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Posts Tagged ‘character’

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As a kid, I thought I was indestructible. There was no place I wouldn’t explore, and no height too high to jump from.

I didn’t ask questions or think twice about my landings. I was daring and courageous. Don’t even get me started on when I first got my license. God worked over time with me.

As kids, we more readily trusted. We trusted our own abilities as well as others. We were fearless. We risked. We took risks with activities, academics, and relationships.

As adults, trust seems to get harder to do. We begin to institute the “think twice” rule in adulthood. Fears and wounds are introduced over time, and the force field of our hearts seems to grow stronger.

The process of trust is a long journey. It usually requires much reassurance along the way.

Learning to trust is a messy process.

The deception about trust is that it is solely based on the other person. Trusting someone else is no small thing. However, we become unsure of people over time, especially if we have experienced pain and hardship.

The truth about trust issues is not because of the other person, although that is a factor, but the deeper reason for trust issues is that we are unsure of ourselves.

Relationships are constantly growing and changing in our lives. It is hard to keep up with identifying our expectations and wants/needs in our relationships.

An eye opening truth for me is that the kid who used to climb to the highest point of a tree is now fear driven. My fears and insecurities are the lenses through which I see. These fears affect my relationships on every level.

Our fears cause us to undermine and discredit the people in our lives. Conflict and Failure is the inevitable result.

I have trust issues.

They are the thorns in my side. Trust is so hard for me. I am learning that the reason I have trust issues is because I have self-perception issues. The reason I think that people are going to abuse my trust is because deep down I think I am worth the abuse.

To be honest, the more intimate a relationship gets for me the more I play defense with my heart. The more intimate a relationship the more I tend to play out the potential pain in my head. This creates tension and hurt in my relationships.

My trust issues set up failure in a lot of ways. Somewhere in me is the voice that says, “You are worth leaving. You are replaceable. You are not worth your value. You are worth hurt.”

I am not disqualifying the experiences that have contributed to these fears. I have experienced pain that makes trust hard. However, the pain does not equal the truth about me.

I am also not disqualifying that some people are not trustworthy and you have to discern that for yourself.

Most conflicts related to trust begins with our own self-perception.

This is not just our relationships with one another, how we view ourselves affects our relationship with God. I know I dismiss him often by giving the voice of my fears too much weight. It wrecks havoc.

I am so thankful for a God who is patient, gentle, and unconditionally loving. He makes all things new in me.

Trust is a risk that requires surrendering our own understandings. 

What are your hang ups with trust?

What are your self-perceptions that hinder trust?

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Joseph is a man who’s life bleeds character. Joseph’s story is one of abandonment, heartache, injustice, steadfastness, faith, and redemption.

You see, Joseph had a dream. Joseph was given a dream by God. He had no idea what it meant or how it would even come to fruition, but he had it. Joseph was also a punk kid who didn’t have very many hardships in the beginning of his life. He was the favorite child among his brothers. He was given much freedom and favor from his father. This made for some bitter brothers.

Joseph’s family had a different dream for him. It was not one of success or even joy.

Let me give you the big picture of Joseph’s life.

  • Assaulted by his brothers and abandoned for dead
  • Sold into slavery by those same family members
  • Framed for committing adultery with the wife of his boss, Potipher
  • Thrown into prison
  • Served as prison admin.
  • Forgotten by a man who could have freed him from his prison days.
  • Stayed in prison life for two full years after that hope
  • Went from prison administrator to right hand of pharaoh
  • Saved a nation from famine
  • Reconciled the broken relationships with the same family members who assaulted, abandoned, and sold him into slavery.

That is a ton of bumps in the road for Joseph. He knew deep grief and hurt. Joseph had times of believing in the false summit. Potipher was high up in the kings army, maybe that could be his way to the top? A cup bearer being reinstated to a job even closer to the king, could that be his way out?

God gave Joseph a dream. There was something just for him to do. Nothing about the road that got him to his dream was easy. Joseph never treated God like an easy-button God either. He never asked for an easier situation of circumstance. I am sure he might’ve had unrecorded words with God, but he never took control of his path. Joseph believed in the real summit. Joseph held strong to his dream. Not only did he hold strong to his dream, he held strong to the dream giver.

