Rebuke

Rebuke

“Turn at my reproof. Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you. I will make known my words to you” (Pro 1:23)

Regardless of our position we are all responsible to someone. Even as a business owner you have the ultimate arbiter of your success, your customer.

I hate discipline. When God is working on something in my life, those adjustments are sometimes not easy. However, as we respond to those things, God begins to talk to us, reveal more of Himself, and make known more of His character and ways. Sometimes we miss out on His blessings because we resist His correction.

These corrections are always for a purpose. He will often highlight a behavior because it may well cause us to stumble down the track. He doesn’t do it for His entertainment but for our greater good.

His promise is to “pour out His thoughts.” Imagine that—thinking the thoughts of God.

Quick Prayer: Thank You that there is wisdom after a rebuke. Amen.

Be Gentle

Be Gentle

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Pro 15:1)

When we are in a position of authority in our company, there is a temptation to be harsh. We can easily display emotions that are not appropriate. This is especially true when we are faced with an angry person.

The wisdom of this Scripture is that an unexpectedly gentle response can disarm a potentially volatile situation. Often when we are challenged, we may assume a gentle answer is a sign of weakness and that authority demands a certain demeanor. This Scripture would indicate a better way.

Gentleness is not weakness, often it is an expression of an inner strength, a transformed heart, one full of the peace of God. Your gentle response is a witness.

Leadership does not demand that we act in a harsh or distant manner. Our example is Jesus. How did He act? Take a look in the gospels for an example of true leadership in action.

Quick Prayer: Help me to be gentle. Amen.

Lip Fruit

Lip Fruit

“A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth. The work of a man’s hands shall be rewarded to him.” (Pro 12:14)

Do you want to be filled with good things? Speak well and work hard. These two things go hand in hand. Individually they have an effect and together they produce good fruit. God says that as you operate in this way, you will be filled with good things and rewarded.

In business and our personal lives, we impact people. What we say has the power to build up or tear down. That influence on people often determines our success in all realms of life.

We can say good things and do, good things. Both are important and part of our witness at work. As leaders we set the tone and our teams are a reflection of us. How we treat others, what we say and how we say it, will be echoed across our organisations.

Quick Prayer: Thank You that You value good words and good work. Amen.

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.

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.