Are you leading with compassion?


What is driving your leadership? How are you treating those who are following you? Are you showing concern for them and their lives? Are you more concerned with what they get done than who they are and what they are going through? Do you have the priorities set right? Are you leading with love? Are you leading with compassion? Are you being a servant leader?

Do others know that you care? Do others know that you share? Do others feel that you value your relationship with them? Do you live it? What do your words say about it? What do your actions say about it?

It needs to be more than random acts of kindness, it needs to be purposeful acts of compassion!

Today’s reading comes from Matthew 9:36…

35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

–from Matthew 9

Jesus shows us the importance of compassion. Do you realize everything that is going on in the lives of those around you? Do you take the time to care? Do you take the time to share? Do you take the time to listen? Do you take the time to hear?  Do you take the time to speak life and hope? Do you take time to hear the prompting of the Holy Spirit and allow Him to engage you in the lives of others?

Today’s devotional (Forward – Day 6 of 7) speaks into this as follows…

“Compelled by Compassion”

I am convinced that nothing will set a leader apart more than being compelled by compassion. The greatest leader in the history of the world was also the most compassionate. His name is Jesus Christ. His life, words, style, and even tone all captivated masses of people.

We know that many times Jesus was moved with great emotion for the people, no just because they were ill physically, but because He saw their desperate spiritual condition. His compassionate heart drove Him to love people unconditionally and sacrificially.

Compassion is seeing what others see, hearing what others hear, and feeling what others feel. When we are willing to enter into another person’s life and into their pain, we are able to be moved with compassion.

Compassion does not eliminate the importance of other great traits of leadership. But we should strive to influence all elements of our leadership with compassion:

  • Confidence with compassion
  • Competence with compassion
  • Authority with compassion
  • Intensity with compassion
  • Follow-through with compassion
  • Due diligence with compassion
  • Leading with compassion

Forward leadership is not calling for us to dumb down major leadership needs. Forward leadership is calling for a new kind of leader that does each of these and more with great compassion.

Today, ask the Lord to see, hear, and speak with compassion. “Lord, through your Holy Spirit grow me and develop me to have compassion toward everyone I encounter. Lord, use me for your glory, help me hold compassion deep within me and may compassion influence all aspects of my leadership.”

Is compassion a part of who you are and how you live?

Not sure, then why not get started today!

Ask God for wisdom and help to start today!

 

 

 

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Are you staying teachable?


Do you realize you don’t know it all? Do you realize that there are still things you can learn? Do you realize where you can turn to learn? Do you realize who is available to teach you? Do you realize there is someone who can speak wisdom, truth, hope, love, and life into your life? Are you available to receive it?

So are you ready? Are you available? Are you?

Today’s reading comes from Proverbs 4 again but this time verse 7.

7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.

–from Proverbs 4

We shouldn’t avoid gaining wisdom. We should be looking to get wisdom. And through that teaching, learn how to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of the person or thing. It’s more than just head knowledge, we need to understand it, we need to comprehend it, we need to appreciate it, we need to gain awareness of it.

Just reading it, isn’t, we need to apply it. So when you get wisdom, now what will you do with it? How will you put it into application? How will you make it a part of your life?

Do you know where to get wisdom? Turn to God and ask!

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

–from James 1:5

Ask believing in Him! Ask trusting in Him! Ask without doubt and without fear! Don’t set yourself up to be tossed around by the waves of life, allow your focus, your hope, and your trust to be in and come from the Lord!

Think you have it all under control? Think you have it all figured out? And now where are you heading? What direction are you walking? I suspect you know, it is away from God! It’s similar to the story of the prodigal son. Will you learn through experiencing it or will you learn through someone else’s experiences? Do you need to feel it to believe it? Do you need to see it to be believe it? Or can  you have faith to believe without seeing?

