“I am in kindergarten and I know everything!” exclaimed my granddaughter. It took me a moment to process this amazing declaration. I then realized what my problem had been – I never attended kindergarten and so I now understood why it took me twenty years to reach the end of my formal education. If only my parents had sent me to kindergarten! Human beings have a wonderful, but dangerous tendency to think they know it all. How many times do we presume we know the truth and the right response, only to discover our perception was quite skewed! Leadership is sometimes defined as ‘sense-making’, but this human capacity for self-deception should create considerable caution in our attempts to help others make sense of their lives, individually and corporately, or make sense of an organization’s ministry. Jesus warned his followers that “if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness” (Matthew 6:23). While we may not be clear about everything Jesus wanted to teach through this saying, he certainly was emphasizing the human problem of distorted perception and knowing. He said the cause lies in our human constitution – our eyes are bad! Our sinful disposition and creatureliness lead to futile thinking and living in the dark (Ephesians 4:27-24). Because of near-sightedness personally I have had to wear glasses for many years. I know how bad eyes create dangerous misconceptions. But I also know that steps can be taken to correct this handicap. Jesus encourages us to believe that our eyes can be good and our “whole body” can be “full of light” (Matthew 6:22). What steps can a ministry leader take to ensure that his or her “eyes are good” and that the sense being discerned is indeed true, valid, and trustworthy? One strategy is to make sure our loyalty is fully given to God and the Lord Jesus Christ, so that we are living with integrity and not in hypocrisy. A second help comes in realizing that God’s Spirit speaks through His people and that our collective ‘vision’ may be more accurate than one individual’s perception. Third, the greater clarity we have about Kingdom principles, the more capable we will be to discern God’s direction. Fourth, God encourages us to pray for wisdom – the ability to see things through His eyes – and He promises He will give it generously. Finally, humbleness is a critical component. We must recognize and live contentedly with our limitations, relying happily on the assistance that God provides us from others in His family. Paul warns us that without love all of our knowing is useless because we “are nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2). We may be right and we may be smart and we may be clever – but without love, this sacrificial desire to bring benefit into the lives of others for the sake of Jesus – these gifs and abilities produce nothing that is useful to God. True belief creates true seeing. Discernment takes time, persistence, and considerable patience.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. — The Apostle Paul
In This Section
Five Most Recent Articles
- Alumni in Ministry by Dr. Kenton Anderson
- The People who make up Northwest by Loren Warkentin M.T.S.
- Theology Boot Camps for Christian Growth by Eric Fehr
- New (and not so new) faces at Northwest by Loren Warkentin M.T.S.
- Changes by Dr. Kenton Anderson
Five Most Commented Articles
- Immerse Fall Intake on October 1, 2014
- Fall Fundraising Banquets on October 2, 2014 6:00 pm
- Thanksgiving Day on October 13, 2014
- Fall Fundraising Banquets on October 18, 2014 6:00 pm
- MinistryLift Equipping Conference on October 24, 2014 8:30 am
- Immerse Fall Orientation on November 5, 2014 8:30 am
- Immerse Fall Website Training on November 5, 2014 1:30 pm
- Immerse Fall Mentor Training (all day) on November 6, 2014 8:30 am
- Immerse Fall Logos Training on November 6, 2014 8:30 am
- Immerse Fall Exegetical Workshop on November 6, 2014 1:00 pm
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