1. To Serve Is To Be Great
“Whoever wants to be great must become a servant.”
Here is the secret to great leadership. Leadership is not about rulership. It is about serving others. And in giving to others you will never lack for any good thing in your life.
2. There Is A Cure For Worry
“Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds. Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen colour and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving.”
To live a worry free life is a joy. Anxiety is a killer. So to be able to face each day, knowing that if the world can exist in such beauty and splendour, there is nothing that you need to be concerned about. Take a fresh look at nature and get the point.
3. Love Conquers All
“Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?” Jesus said “Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence. This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: Love others as well as you love yourself.”
“…if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously. You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves.”
When it comes to love we are given three directives: Love God. Love your neighbour. Love your enemies.
The first step forward to develop this love in your life is to learn to pray. I have found prayer to be an incredibly energising practice. Now if this is not familiar to you, let me explain that this is not the point where you get all holier than thou on me. Prayer for me is simply sharing my heart with one greater than myself. You will often find me talking out loud as I pray, or sometimes I’m simply speaking quietly in the depths of my mind to one greater than myself.
I was actually up at 3.30am this morning praying. That happens to me from time to time. But I also pray while I’m at work. I pray while I stroll beside the ocean. I pray in the car. I pray as an individual, and we pray as a family.
But what is prayer? Simply handing over life’s good and bad that we’re handed to one far greater than ourselves – and that even includes our enemies. Seems back to front to conventional thinking – but I have seen many an enemy turned around 180 degrees through the power of simply praying that good happen in their life.
4. Follow The Golden Rule
“Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behaviour: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them.”
This is such a wonderful principle. Simply, do as you want to be done. Often the good turn won’t come back from the one you did it for – but it will come back from somewhere in this amazing universe that we live in.
5. Ask For What You Need
“Here’s what I’m saying: Ask and you’ll get; Seek and you’ll find; Knock and the door will open. Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in.”
Go on, I dare you. Ask. In sales I learnt very quickly that if I never asked for the sale I would never get the sale. The power is in the asking. Now I’m not saying that you are going to pull a sales strategy on God. But ask, and in your asking expect to receive. When my children ask me for something, as their father I cannot resist the pull that it invokes on my fatherly heartstrings to give them the best that I have to offer.
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6. Judge Not
“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, and criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbour’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole travelling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbour.”
Point one finger in the direction of another in judgment and you have three pointing straight back at you. Not good. Resist the slippery slide towards judging others.
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