Consider this lesson…

And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything. “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate. “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”

–from Luke 15

Where are you at? Are you in a spot where you are open to learn? Are you in a spot to be able to listen to wisdom and then get insight out of it? Are you mentally ready to receive it? Are you emotionally ready to receive it? Are you spiritually ready to receive it?

Wisdom is available! Are you willing to humble yourself and ask for some?

Are you humble enough to be teachable? If not, what’s holding you back? What will it take to breakthrough?

Today’s devotional (Forward – Day 5 of 7) is on this subject and it’s lesson goes like this:

“How to Grow in Teachability”

From the time the people of God left Egypt, God has sent many prophets to call them back to God. The people of God have repeatedly failed to be learners—the result was that they went backward, not forward.

Being unteachable never leads you toward God, but away from God. It never results in upward spiritual movement, but in spiritual decline. When God corrects us, He is calling us back to Himself. When we reject His correction, we move away from Him dangerously. When we choose not to learn personally, we forfeit the privilege to lead others.

There are four characteristics of a leader who is growing in their teachability.

Ongoing Humility: Many times, our own mistakes move us to great humility. The world calls it weakness, but God calls it strength.

Learning to Learn: Growing in teachability involves us learning to learn from God and others. The result is that we will become wiser the longer we live.

Gaining Wisdom: We discover wisdom from God’s Word as we read it, meditate upon it, and practice what it says. When we do this, our future is limitless and our hope abounds.

Growing Daily: Remember that God uses His people, at time, to speak to us. People can help shape the vision that God places within our heart.

Today, ask the Lord to counsel and instruct you. “Lord, through your Holy Spirit please counsels me, grow me, develop me, and develop within me a growing teachability. Lord, use me for your glory, and use those around me to teach me.”

 

The more you know the more you know you don’t know.


Are you finding that? Are you working on such a big project that because you know so much of it, you know there is so much more you don’t know? Have you been working with so many people that you realize there is so much you don’t know? Ever heard the saying “the more you know, the more you know you don’t know”?

So what do you do? How do you keep going? Where does your hope come from? Where do your help come from?

I remember a time back in my career where I was doing a job where my boss when he brought me into the project told me it was more than a 1 person job. The reason he brought me in was he was currently the 1 person. He later was offered a new opportunity and I became the 1 person and then got new managers. I remember them asking me to do a deep dive for them. I remember feeling that I didn’t know too much because of the breadth that I didn’t think I had the depth to be able to do a good job on a deep dive. To my surprise, the exercise helped to encourage me that I do know a lot about it. I also realized that putting my hope and trust in God to keep an eye on everything enabled and allowed me to press onward and upward, taking on bigger challenges through my career.

Even today in my role crossing disciplines, layers of management, covering the entire site, there are times when I start to wonder and ask. But it is my hope and trust in God that helps me get through it. I know that He knows it all even the stuff I don’t know. I know that He has helped me build up the relationships that help me get pulled into the right conversations at the right times thanks to His leading and guiding, His prompting and positioning.

So where do you go? where do you turn? where does your help and hope come from when you get to the point where you know there is so much you don’t know? Are you teachable? Are you able to allow God to lead you and guide you rather than putting all the pressure on yourself? Are you listening for and to that small quiet voice so that you can be teachable?

When God called me to be the President of a very large HOA I leaned on Him because I knew and felt it was bigger than me and that if He called me to it, He would get me through it! I learned through this that it was important to listen to the small quiet voice rather than wait for the large booming voice. Now it took me hearing the big booming voice for me to start listening, but that’s another story.

When called told me to start looking for a new job (still quiet voice) and I answered, but it’s so comfortable here, I like my boss, my team, my org. I didn’t listen and shortly there after the organization was broken up because the VP left the company. And then the painful experience in the new org took place. (I learned forgiveness through it, so it wasn’t all bad, but it was definitely painful.) I received that lesson on forgiveness and when the second time I was mistreated, my first response was to forgive. I created a bunch of confusion with my peers because they couldn’t understand how I could do it. But having learned how bitterness was like taking poison and expecting the other person to die. And having learned the power of forgiveness. It was the only real choice and decision for me to make. And it kept me upbeat and able to move forward in alignment with the guidance, direction, and teaching of the Holy Spirit.

