Tongue Holding

Tongue Holding

“One who despises his neighbor is void of wisdom, but a man of understanding holds his peace.” (Pro 11:12)

Sometimes the best thing you can say is nothing at all. Giving someone a piece of your mind may be a piece you can ill afford to lose.

There is grace in overlooking an offense, mercy in not taking retribution, and forgiveness in answering gently to a harsh critic. Grace, mercy, and forgiveness are all things that have been freely given to us.

Leaders sometimes seem to act with impunity and ‘cut loose’ on staff when things don’t go our way. There is no place for such behaviour in the workplace or in the Kingdom in any of its expression.

Let’s treat others as God has treated us. Thank goodness He does not give us what we deserve. Why not treat others as God treats us? Our businesses will be all the better for it.

Quick Prayer: Help me bite my tongue sometimes, please, Lord. Amen.

Fountain

Fountain

“The mouth of the righteous is a spring of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked.” (Pro 10:11)

Fountains are wonderful. They are refreshing, life giving, beautiful, and awe-inspiring. Our words should refresh, encourage, and inspire those around us.

The alternative doesn’t bear too much consideration. Today be aware of what you say. Are you speaking life or death? Your mouth should be a fountain of life.

Try and be conscious of what you say and its possible impact. If you are anything like me, you will be surprised by how little you say that enlightens the life of others. Maybe that is why the wise seem to speak little and listen a lot.

God has given us responsibly as leaders to grow, nourish and encourage those whom he has entrusted to us. It is a responsibility we should not take lightly, particularly in how and what we say.

Look for the opportunity to refresh someone at work this week. You well may be surprised by the reaction, though I would hope it is not one of total surprise.

Quick Prayer: Let the words of my mouth refresh others. Amen.

Flattery

Flattery

“With persuasive words, she led him astray. With the flattering of her lips, she seduced him. He followed her immediately, as an ox goes to the slaughter, as a fool stepping into a noose. (Pro 7: 21-22)

We all like to be admired. Leadership does attract attention from those in subordinate roles and from a larger section of community. It is easy to begin to believe that we are somehow special outside of our place in Christ.

Our vocation is just that, a calling of God aligned with the gifts and talents He has given us. All we have and all we are is from Him. When we are not fully centered in that reality we can succumb to the flattery of others and get puffed up with pride.

A vulnerably to flattery, that we all have to some measure, makes us vulnerable to exploitation and manipulation. The price of which can be quite devastating. In this instance a fall into adultery and its dire consequence.

But the principal is just as relevant in business. If you are being flattered, it may be a genuine compliment or it may be, as it often is, the desire of the other party to ingratiate themselves, based on some other agenda.

Quick Prayer: Protect me from flattering lips Lord, my self-esteem is in You. Amen.

Mercy

Mercy

“He who conceals his sins doesn’t prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” (Pro 28:13)

One of the down sides of an omnipotent God is that He sees everything. We have nowhere to hide. In fact, He knows what we are going to do even before we do it. Every dumb, crazy thing we will choose to do between now and when we die He is already fully aware of. We cannot surprise Him in any way.

So if we fall, let’s not find a dark corner and have a pity party; let’s not get into condemnation, saying, “God can never use me.” Let’s not stop meeting with Him as we wallow in our own disappointment and pride.

God has already forgiven you. He provided full pardon at the cross for all the sins of all men for all time. It is finished. Confess your sin, receive God’s mercy, and move on.

Quick Prayer: Thank You for Your mercy, Jesus. Amen.

Honesty

Honesty

That which makes a man to be desired is his kindness. A poor man is better than a liar.” (Pro 19:22)

We all have an innate reaction that will cause us to protect ourselves when under threat. Our first response when we are accused is to deny. We learn to overcome this protective response though the conscious choice to operate in honesty and integrity.

At what point would we lie to save ourselves, or our finances? This is a tough question and one hopefully we won’t need to know the answer to, but I would doubt many of us would refuse to say a little, tiny, insignificant white lie that wouldn’t hurt a fly rather than lose all our finances, our house, car, job, and possessions.

The same is true in our leadership roles, what would it take for us to lie rather than take a financial penalty? Some say we all have a price, is that true?

God’s view? It is better to be poor than a liar, and honesty is a mark of unfailing love.

Quick Prayer: Keep me honest above all things. Amen.

Discretion

Discretion

“The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger. It is his glory to overlook an offense.” (Pro 19:11)

Isn’t it annoying when you ask someone to do something and they stuff it up? Maybe it’s just me, but when someone is capable and they don’t deliver, I can get a little short in my attitude. I am absolutely sure you don’t react like this, but maybe you know someone who does?

Discretion is a wonderful attribute; one might even say Godly. To overlook an offence is to our glory. What a beautiful picture of grace and mercy. The Father overlooks all our sin because Jesus bore it when He died for us. How much more should we operate in grace and mercy to those around us. We know how much we need and rely on His mercy.

Let’s endeavour to overlook offence and choose not to be offended. Let’s operate in discretion and be slow to anger. I think people would like to work in a place like that. I think that people would like to work for a leader like that, I certainly would.

Jesus is, as always, our example; He shows us a way that is above our natural tendencies of judgment. He is transforming us into His image, so I am sure we will all have plenty of opportunity to exercise discretion.

Quick Prayer: I choose not to be offended because you are not offended by me. Amen.

Little

Little

podbean:

“Wealth gained dishonestly dwindles away, but he who gathers by hand makes it grow” (Pro 13:11)

Those get rich quick schemes draw people in because the desire to get wealth outweighs their common sense of testing an opportunity. The old saying is that if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is.

Our strategies at work need to take this into account to be effective in pursuing opportunity whilst avoiding pitfalls. Our gains need to be based on a firm foundation in order to be truly fruitful and sustainable.

If we take shortcuts in how we earn, whether that is in overcharging, having an inferior product, dodging taxes, or not paying our creditors, God will not honor our income. It becomes fleeting and fragile, built on an unsure foundation.

When we do it right, earn an honest income, and invest wisely, it may seem to be little by little, but you will build a solid foundation that God will look at and cause to grow.

Quick Prayer: Keep me away from the quick fix and illusion of fast money. Amen.

Secrets

Secrets

“One who brings gossip betrays a confidence, but one who is of a trustworthy spirit is one who keeps a secret.” (Pro 11:13) Gossip is described in Scripture as a “choice morsel,” and often it is. Perhaps it is a juicy bit of gossip only a few know. Or maybe we have been entrusted with a secret, a confidence has been entrusted to us. How do we respond? This is an important question because our ability to keep a secret speaks to our character. Being a person of integrity with an ability to be trusted makes us a safe place. When we are trusted, what we say is listened to. It takes a lot to build trust and only a single event to destroy it. Great culture is built on trust and trust on transparency. This can only be achieved in an atmosphere where your integrity is unquestioned, and our reputation sound. Our reputations are intrinsically intertwined with the reputation of Him Whom we serve. When we let ourselves down, we tarnish God’s reputation because we declare Him as our Lord.
Quick Prayer: Please help me to be trustworthy, Lord. Amen.