Everything Joseph did along his path cultivated his character. Everything he was in charge of equipped him for the greater dream.

John Maxwell described Joseph’s process as one “who paid the price of preparation.” He also stated that, “every time Joseph faced adversity, he used it to develop his character. Joseph was able to follow each setback with a comeback.

Joseph spent thirteen years cultivating his character before he was appointed right hand man to pharaoh. By that time his character showed that Joseph was not bitter about any of us unfortunate turns in the road and mistreatment’s. Joseph did not right his wrongs.

One important aspect about Joseph’s story for me is that when Joseph entered into his dream, he did not “arrive.” Joseph still depended on God. He still spent time cultivating his character. In the world’s eyes, Joseph obtained the top job. He made it. But it is in those moments where God will always point upward and say, “keep going, you’re not there yet.

Does your path resemble an unknown way that is cultivating your character?

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Waiting is a huge theme in the bible. Every Great had to go through many seasons of waiting.

I wonder what waiting was like 2000 years ago. They had no electronics to take up space to time. They waited for crops to grow, and hard working hand cultivated family life.

Our culture does not wait. We move so fast. Our addiction to instant gratification leaves no room for waiting, breathing, thinking, or developing.

We have lost the value of developing.

I’ve been stuck on song remixed by Jesus Culture called Oh Lord You’re Beautiful. It is a song rich in simplicity and tenderness. I have been stuck on the bridge of the song that says,

“I want to take your word and shine it all it around.

First help me just to live it Lord.

And when I’m doing well,

help me never to seek a crown

for my reward is giving glory to you.”

I read these words and see sober richness. Our lives take development. We can’t do anything a part from this process.

Look at just the human body. We hold our heads up, crawl, and than walk. We grow in height, weight, and body mass (not a fan of that part..) Then our moods kick in, puberty hits and all hell breaks loose on development.

This process is no different when it comes to our character and dreams. God has wired us all with gifts and talents. He has something uniquely designed for our lives. It takes development. We first need His help to live out and understand the basics of who He is before what’s next.

When David was anointed to be King, He was not ushered immediately from the pasture to the throne. God took David through many years of development before He was ever ready to be King.

Joseph was a man of unjust hardship, but God never lost sight of using every circumstance to develop him. There is a reason why Joseph was given the same types of tasks no matter where he was. When the time came for Joseph to be Prime Minister, he was ready.

God even spent 30 years developing His own son, Jesus before any ministry or miracles ever happened. “Jesus grew in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man.

We need to learn how to live it first before we can do anything else. Waiting is a process and season of development – one too valuable to speed through or miss. Don’t rush your development. He surely will wait on us to go through it.

Wait well.

Slow down.

Develop.

Learn to live it out.

What’s being developed in you?

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Have you ever experienced someone who is the right kind of famous?

Our culture has a category of famous people. These people are recognizable. We hold famous people in high regard. We admire them for different characters played or even music sung.

Why are we attracted to famous people?

Is it that we see the evidence that “dreams” can happen?

Is it just because of the music we like or the movies we see them in?

What is it about the lives of famous people that we are drawn to?

I think I can name one famous person who I admire because of their life not just what they have played on screen.

Makes me wonder what the right kind of famous is.

More often than not people are famous because they are recognizable, but what about the heart? The right kind of famous for me is a person’s heart.

Isaiah described the coming Messiah as one who “had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering. He was despised and we esteemed him not.”

Jesus came as the Messiah – the most famous and awaited for person of his time – he was dismissed for being the wrong kind of famous. Jesus did not come riding on a grand chariot, or adorned with splendor. He lived his life redefining the right kind of famous.

In the midst of sorrow and suffering, Jesus died for us. In the midst of pain and rejection, he carried our sin and transgression to the cross.

Jesus lived and died the right kind of famous.

Famous for me is the heart. Famous for me is character. Famous for me is choosing to wrestle with the hard of what’s right. This is famous for me because this is what famous should look like.

This is the kind of famous I want to be.

What is the right kind of famous for you?

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Have you ever experienced a time where you found yourself in a waiting season?

I will admit to being a person who struggles when it comes to waiting.

Our fast paced culture does not enable waiting well. People who are waiting constantly look at their watches and are most likely agitated.