God know what we don’t know and the sooner we realize than and are teachable, the sooner we can avoid the pitfalls He wants us to avoid. We need to be sensitive to the small quiet voice of the Holy Spirit and be willing to do what He calls us to do – out of obedience. We can’t let pride and confidence stop us. We can’t let fear and doubt stop us. We need to just do what He asks for us to do. We need to teachable, no matter what we are doing, where we have been called, and to what level we have made it on the ladder of success. We don’t know everything! And the reality is that the more we know the more we know we don’t know. So we need to find help in keeping an eye on things so that someone knows and we know where to turn if we need information from those areas.

Today’s devotional (Forward – Day 4 of 7) speaks to this very subject. Today’s reading tells us the following…

1 Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, 2for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching. 3When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother, 4he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live. 5 Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. 6Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you. 7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. 8Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. 9She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.” 

10 Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many. 11I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. 12When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble. 13 Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life. 14 Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. 15Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on. 16For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong; they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble. 17For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. 18But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. 19 The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.
20 My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. 22For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. 23Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. 24Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. 25 Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. 26 Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. 27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.
–from Proverbs 4

So we need to be willing to receive instruction! We need to be sensitive to be able to gain insight! We may not know where to turn, and in that case we need to turn to God and ask Him for wisdom, for He will give it without finding fault in a generous manner.

Today’s devotional (Forward – Day 4 of 7) speaks to it this way…

“Growing Teachability”

The older I become in life and leadership, the more I find out I do not know. Can you identify with this?

Beyond the absolute Sovereign will of God and His favor extended to me, I believe there is one characteristic that has helped me to be where I am today: teachability.

Academia prepares us with various tools, but, leading people exposes what we do not know about life and leadership. When this happens, we can either lead backward, acting as if we can be taught nothing; or lead forward, growing in Christ daily due to a desire to be teachable in an ongoing manner.

So, how do we remain teachable? Listen to people teach. Read things beyond your own academic discipline. When you encounter a leader—from the youngest leader to the oldest leader—continually ask them questions.

The older you get, you will discover that being cutting edge has little to do with your look or dress. The only thing that will keep you on the cutting edge is your growing teachability.

Admiral Chester W. Nimitz led the U.S. Navy’s war on Japan in the Pacific Theater of World War II, commanding at one time the largest armada ever assembled. How important was teachability to Admiral Nimitz? “Some of the best advice I’ve had comes from junior officers and enlisted men?”

So, how teachable are you?

Today pray for the Holy Spirit to work a teachable spirit into your life. “Lord, fill me with the Holy Spirit. Empower me with Your Spirit today. Lord, compel me to live and lead with a teachable spirit all for your glory. Lord, help me adjust my mindset and my life to how I can best serve You and Your Kingdom.”

–from Forward – Day 4 of 7

 

Are you a leader of the and into the future?


Are you developing the character and the traits to make that happen? Are you living a way that is demonstrating and exemplifying them? Are you being a servant leader who is looking for the best in and of others? Are you being a servant leader who is respectful to others? Are you calling people to a higher level and standard? Are you building up relationships with them?

Today’s devotional is speaking to future leaders. It’s titled Forward (day 3 of 7). Today’s reading comes from Titus…

8but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.

–from Titus 1

It speaks to what a leader should be rather than what a leader shouldn’t be. So we need to be hospitable, love good, be self-controlled, be upright, be set apart, be disciplined and must be above reproach.

