Tag: Spiritual

Balanced Godly Focus

A healthy physical and spiritual approach to life provides a benefit to extending life. The benefit of this extension on a spiritual level is eternal in nature.

Paul phrased it this way, “bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Ti. 4:8).

Developing the habits for a godly life require at least three necessities: 1) constant nourishment in healthy and balanced teaching, 2) avoiding a worldly focus, and 3) discipline in godliness.

Reflection and Correction

Maintaining good physical health does not come easy. We need strong determination and discipline in areas of physical activity and healthy eating habits. Maintaining good spiritual health requires the same determination and application of discipline.

People need to see the message as well as hear it. How do we make this alignment possible?

Reflection: Each night, look back over the day and consider conversations, actions, attitudes, etc. Do they reflect what we want as an example of Christianity?

Correction:
Do not make excuses, make changes. Each day is a new opportunity to start fresh and work on the areas of our conversations, actions, attitudes, etc.

Changing Self

Think about the implications of a thought expressed by Rumi, “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

Most people associated with spiritual leadership desire to change the world. However, an unending list of questions would need to be answered to even consider the task.

The idea of changing others cannot be achieved by compulsion or coercion. If change is achieved by such means the results will not last.

When we focus on changing ourselves we provide a living testimony for the world as to the benefits that come from implementing such change.

Leadership Download

Think about the concept of “downloading.” Literally, the idea is about transferring information from one source to another in an understandable format.

Downloading a virus can hinder, shut down, and/or destroy the function of your device.

Computers also download updates beneficial to the overall performance of the device.

Spiritual leaders know followers are constantly downloading information from them. Is the information hindering, shutting down, or destroying the function of their service? Are they providing information in an understandable, beneficial format? Does the information improve the overall performance of the individual or group?

Leaders make a difference. Make sure those who follow download the right material.

Leading Spiritual Growth

One of the greatest challenges facing Christian leaders involves measuring spiritual growth. Perhaps a place to start is our activities in life.

Consider developing an application Paul’s instruction in Colossians 3, “Set your mind on things above, not on the things that are on earth.”

Begin with minimizing the way we focus on the things of this earth. We could focus on spending fifteen minutes each day with turning the cell phone, computer, television, and other electronic devices off. Practice spending these few moments in silence and allow God to fill our thoughts.

Once we are comfortable with fifteen minutes, add five more.

Optimistic Leadership

The eternal optimist sounds like a beautiful description of leadership character. Expecting the best to happen every time is an encouraging consideration, but not as realistic as we would like. One reason is because how the word “best” is defined determines the direction of our optimism.

As spiritual leaders, when we trust that whatever happens in our life is best for this moment, then we begin to look at each situation as an opportunity to learn and grow. This is where positive thinking is born and the results create a far better approach to a life well-lived.

Spiritual Growth

How can we measure spiritual growth? The most common answer is an increase in Bible knowledge. This is why we are pushed to spend more time studying our Bibles.

Without a doubt, we need to grow in our knowledge of God’s word. However, knowledge of God’s word alone does not equate to spiritual growth, and we all know it’s true.

Measuring or determining spiritual growth / health, occurs on the battle field of application.

Leaders must find ways that bridge the gap from the first century writing of God’s word into the twenty-first century life. The task is not easy.

Physical and Spiritual

We need to take care of our physical health. Instead of a fad diet, be moderate. Learn to not eat beyond comfort. Add exercise. This is not a push to be in the gym five times a week, but taking small steps. Why not park further from the store and walk? Twenty to thirty minutes a day of brisk walking will bring surprising results.

Nothing takes greater precedence than our spiritual health. This is not about reading and praying more. Obviously, we all need to do so. However, spiritual health involves application of what is written. Instead of speaking in anger, think of the song “Angry Words.”

Knowing Who We Lead

Is it possible to spiritually lead others without knowing them? Leaders must know their dreams, aspirations, hopes, and personal goals.

Years ago, a former boss told me, “If you take care of those under you, they will take care of you.”

A leader cannot look out for the well-being of people without knowing them.

Nothing is more important than knowing the needs of others and providing for those needs.

The four basic needs include physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual. Our culture generally uses this order. However, spiritual leaders understand the necessity of reversing it.

We must be given to meeting the spiritual needs of others.

A Prayer for Sight

One of the great prayers in the Old Testament is found in 2 Kings 6:17 where Elisha said, “O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Elisha prayed that God would help his servant see beyond what the physical eye could behold to witness a far greater battle.

Leaders must pray for others to see a spiritual realm of truth. The idea is about an ability to see through the eye of faith and recognize the greatness of our God.

The prayer of a leader moves the One who moves the universe. May He open all our eyes to see more clearly and fully.