[Adapted from the archives]
If you’re a leader (and you are – you’re leading your life), your personal paradox is this:
Simultaneously, you need to get over yourself and look after yourself.
Or as Dory might say –
#1 There’s lots to learn. Just keep swimming.
You’ll never know everything. You’ll never stop learning. And you can learn from anyone. (Even kids.) (Especially kids.)
God’s wisdom is fathomless, and freely available. Never stop – not for one day – leaning closer and closer to Him, because in Him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
#2 God works it all out for good. Just keep swimming.
You’ll want to quit when things you sing or say or write come out wrong. But God causes all things to work for the good of those who love Him. Even the mistakes that make you *cringe* in bed at night. And good means, making you more like Jesus.
When the vulnerability levels required of you are overwhelming – when it feels like you’re walking around in the world without skin – when there’s inevitable backlash to your obedience – He’ll cause it for your good.
You’ll constantly need to tame the raging fear of what if I’m just mediocre?
You’ll never be everybody’s favourite. There’ll *always* be someone more gifted than you. Still, keep taking opportunities for as long as God gives them. He uses you because of – not in spite of – your weaknesses. Surround yourself with trustworthy peeps who love you enough to tell you the truth when you’re veering off course. Then, adjust accordingly.
He’ll work it all out for good, and it will be worth it.
It’s about God’s glory – not yours. So look for His approval – not people’s.
#3 It’s not about you. Just keep swimming.
You’ll need encouragement every step of the way (especially when it looks like you don’t). Just know, the longer you do what you do, the less feedback and fanfare there’ll be because folks will get used to your gifting. Which is so good because it drives you to your knees where you’ll decide to keep doing it anyway, for God’s whispered Well Done.
That said, use your gifts to promote unity and community. If you’ve sinned? Repent. If you’ve upset or offended someone – unwittingly, unwillingly? Try to make peace. Even if reconciliation feels like a losing battle, it’s a losing battle worth fighting.
The price you’ll pay to give yourself wholeheartedly to Kingdom work is enormous. It’s lonely. It will also come at a cost to your spouse, your kids, your extended family and friends. Steward your gift well, with that in mind. And know there’s grace for their journeys as much as there’s grace for yours.
#4 The cost is great. Just keep swimming.
If you’re married, God chose your spouse to be your refuge from this cray-cray world. What’s of God for you is of God for your spouse. You’re in this together. Honour your person every chance you get. Never stop adding the secret sauce of hand-holding and *No Secrets* and great sex and words of affirmation and date night and soft hearts and praying together as much and as often as possible.
Don’t ever kid yourself that you’ve arrived. Not one of us ever arrives – not until we arrive on eternity’s shore. And we can’t begin to imagine what waits for us there!
#5 The reward is great. Just keep swimming.
Through His mighty power at work within you, your Heavenly Father will accomplish infinitely more than you might ask or think. He sees what’s done in secret, and His rewards are, quite literally, out of this world.
. . .
It’s the weekend! Have a good one!
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