Absolute Certainties for Leaders
I have learned certain truths that I perceive to be absolutes for leaders and those who want to grow. You can hedge on some principles but these are rock solid, and you must submit to them or your forward progress will be derailed. I have never seen anyone violate these certainties and then accidentally stumble into growth and success. As a matter of fact, I have never seen anyone even hedge on these and last very long in kingdom work. Everyone that is used of God applies them faithfully. It does not mean that they do not have struggles and that God does not apply the necessary pressure to forge in them a new appreciation of their importance, but everyone, sooner or later, realizes they must comply or be eliminated from the picture.
Forgive everyone, every time, for everything. Without the ability to forgive you simply cannot add value to others. I like what Martin Luther King, Jr said, “Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude.” You can’t use a list and decide which infraction you will forgive and which ones you will not; that is not true forgiveness. Forgiveness is actually more valuable to the one who forgives than to the one who is forgiven. The first person to which you will add value through forgiveness is yourself. Ghandi stated, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Once you learn to forgive, you can free yourself from the nightmares of the past and lay claim to the dreams of your future. Forgiveness is not an emotional decision; it is a choice that you must make. To forgive is to set a person free and discover the person was you. Buddy Hackett quipped, “I’ve had few arguments with people, but I never carry a grudge. You know why? While you’re carrying a grudge, they’re out dancing.” Bitterness is too heavy a burden for anyone to carry. It will weigh you down and keep you from your destiny. Promises are aborted, destinies are lost, and destruction follows an unforgiving spirit.
Every day matters. What you do every day counts! Integrate a daily focus with a long-term perspective. You have to be intentional about what you do every day and know how it fits the endgame that you have in mind. Acting on and implementing your rule of five is necessary for growth; not only by acknowledging the things you must do every day, but acting on those things. Our destiny is connected to what we do every day. We need a compass to guide us to make the right daily choices. Your compass is your vision and values that guide your mission and purpose. When your activities and your appointments every day begin to support your purpose, then you are moving in the right direction for transformation and true growth. Too many people fail when they are promoted by the Lord because they think they have arrived, when in fact they have only just begun. The key to focus is knowing what to do every day. Knowing how it fits your desired future is what we call perspective. Locating the one thing you need to do now and DOING it is what FOCUS is all about. Find it, do it and reap the benefit. If you are going to fulfill your mission, you must allow your compass to guide you every day.
Psalm 139:16 “Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you. The days of my life, all prepared before I’d lived even one day.”
Everyone needs encouragement. When you learn to give encouragement, you have learned the asset that every successful leader must possess – the ability to accentuate the positive. Encouragement keeps people moving in the right direction. We all have poisoners in our lives who do everything they can to poison our faith. We have self-absorbed people who are too fixated on their own stuff to help anyone else with theirs. People who feed off of negative energy may get others to follow them but they will always stay close to home because they are afraid of new horizons. However, we also have those who are life enhancers and who inspire us to greatness. These people are convinced that a better day is coming and from their life flows a positive energy that is infused into the weary until they become strong. People will go farther than they think they could when someone else thinks they can. Encouragement makes people better and gives them hope that every day matters if they follow through doing the right things. We must learn how to empower people, motivate them and invite them to become extraordinary. Encouragement can turn a life around.
Find your voice and speak faith. When you possess a spirit of expectancy, you will communicate it by finding your voice and it will be evident in everything you say. When you believe that what is right will win you develop a positive view of the future. When you can declare with certainty, knowing that your message will be accepted, then you will expect good things to happen. You must be able to declare with certainty: I have a destiny to fulfill. I have a contribution to make. I have convictions that guide my choices. I have a legacy to leave. You have seen what others cannot see and you are willing to help them find their voice and speak their faith until they become what God wants them to be.
2 Timothy 2:2 “And the instructions you have heard from me along with my witnesses, transmit and entrust as a deposit to reliable and faithful men who will be competent and qualified to reach others also.”
People need the voice of someone who believes that God is able. Learn to speak faith instead of fear. Speaking faith empowers people. People need role models to follow. Speaking faith makes you an elevator that lifts people to a higher level. It energizes them to function at their best once they reach that higher place and they become more because now they are the reason the church is advancing. Their voice is the voice that is making the difference.