GENIUS – It’s in every one of us.
When you think about the unique nature of every human being you could conclude that we all possess the ability to think, create, change, learn, understand and be understood. It’s sort of a created geography, a confluence of inherited traits and a conglomerate of all our past and present experiences. Then there’s the DNA that exists in us from generations past; all the way back to creation. At one time we were in prefect harmony with our Creator, our God. Unique in every way, but perfect in every way. There are memories, hurts, triumphs, and untold stories yet to be lived out.
In lieu of the developing presidential primary (Iowa and New Hampshire are in the books and South Carolina and Nevada are slated for the 20th and 23rd of February) I thought it timely to weigh in on the importance of the person of Jesus in our political decision making and view formation. We’ve heard it said that candidate X courts “evangelicals” or candidate Y polls favorably with “baptists,” but WE should be of one mind and one accord as Christians this election, with the ability to singly (as the body of Christ) influence turnout and results. Our goal should be to find and vote for the candidate who most reflects Christ through his/her record, views, and plans for the country. This, of course, has nothing to do with party affiliation but rather character; that’s right, I plan to cast my vote this November on account of character.
A pet peeve of mine
It’s really easy to make comments like “Jesus is neither a Republican or a Democrat.” Of course. That’s obvious, and it’s far from profound. Further, in my experience not many people are even saying He is one or the other. These types of statements are generally issued by divisive columnists, ambitious pastors, and social media agitators. Don’t misunderstand me, I believe it to be true, in essence, but I think there is a problem that can follow this type of thinking. It can become an excuse to remove Jesus from the decision making and ethics of politics and label Him, at least subconsciously, a centrist. This mentality espouses that He’s neither here nor there on political ideology because He’s is in the middle, lacking conviction in the arena of politics. This narrative isn’t true for Jesus and it isn’t true for the Christians in politics and the Christian voters looking to represent Him. Jesus doesn’t side with a party, faction or group, but that doesn’t change the fact THE truth is possible with every vote, law, policy, or social issue. With Jesus disabled from political discourse (you may be crazy if you believe He is a “moderate” after reading the gospels) we can’t really expect its transformation or renewal -and I think we all can agree that renewal needs to take place.
Have you ever heard someone default to the mysteries of God and faith? I’m not talking about the inexplicably vast cosmic influence God has or the complexity of His omniscience, but rather the uncertainties of everyday life in Christ. If wisdom is to be found, understanding to be had, and relationship with the almighty to be sought after, is the crux of our being something that we cannot hope to comprehend? Is it really out of reach and impossible to understand? Paul in Colossians chapter 1 says that it’s not.
“Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” COLOSSIANS 1: 24-27
Let’s examine what your exit strategy might look like as you work toward building a self-managing company. Should you even have one?
Most entrepreneurs have this idea that they’ll work forever, or at least until the day before they die. Is that really a good idea?
For the purposes of this post I’d like to identify Three types of entrepreneurs. Survival, Achievement, and Lifestyle. As in any start-up there are sometimes months and even years of just getting by. Scraping for every last available dollar to keep the venture going. Building a clientele and a business is no task for the faint of heart. As opportunities for growth become more a way of life and the viability of the business is proven I’d shift status to that of an Achievement Entrepreneur. Profit is evident, debt is being eliminated (unless it’s productive debt), and a shift to more consecutive quarters of positive earnings provides a bit of a cushion for the cycles to come. Lastly, a Lifestyle Entrepreneur is able to choose exactly how he or she may want to balance their life between work, family, faith, social, physical, philanthropic and almost any other category of life you’d like to toss in to the mix. Call it a work/life balance.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1ST THESSALONIANS 5:16-18
It’s always fun to boil the word of God down and really focus on words, meaning and application. I’m no Bible scholar but several verses hit me the other day as I was considering and enjoying a blog written recently by my colleague and friend, Steve Adams. Unlike Steve, I’m electing not to split ‘His will’ into three categories, but rather one element – God’s will. These verses, I believe, make no such distinction, and delving into systemic theology isn’t my strong suit. The first verse (above) speaks of three things, and these three things according to Paul, are the will of God for us in Christ Jesus. These three variables, if seen through and done together, are the key to accessing God’s will for us.
- Rejoice always
- Pray continually (without ceasing)
- Give thanks in all circumstances
The striking thing(s) about this verse and these variables is that the list is short, it’s fairly hard to accomplish, and it has little or nothing to do with your daily challenges and circumstances. In fact, we’re to give thanks in ALL circumstances, not just the ones that we benefit from. That’s right, give thanks and NOT get bent out of shape. But this is God’s will for our lives, that we would constantly and consistently rejoice, that prayer would be as natural to us as breathing, and that being thankful even when things aren’t going our way would be the norm.
Every time I think of the challenge of actually knowing God’s will I get excited about the possibilities but apprehensive about my experiences where I didn’t hear well, interpret what I heard well, or just flat out missed it.
As you read this know that God is speaking truth and He so wants to meet you in the place where you are. Whether in total peace or total chaos, He loves you. He has a will for you, He has a will for your family, He has a will inside of your calling and your gifting.
Books have been written on this subject. Actually volumes of work on knowing God’s will. I want to focus on three categories. God’s perfect will, His permissive will and His present will. Wait, what do I mean by present will?
I set you up. Yeah sorry. Perfect and permissive will, that’s way too complicated. Let’s just focus on present will.
In this moment God has a very specific will for you. Let me say it again – IN THIS MOMENT. How much of our lives do we live either in the past or in the future? I like to call those the “two thieves.” These are regrets of the past and the anxiety of the future. They can steal our joy in the present. Thieves they are. I liken them to the thief that hung next to Jesus on the cross. Full of self-pity, judgement and piety. If we hang out in those places we’ll miss the blessing right beside us. In this case, he missed an eternity by not seeing the present as a gift from God.