Big Mouth

Big Mouth

“Open your mouth for the mute, in the cause of all who are left desolate.” (Pro 31:8)

If you are in a leadership position in business, God has given you influence. What will you use it for? To bless yourself and your family? Yes, that is fine. To bless others in your company or church? That is fine too. But what of those who have no voice in society, those who have no influence or resources—who will speak for them? How will their voice be heard, and justice done?

Often, we see life through our own worldview, blissfully unaware of others who are less fortunate than ourselves. It is our duty to look again and ask how we can help. You can make a difference. Is God speaking to you today?

Quick Prayer: Let me see the needs of others and have the courage to speak for them. Amen.

Get Outside

Get Outside

“Prepare your work outside and get your fields ready. Afterwards, build your house.” (Pro 24:27)

There is a lot of wisdom in this one very short verse. When we approach a new problem or situation at work, we have to ascertain the priorities. In this case, part of the required solution is productive and will ensure the secondary outcome.

If the fields are planted and the income is assured, then time and resources can be allocated to building the house. If the approach is the opposite, the house may well be built but with no food and resources, and disaster would ensue. The outcome could well be the loss of the house.

These two outcomes—failure and success—came from the same set of resources in the same situation with the same people; the only differentiator was the priorities set.

A key leadership responsibility is to set priorities to ensure the sustainability of the entirety, not just a single project. We are the keepers of the vision and have the big picture. Knowing the priorities is at the core of good leadership.

Quick Prayer: I see Your priorities, Lord. Help me to align my life to them. Amen.

Quiet Priorities

Quiet Priorities

“Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife.” (Pro 17:1)

What price do we put on success? What price will we pay for success? How do we measure it? Sometimes our worldly temporal view is clouded and shaped by the society we live in. Our worldview is influenced by the saturation of our cultural norms.

We live in a consumerist society, there is no escaping the western worldview that more is better; here is the shiny new thing you didn’t know about yesterday, but now need today.

In this proverb it seemingly goes to extremes, at least from our Western perspective. Quietness is valued over plenty of food, as is peace, or more correctly ‘lack of strife’.

It speaks to Godly priorities that don’t match our worldly ones. When our priorities are wrong and we chase after more, it is our relationships, peace and tranquility that suffer. These are more highly prized by God than abundance, or even, dare I say, sufficiency.

Quick Prayer: Thank you for your provision Lord, help me to keep my priorities in perspective. Amen.

Have Enough

Have Enough

“Better is little, with the fear of the LORD, than great treasure with trouble.” (Pro 15:16)

How much is really enough? What price are you paying for the extra you think you need? Is the ambition to be wealthier, fogging your focus on God? That is a key question. Please think about that for a moment. Don’t dismiss it out of hand; it may apply to you.

Sometimes the price you pay is too much for the prize. What price are you paying? What price is your family paying? The price is often not the monetary amount but how much of your life you are willing to sacrifice in order to attain it.

Being grateful for what we already have can disempower the greed and consumerism that so easily ensnare us. Being content is a Godly attribute and reflects true priorities and a recognition that He has our best in mind.

Quick Prayer: Thank You for what I already have, Lord. Amen.

Protect It

Protect It

“Whoever tends the fig tree shall eat its fruit. He who looks after his master shall be honored.” (Pro 27:18)

When we are given responsibility at work, we need to receive it with a sense of responsibility. If we treat it well, as if it were our own, it will bear fruit.

When we protect the areas, we are given with integrity and excellence, they will prosper. The byproduct of this is that we will actually be blessed by what we protect. He who guards the tree will eat of its fruit. Not only will that nourish and grow us it is accompanied with honour, but this also builds our reputation which in turn grows our capacity and opportunity.

We are called to be responsible regardless of the size of the task we are given. As we are faithful with the little, we are given more; it is a spiritual law with natural consequences.

Plus, as we operate in a spirit of protection, we will be given more responsibility because we will be deemed trustworthy by God and man.

Quick Prayer: Give me a spirit of preservation and protection. Amen.

Stay Sharp

Stay Sharp

“Iron sharpens iron; so, a man sharpens his friend’s countenance.” (Pro 27:17)

Who keeps you sharp? Who do you have in your life that you trust—whom you can “do life with”? We all need people who love God who can keep us sharp.

Leaders in particular can become very isolated and insular. We have to ensure we are actively looking at ways to address this deficit, in order to be at our best.

Often in our busy lives those relationships have drifted away or may not even exist. Ask God today to bring someone into your life or reacquaint yourself with a true friend. Why not schedule in some time to stay sharp with good company?

Be careful of a life with many acquaintances and no true friends. We all need some accountability. In order to gain true friendship, we need to be a true friend. As in any relationship, we will only get out what we put in. Investing in friendship is a sure way to surround yourself with great friends.

Quick Prayer: Lead me to people who I can trust, Lord. Amen.

Correction

Correction

“Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.” (Pro 12:11)

It is easy to forget that God is our Father, and like all good fathers, He will bring correction and discipline from time to time. This is often manifested in difficult circumstances or a word from someone else. How should we react to these events?

Getting before God to understand what adjustments He wants to make in us is a good start. We can be thankful that we have a loving Father who wants the best for us. Our position in receiving discipline and correction will determine our ultimate altitude in life and our walk with Him.

Let us not believe our own press and see our worldly leadership role as some sort of abdication of our responsibility to continue to grow and hear from God.

If you keep getting a “Why am I here again?” feeling, you may not have learned the lesson yet.

Quick Prayer: I need Your correction in my life, Lord. Help me to be aware. Amen.

Mocker

Mocker

“He who corrects a mocker invites insult. He who reproves a wicked man invites abuse. Don’t reprove a scoffer, lest he hate you. Reprove a wise man, and he will love you.” (Pro 9:7-8)

Leaders have an obligation to unlock and realise the potential of those under their authority. They do that through serving, guiding and encouraging, but also through challenging and stretching. Every so often we need to reprove, correct and bring discipline.

Sometimes as Christians we are reluctant to engage in this way. I think that is more as a result of an error in Christian culture rather than a true Biblical understanding. Being ‘nice’ is not Christian, if it is an abdication of our responsibility to confront, reprove and correct. Yes, it must be done with Godly wisdom, and in a spirit of reconciliation and service to the individual involved. But done it must be.

Notice the reaction here is not related to the rebuke, but to the character of the recipient. Obviously, that is assuming it is done in a wise and reasonable way, by someone fully aware of their own need for grace. The wise will respect and respond to the reproof, the mocker and scoffer will not. Sometimes discernment of character ahead of time will avoid unnecessary confrontation.

Quick Prayer: Help me to see who is wise and who is not and give me the courage to correct when led by you. Amen.