Had we started earlier in Titus, we would see what we shouldn’t be as well…

He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 9He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

–from Titus 1

We shouldn’t be arrogant nor quick-tempered nor a drunkard nor violent nor greedy! Are you taking hold of the truth so that you are able to share it with those around you? Are you taking hold of the truth and living in a way that others know that you care? Are you?

Today’s devotional Forward (day 3 of 7) pulls it all together this way…

“How to Become a Cross-Generational Leader”

No one in human history has ever demonstrated a greater ability to reach around his own generation, reach ahead of his generation, and reach behind his generation than Jesus.

Forward leaders do three things to influence a cross-generational audience:

1. Leading Relationally

People are no longer motivated to follow our leadership because we have a position or title. People are only motivated to follow our leadership when we show how deeply we care. We must take the time to build relationships with other people.

If we are going to overcome the generational divides that exists today, we have to lead relationally. This means we have to take the initiative with everyone.

2. Leading Respectfully

Cross-generational leaders respect other people. Caution: Forward leaders will be attacked, and when they are, they need to respond respectfully. Yesterday we read 1 Timothy 5:1-2. This passage pictures for us this very call to lead respectfully.

The generational divide ends in Jesus Christ. He brings everyone together. Value others. Respect others. Honor others. This is what forward leaders do.

3. Leading Responsibly

Leading responsibly sees the potential in others, regardless of their generation. Leading responsibly is getting to know other people, listening to them, and valuing who they are—not just what they can bring to your life and leadership.

Each of us makes a choice about how we lead others, view others, treat others, and value other daily. Today, pray: “Lord, fill me today with the Holy Spirit. Lord, compel me to see the potential in all people. Lord, build within me a desire to mentor and buildup those in my sphere of influence.”

–from Forward (day 3 of 7)

 

 

 

 

Are you making a difference as a leader?


Are you impacting the lives of those around you? Are you passing it on to the next generation? Are you helping to ensure there will be leaders to come? Are you calling people up to their full potential? Are you leading rather than ordering? Are you serving rather than demanding?

Today’s devotional (Forward – day 2 of 7) speaks to this.

If we consider Paul and his efforts to share and spread the good news. If we consider his role and character when it comes to leadership. And consider Timothy … the next generation, we find in today’s reading:

1 Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, 2older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.

–from 1 Timothy 5

Are you speaking to the next generation to encourage them? Are you speaking to them about honor and respect? Are you speaking to them about perspective? Are you using the source of truth to help? Are you speaking life and truth to those who are older than you? Are you speaking it those younger than you? Are you speaking to your peers?  Are you doing it all in love? All scripture is God breathed – God inspired. It is an incredible tool to help with teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness!

Today’s devotional (Forward – day 2 of 7) puts it this way…

“Cross-Generational Leadership”

Our goal as leaders should be to make the biggest difference in as many lives as we possibly can. Without compromising biblical truth and principles, you can ensure your leadership can do this.

Strong leaders are cross-generational leaders. But, what is a cross-generational leader? Leading cross-generationally occurs when you are able to lead people in your own generation, the generation that came before you, and the generation that comes behind you. In reality, you must lead cross-generationally if you want to make the biggest difference with your life.

No one in human history has ever demonstrated a greater ability to lead cross-culturally than Jesus Christ. Jesus promised He would return, and thus all generations are looking for Him. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Jesus led and still leads cross-generationally.

Like Jesus, the apostle Paul was also a forward leader who led cross-generationally. In 1 Timothy 5:1-2, we read the words of Paul to his protégé, Timothy: Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and with all propriety, the younger women as sisters.

Through this text, God is teaching us biblical respect for each other. Forward leadership is biblical and calls us to embrace the love of Jesus for all people. Additionally, Forward leaders are spiritual and recognize that without power from on high, they cannot love all people like Jesus loves all people..

Today, pray for the Holy Spirit to fall upon you and guide you to think more cross-generationally.

“Lord, fill me and empower me today with the Holy Spirit. Lord, compel me to live and lead cross-generationally for your glory.”