Perception – You Are What Other People See
Probably the biggest battle I fight is one of perception with other people. Why is this a battle? Mostly because I let my selfish side take over my actions, instead of being mindful of how my actions affect others. I make excuses about this behavior to appease my ego, pride, and sense of accomplishment. No excuses justify my actions of self-preservation. I need to rely on the Creator to give me grace and mercy when I fail.
those who never read the Bible will read our lives, so it is by doing good that we put to silence the ignorance of foolish men – David Guzik (1 Peter 2 Commentary
I heard this quote in Sunday’s sermon and spent some time in introspection. Working with teams, coaching and mentoring, I often talk about the value of introspection. As Christians, this is a habit that we must cultivate for several reasons:
- People see how we behave every day. We are representatives of the Kingdom. If we live “ordinary” and “worldly” lives, the witness does not match our faith. Remember one day ordinary will be eternity in heaven worshipping our Lord.
- I look backwards to understand how I can create opportunities to share Christ’s love through me going forward.
- As Christians, if we are growing, we are changing. Change brings about character through perseverance, especially during struggles. Look back on the struggle and share the lessons of maturing in Christ.
- Are you lukewarm? Who would people rather hang around with, the milk toast or the magnet. Christians are a peculiar people. I have gone from being a person might only give a passing comment so as not to be looked at funny to being a fan of my Master interjecting the good news intentionally in my actions. I am finding that the differing attitudes, principles, and foundation in Christ draws people near.
I am excited to see other people now looking at me differently. I am not ashamed of being gracious, loving, caring, humble, meek and having a servant’s heart. The perception is changing and it is on the right path. My hope is that people see Christ in me so that they can also establish an eternal relationship.
Two Outcomes of Fear
Today on a podcast of Design Matters, Seth Godin was talking about the reason so many people are blocked from moving forward is because of fear. I started thinking about the fear in my life and how it is very selfish and created because I want people to have a certain perception of me. Going a little deeper, I believe there actually two outcomes of fear:
- Fear of something creates a healthy reverence and respect.
- Fear creates moments or even seasons of paralysis.
In the season of life I am in, I often see the second outcome, paralysis. I fear changing my job role, stability for my family, not leaving a legacy for others, etc. Then I realized as long I fear the Lord with whole hearted reverence and respect, I have the best advocate for helping me out of those moments when I am frozen in place by indecision, doubt, and selfishness.
Are You a Participant or a Volunteer at Your Workplace
There is a 5 part podcast series on building your leadership pipeline that I was listening to this morning on the treadmill. The part I was listening to was about the role people fit into the pipeline. It made me think of where I work and I started bucketing traits of participants in the workplace vs. volunteers.
- Are just there to do the job at hand. No extra work required.
- The paycheck drives the decision making for them.
- Participants can also be seen as voyeurs in that outside of the work they are doing, they just watch. Whether what they see happening is good or bad, they don’t care and are not going to jump in to right the ship.
- Have a what have you done for me lately attitude. Participants expect to gain something, usually self-serving.
- Participants only grow when they are fed by others and are picky on the nourishment that they are given.
- They are passengers.
- Step out of their comfort zone and take on something that doesn’t necessarily benefit themselves.
- See a bigger picture and are willing to risk being part of it.
- Care deeply about doing work that may only be to server others as it is part of a passion or grander plan.
- Volunteering shows leadership.
- Volunteers grow by feeding themselves. They search out the nourishment that enriches their career.
- They are in the driver’s seat.
I want to be a volunteer wherever I can. As a leader, I appreciate volunteers, because they are stepping out for a greater purpose.
A Smile is a great conversation starter
When someone smiles at me, I catch myself drawn in and smile back. Frowns, grimaces, or scowls push me away. When I walk down the halls at work, I make a practice of smiling at others. Usually what ensues is a good morning, hello, or how are you doing? Oh by the way, they are smiling back.
Giving Glory, Honor, and Thanks To God
As part of my BSF study, the following question was presented:
What does it mean to give glory, honor, and thanks to God, and how are you doing so? (See 1 Chronicles 29:11-13); Romans 12:1-2; Colossians 3:16-17).
I came up with a couple of key words here: Recognize and Action
We must understand that everything is God’s and under His control. He provides the power and the riches and the honour of our lives. It seems obvious, but how many times do we try to take control of our lives and of those around us? It is a limitation of our thinking and our sinful nature that we don’t include the most powerful, most generous and most honorable presence in every decision we make.
We must put into practice the act of including God in our decisions. In Romans 12:2 we are asked to prove what is the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. Who do we need to prove it to? First ourselves, and then to others. God has nothing to prove to us. Our actions should establish the truth and genuine nature of God. We are called to do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, so anything we do is an action that includes God.
May this be a blessing to you. This month I am creating a series on Intentional Living. Please join in the conversation.
Romans 12:4 – “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function.”
All of us are part of a team, whether it is your family, work, or an extracurricular activity. As part of a team we are expected to participate. I am starting to understand the values of participating at the right level. Here are some challenges when we don’t participate correctly.
- We may over function for someone else.
- We may cause other people to have to over function to make up for our lack of participation.
- We may wear down before our time.
- We may become discouraged, frustrated, or complacent in our roles
- A lack of participation will cause gaps for the team and shows signs of immaturity, both of the individual and the team.
My wish is to be a correctly participating individual using the Grace of God to give me balance.
Thoughts on Developing Strengths
This is nothing new to most individuals, but really hit home to me today as I was looking at some team challenges.
- We all have areas where we can develop in.
- Without help in our developmental area, we have to discover the “deep knowledge”. This can be painful and arduous at best.
- Many times the deep knowledge is only for those core areas where we want to be a craftsman. You want those learnings to become a part of you.
- When working on an area to develop, keep in mind “there is nothing new under the sun.” You should leverage the foundations that others have sweated over, poured their heart into, and shared with the world.
- Share the learnings of what you are developing so others can benefit.
- It may be that you should “outsource” the item(s) you are trying to gain knowledge about. It may not be the best use of your time.
I will work to develop my strengths in a practical manner that is to the benefit of those around me.
Applying the right focus
Applying the right focus in each situation will enable a outcome that is pleasing to God. It creates peace and calm instead of complaints and calamity. Remember, others pay the most attention to your actions when you are in tough situations. This week I will work to applying that laser focus to God’s will and not my own.