“God is so passionately committed to having a people for his own possession who live forever for the praise of His glory that He is not about to let our eternal destiny depend on our native powers of willing or doing.” – John Piper
“In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory.” – Ephesians 1:13-14
What God is telling us through these verses: “I have sealed you by My Spirit. Your inheritance is sure, because I am passionately committed to magnify the glory of My grace in your salvation.” (From the @YouVersion Bible App plan ‘Live By The Spirit: Devotions With John Piper’)
When we learn to keep everything we do simple, focused, and intentional – we are in the company of the some of the best and most brilliant thinkers and achievers in all history. Of course, because President Lincoln was leap years ahead of his time in so many ways… it is not surprising that he ran his campaigns and his country in a highly efficient manner. Lincoln implemented a highly productive team approach to provide maximum value for every U.S. Citizen long before business and industry defined Lean and other methodologies.
“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.” – President Abraham Lincoln, after being asked for advice on how to become an attorney.
This is not likely to be the last Abraham Lincoln quote you see from me as I am reading Team of Rivals. It is my drive time audiobook listen right now. Although I am only several hours in to over 40 hours of listening – I am learning so much already! I am gaining a new appreciation for this great leader and the incredible team he selected.
In my industry, Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety, there are many programs that teach team training. And that’s a good thing. In this and many other industries such as air transportation and manufacturing, the high reliability produced by great teamwork does much more than create successful popular businesses. It can literally save lives.
My idea of a high functioning team is one in which miscommunication rarely occurs and when it does it is quickly clarified so all members are working from the “same playbook” and “dancing to the same beat” once again. This correlates well with the research coming out of the Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality arenas which aggregate data from adverse patient care incidents across the country. The most commonly identified causitive factor of adverse events in healthcare is breakdown in communication, a.k.a poor teamwork.
However, I sometimes wonder if we spend too much time teaching complicated methodologies on what it takes to be a winning team. I saw this simple acronym come across my LinkedIn feed today (unsure of original source of the quote) that summed up great teams in one little square on my cell phone screen.
So, after posting some God-given encouragement on Instagram this morning, I found myself distracted from the #GoodGoodFather I had been communing with just moments ago by obsessively counting likes on my posts. I was shifting from finding my worth in Him to attempting to ascertain my value from that! Thankfully, He intervened in my soul once again with these words:
“Place your full focus on Me rather than gazing at yourself. Don’t let even My blessings and the beauty I’ve placed in you distract you from the Strength and Hope I AM. This can block my ability to flow through you to others in need of Me.”
Our Father wrote some words in the Bible a while back as a reminder for moments like these:
“[looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].” Hebrews 12:2 AMP (Amplified Version)
Let’s continue to listen to the sweet voice of our Father and become who we already are….
An #InstaPrayer for deliverance from the perfectionism we hide behind….
These thoughts began during the #WeekendExperience at my Amazing Church. It was a beautiful morning full of #GodEncounters as we took the time to #HearGodSpeak with and through each other. However, I had a little angst when something was spoken to me and in resonated in me instructing me not to “hide behind my words”. As I pondered this (a.k.a. pouted over it) I was thinking, “I don’t hide behind hide words! I’m a communicator and a writer! Of course I use a lot of carefully crafted words! It’s one of my gifts!”. However, the more I thought about it… the more I realized that your gift can become your curse when – rather than using it authentically – you use it as a tool for unhealthy perfectionism in vain attempts to create “perfect” moments or to self-protect (“skirt around” the real issues) during difficult conversations.
I’m blogging about this because I have a feeling I’m not the only one who has struggled in this area. Your gift may not be words. It may be fashion or culinary creating, for instance. But the fashionista becomes a captive of her own craft when it becomes more than her creative expression and she refuses to leave the house or FaceTime with a friend until she has that “perfect” look. And the chef loses joy in his creating when he tosses a well-loved recipe aside because of one harsh review.
Oh, and then there’s the fact that your gift can become a god/idol to you and God’s really not cool with that. (See Exodus 20:3. And while you’re in your #BibleApp, check out all the times in Psalms when God is referred to as our rock and our refuge…. Not anything we do or have or anyone we know…. #GodAlone).
So… let’s just live, love, and share our gifts… perhaps before that 100th rewrite or rework in our heads of that conversation, outfit, or meal. Or, as it’s been said, “Don’t let the perfect get in the way of the good”. When you allow your gift to become your source of security – you’re risking it becoming a clumsy, uncomfortable, even destructive crutch rather than the beautiful life-giving blessing it’s meant to be.
And, as I do through my Amazing Church, professional counseling/life-coaching, and in support groups with others on journeys similar to mine, be sure to position yourself in places of authentic connection where you can learn more about yourself through relationship with God and others. It takes the eyes of others to see yourself clearly sometimes.
Ok, that’s enough words shared for now. And this time I’m not hiding behind them – but revealing a part of my heart through them. That’s what words are for.
Let’s become who we already are… together.