Thursday, December 4, 2014
Building People of Substance for Works of Power
Stay hungry, Friend!
I had one of those moments the other day when I just had no idea how to respond. A gentleman walked up to me after church and said, “You are the best Christian I know.” My response was almost incoherent – lots of “uhs” and “wells” randomly strung together. All I could think was, “He must not know many Christians.” I certainly wanted to be appropriately grateful for such a kind comment, but I also didn’t want to sound as if I thought I was deserving. I finally managed a “Thank you” following my final “Uh, well,” and we moved on. The moment prompted me to think on several things. First, how easy it is to assess someone based on what we see, when God alone knows the heart! Second, I wondered what the phrase “best Christian” might mean if God were doing the grading. Finally, it struck me how often we forget that people are watching our body of work in this Christian endeavor. I never want to be a people pleaser, but I would like to be a safe example to follow.
A few years ago the Lord gave me a brief list of priorities to apply in implementing projects and programs. He told me that I should look for the right man (character) with the right message (theology) on the right mission (calling), and only then should we work together toward finding the right method (practices and programs). Often our emphasis is on the wrong M: Who I am is more significant than what I do. My rumination on being “the best Christian” moved me to think, not about finding the right man, but about being the right man. Without that starting point my great theology and gifting and technical expertise are at best useless, and at worst dangerous. So, what kind of man is the right man? A list of my favorites looks like this: Dependable, loyal, honest, humble, hard-working, and hungry. Yes, hungry! Hungry is the opposite of satisfied and complacent. I want to stay hungry: hungry for God, hungry for knowledge, hungry for growth, just hungry to get better. If I am not moving forward, I am dropping behind.
Scripture Reading: a wise person will listen and continue to learn, and an understanding person will gain direction- (Pro 1:5 GW)
Somebody Said: Growth is the great separator between those who succeed and those who do not. When I see a person beginning to separate themselves from the pack, it’s almost always due to personal growth. John C. Maxwell
My character is not in my performance, but in my direction. Even on the days when I am too tired, too discouraged, or just too lazy to do much of anything, I want to find one thought to think, one sentence to read, one song to sing, one person to engage to move me at least a centimeter in the direction of being a better man than I was when I woke up. Let’s stay hungry, my friend.