I was reading Michael Hyatt’s exceptional blog recently. The post was on 10 mistakes leaders should avoid. He had great insights, based on his own years as a leader in business. He listed things like avoiding pride, always do business with integrity, choose your advisers carefully, and live according to your values.
All great advice. My first thought was “where can I write these things down where I will see them and work on practicing them daily?” Adding it to my already overflowing list of good habits I’m trying to work on felt rather daunting.
Every effective leader strives for continual growth and improvement and if you are a Type A personality, your list of areas to work on in your life is at least several pages long. How do we fit it all in?
One of my guiding principles is 2 Peter 1:5-7 “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.”
More great virtues to strive for. But! It gets a bit overwhelming. We are human after all. How can we possibly work on all these areas of our character? How can we even remember to work on them amongst all the other responsibilities in our life?
The answer lies in verses 2-4 of 1 Peter chapter 1 “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature… ”
All of those attributes of an exceptional leader, all of the godly character traits we wish to embody are all possible, but not from our own efforts. We only have one thing to do: increase in our knowledge of the Lord. The word knowledge as it is used in scripture means “experience”. This is not a head knowledge.
Knowledge of the Lord does not come from knowing a lot about the bible. We all know people who can quote scripture and speak in all the Christian jargon, but that doesn’t mean they know the Lord. Truly knowing God comes from talking to Him, listening to Him, meditating on His word and asking Him for wisdom about it.
We grow to know God just as we come to know a new friend – by investing time in the relationship:
- learning about what the other person has done in the past
- watch what they do now
- listen to what they say
- notice how they treat other people
- talk with them
- spend time with them
Grow in the knowledge of the Lord, become sensitive to His voice and HE will do the work within you to “give you all things which pertain unto life and godliness.” All those things Michael wrote about and all the virtues on my list all flow naturally from a life dedicated to letting the Lord have His way in us. I don’t have to “work” on those things. I don’t have to strive to be better. I have to let go and let God do it. My efforts are to be put toward growing in a relationship with the Lord and He’ll handle the details.
God is so good, He really does make it easy. We’re the ones who muck it up, but that’s a topic for another day.
What are you struggling with in your life? Can you let go of it and expend your mental energy seeking Him in prayer and worship instead? I’m not talking about praying for answers, I’m talking about praying and asking for God to be more and more in your life.