Waiting can be accompanied by fear as well. Waiting can stir up the fear that someone has forgotten us. Fears that arise when in a waiting season can challenge our sense of value.

How do you wait well?

How do you wait well when the season of waiting seems long?

Now waiting for the bus is way different then waiting on a dream or direction. Waiting can cause us to question and doubt. Waiting requires faith and trust. Those two words are very challenging.

Andy Stanley did a great series that tackled the question of, “what do you do when you feel like God is inattentive, uncooperative, and late?

All three of those words come to mind when experiencing a waiting season. I battle with those words a lot, and sometimes on a daily basis, in this waiting period. It is hard not to play the comparison game and even be jealous when it comes to waiting.

Waiting seasons challenge my faith and trust. Waiting is lonely.

Andy talked about a key verse that speaks directly into the heart of waiting. Jesus said, “Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.

Such a powerful verse! This verse speaks to waiting. Waiting comes with the expectation that God should do something—that he should do something for me. Honestly, I have expected God to do something and act in my waiting. I used the words that God knows my situation; he is able to change it.

Ever felt like God is silent when you don’t think he should be? Ever felt like he must not care if he is not doing something?

We can start to equate our situations with how God feels about us.

Blessed are those who do not stumble when we feel like God is inattentive, uncooperative, and late. Blessed are those who choose faith even though the waiting continues. Blessed are those who choose to hope when hoping seems in vain. Blessed are those who still know God is able regardless of the waiting time.

I am holding on to the truth of Andy words that, “our situations do NOT reflect the way God feels about us.

I am working on waiting well. For me, that means not letting it affect the perception of my value and self-worth.

What does waiting well look like for you?

 

 

 

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I have been marinating on some tough questions for me lately.

Have you ever had those small whispering type questions that tug at your deep hearted places?

Those kinds of questions challenge me to the core in truth. They are questions that remind me who I am tethered to.

I am a person who gravitates toward leadership. I think I popped out of the womb leading. I love it. Leading is life giving to me. I love speaking and influencing through the outlet of leadership. As fun as leading is for me, it is also the area I need to keep myself the most in check.

Our gifts can be our curses as well.

I have been asking myself two questions:

1) Am I leading people to me or Him?

2) What does influencing without credit look like?

John the Baptist is one of my go-to guys when it comes to leadership. John was amazing at consistently directing people towards Jesus. He always handled the weight of his influence wisely.

Before Jesus arrived on the scene, John was talking about him. When asked about being the Messiah, John pointed to Jesus.

The minute Jesus came to the river to be baptized, John pointed to him. Every time John saw Jesus, he told people to follow him. John held loosely to his disciples and pushed them to follow after Jesus.

When John’s disciples complained to him about Jesus’ disciples baptizing more than they were, John responded that they should be. John never made himself greater than Jesus, but even stated, “he must become more and I must become less.

True character of leadership right there.

John wasn’t worried about credit or his numbers. John worried about people knowing and following after Jesus.

Am I?

We are all influencing and being influenced. We are all leading and following someone. I am constantly asking myself the question, “Am I following the one pointing me to Jesus, or the Jesus they are pointing to?

Influence is no small thing. There is a huge weight of responsibility when it comes to influence. It is very important to carry it well.

If I am leading people to me, I will fail. I am learning the simple fact that as I follow him followers happen.

I want to be a person who carries the weight of my influence well. I desire to be an open handed leader; always pointing to him in words and action.

Are you leading people to you are him? How?

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Many people have different appreciations for leadership. We are often drawn to different aspects and characteristics  of leadership.

I am very passionate about the topic of leadership. I am a sponge when it comes to soaking up concepts, styles, and wisdom on leadership.

One characteristic of a leadership that I appreciate in someone is when they pursue learning new things. I love when a leader gets passionate about learning. Not only that, but I love when leaders pass on what they know to others because they can’t help it.

I don’t want to be the type of leader who thinks she’s knows it all, or plateaus in learning. Lord help me when complacency like that sets in.

I respect so much the characteristic of risk taking that leaders do. I LOVE watching that happen. With the fear of failing high, I admire so much those who risk anyway.

We are all drawn to different characteristics in people. We all notice different things.

What are some small or big leadership qualities that you love/appreciate? 

Do you have a story of how leadership has been misused?

 

 

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