meadows, pine trees, and beautiful rocky ledges over a hilly landscape.  The sun is shining and warm as you soar through the air.  As you soar, you see something black in the distance and you start flying towards its direction to see what it is.  As you approach, you see a beautiful black stallion running on the meadows.  It is at a full gallop and you have to fly even faster to keep up with this majestic animal.  The stallion is muscle bound and very commanding in its presence.  It is obvious this horse is a leader over the meadows and the other horses.  It is the king of its domain.  Suddenly, there is a presence that appears before the stallion.  It is a light that shines with warmth of love and comfort.  As the stallion approaches the light, he immediately bows down and stands still in the presence of this light.  You now understand this presence is God his creator.  This is what being humble and meek is.  The stallion is meek in that he has honor and fear as described in the God's Word.  Jesus is our Master and I want to be a picture of meekness like that black stallion.  Ready to take on any challenge and efficiently building up those around me to lead triumphantly no matter what the odds are.

God bless you today! Stay in His word!

 [RM1]Do we want to say this? 

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Being a leader is what all of us are called to do.  God’s design for each of us is to be followers of His Word.  His word when you study and pray will change you. God’s desire is for you to be full of wisdom and able to use the knowledge you have for the good and will of God.  God does not say that there are specific people that have to qualify to follow His design.  God does not say only Hispanics, or Asians, or African Americans, or that you have to be a certain age to follow His design.  There are no guidelines or qualifications to study His word, and God has called all of us to be leaders. In Matthew 28:19, God tells us the mission we have been given.

Matthew 28:19
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (NKJV)

God said to GO and make disciples of ALL the nations.  I don’t see any list of who’s who here.  I see that God is calling all of us to be His disciples. This means He wants us all to be students and followers of His doctrine.  Being a disciple is more than just being a follower, it is leadership by example.  This means when you follow God’s design daily by reading the bible, praying, and walking as Jesus did on this earth you would be a part of God’s leadership team. 

You have been called to be part of the body of Christ, which is the church by God’s design.  We all have specific gifts that are given to us and that God wants us to utilize.  The body in its design has many functions.  Each part is specifically designed for a unique purpose and this purpose supports other parts.  

In other words, not all of us are going to be like Bill Gates with huge amounts of people under his command and the tremendous responsibility that goes with this position.  Or, to be a preacher on the pulpit every Sunday leading the congregation in mass study of God’s word.  You are specifically designed to accomplish a task that may be great or small.  

By following this function you have been designed to do, comes blessings with riches beyond your comprehension. My riches are in my relationship with God, the love of my family, and my church family. Anyone can have this if you look to God to open your eyes to His love, understand the joy that surpasses all understanding, and the love that held our Savior Jesus to the cross.  The riches that God has in store for you maybe bound with money or large masses of people.  Or, you, specifically by God’s design, are called to be the disciple and leader of one person.  

My wife and I are homeschoolers. We are responsible for the training in righteousness of our children, instructing them to understand the world as it is, and instilling in them that we are aliens in this world. Our calling is much higher than anything that can be bought with money or power.  It is a calling of understanding God’s word and following His design to save those who are lost.  

You may be a warehouse worker, a doctor, a politician (yes… I believe there are even REAL Christian politicians).  Not everyone makes the choice to follow God as their guiding light, and even when I do there are times when I fail miserably.  But, God’s grace is sufficient to allow me the opportunity to continue seeking Him, and when I do not to get in His way, I   teach others by my example, which is driven by God’s word. This is being a leader. Again, it can be of one or many. Imagine a place where everyone did not get in God's way!  God promises us in His word that we will be there someday. 

Philippians 3:20
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, (NKJV)

Heaven will be this place.  We will all be full of God’s wisdom.  We will be in God’s presence all day long worshipping with great joy!  We all have a calling that God has instilled within us.  Regardless, if you are married or single, male or female, or blue collar or white collar, we all have a role to fulfill in God's plans for us.  So, how do you get started?  Where do you go for the outline of what God has planned for you?  How do you start?  The answers we are all looking for are in God's Word.  In the Bible, there are lists of leaders throughout time that have given us the true examples of what to do in many different scenarios.  Also, there are examples of mistakes these leaders have made along the way and we should take notice of these situations as well.