Every time I turn on the news, jump on Facebook/Twitter, or listen to the radio, I hear the opinions of our current leaders talked about on a daily basis. Honestly, it’s starting to get nauseating. I’m really fighting the temptation to grow more and more apathetic. It’s motivated me to look for something else, something better.
What do you expect when you think of a really great Mom? What’s the difference between a toxic person and one who seems to be flourishing? All of us have had more than enough experiences with people who drain us and suck the last drop of life-giving breath right out of us. Figuratively of course. :-)
However, how often do you and I come in contact with a life-giving Mom, Dad, or Leader? Do we really even know what a thriving person looks like or do we spend most of our time describing what one is NOT?
I was reading in 2 Peter and I believe that Peter gives us insight into what a healthy person can be. Chapter 3 stuck out to me in light of current culture. He illustrates for us a blueprint of what a healthy person might look like. Peter writes:
3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away.
2 Peter 1:3-10
I don’t know about you, but I desire to be different. I desire for those who are entrusted with leading all of us to be different. I believe Peter outlines for us 7 Marks of a Healthy Leader. If you are willing, let’s take a closer look at each one of these together.
1. Moral Excellence - Also translated as Virtue. Moral excellence is described as the character of Christ. It means that we actively pursue being like Jesus because His divine power is in us. Moral excellence is exerting strenuous energy for the end result of excellence...in honor of God. When we live in this way, it produces in us a willingness to provide resolution and courage in our daily circumstances and relationships.
2. Knowledge - Knowledge here means practical wisdom which is obtained by acting on the understanding of truth. When you and I are living in truth, we all have the ability to know the difference between good and evil. This knowledge produces an intelligent appreciation of what the will of God is because it is practiced. Are you investing in and providing for your intelligence? Where are you seeking out truth?
3. Self-Control - Self-Control means mastering one's moods rather than being controlled by them. Yep, you read that right. 😃 Self-control is also the deliberate act of keeping your lust and passions in check. A lack of self control weakens the mind. Through Christ, we have the capacity to reject evil/destructive moods or desires. This takes an incredible self awareness and understanding of why you are feeling the way you do in a given situation. This awareness and understanding enables leaders to be stable in their emotions and lead effectively. Exercising self control imparts strength. Can I get an Amen!
4. Patient Endurance - Also translated as perseverance. Patient endurance means not giving in to the discouragement and despair that causes you to quit. Instead, patient endurance is developing the habit of viewing all circumstances as coming from a loving Father's hand who is in control of all events. It is a united, God-Trusing endurance, even in the midst of suffering. There is a confidence believing that what you are going through is not absent of His presence. You and He are unified. I’ll admit, I struggle with this one. How are you doing with patient endurance?
5. Godliness- The Greek word for “godliness” literally translated as the continual awareness of God's presence affecting and governing every aspect of life. The belief that you are not alone. God is not absent. He is present. When we live with this type of awareness, we live with a tender humility and the posture of a surrendered heart. When you hear the phrase, “Arms wide Open,” what comes to mind? Try not to allow the sarcasm and cynicism of our day numb you of your continual awareness of God’s presence in your life.
6. Brotherly Affection - Also translated as brotherly kindness. Loving your brother is active, literally meaning to serve each other. It is the act of laying your life down for another. Sharing with one another. Praying for one another. It is the mark of a true disciple. Such an attitude would immediately reject any display of prejudice, class or race distinction, or any form of exclusiveness or elitism in the Christian community. Brotherly affection is a life habit of being kind, generous, and courteous towards others. What a refreshing viewpoint for all of us to consider as people!
7. Love - The word here is agape. I know you may have heard of this type of love. Agape is God's kind of love in which the origin lies not in the one loved but in the one who loves. God loves because He is love; we are to love, because we are of God! It reaches beyond the Christian community to love anyone, anywhere, manifesting itself by seeking that person's highest good, even at a cost to ourselves. Yep, you read that right. God’s love isn’t just for those who acknowledge Him. God’s love is for every person on planet earth!
I don’t know about you, but I am challenged by Peter’s words. I want to BE this type of individual. I need to BE this type of husband, father, and leader. What a difference it would make in our current world if there were more of these types of healthy people on our planet!
I know we are all tempted to go off the grid and not engage with the cray cray of our world. Hang in there. Consider Peter’s blueprint and choose to live differently. I believe if we do, it will be contagious. You never know, maybe it will start a transformational movement.
My dream is to help you live out your calling and thrive. I believe that your best days are before you…not behind you. We all need a little coaching, encouragement, wisdom, and help from time to time. We can’t accomplish our goals in isolation or always on our own. We need each other. It’s time to thrive. Let’s do it together. Remember, you are not alone. Click here to set up a Discovery Coaching call.