You Who Are Spiritual

from Blackaby.net | May 31, 2018

In recent months there has been an unusually large number of high-profile leaders who have been accused of—or confessed to—immorality. These incidences are, unfortunately, not unprecedented in Christian circles. Nevertheless, the rate at which people are falling and the caliber of those who do is alarming. People have suggested that the Southern Baptist Convention is having its “Me Too” accounting. Maybe so. No denomination or church is immune to ungodly attitudes or behavior. Clearly the SBC ought to have zero tolerance for immorality, chauvinism, or any form of abuse. Christian leaders should Mountain Climber Helpersmaintain the highest standards. If these recent events drive Southern Baptists and others to a higher code of conduct, people will ultimately be better for the pain they are currently experiencing.

The apostle Paul had some important things to say on this subject. He counseled,

Brothers and sisters, if someone is overtaken in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual, restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so that you also won’t be tempted. Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone considers himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Let each person examine his own work, and then he can take pride in himself alone, and not compare himself with someone else. For each person will have to carry his own load.”
Galatians 6:1-5

Paul’s words are extremely helpful to us in these perilous days.
First, Paul refers to his readers as “brothers and sisters.” We ought not to overlook the significance of this address. Paul indicated that the people who fell were family. When they suffer, we suffer. Our first response to news of someone’s failure ought to be heartache.

Second, Paul says, “if someone is overtaken in any wrongdoing.” This language does not abrogate the people from guilt. I am certain, however, that not one of those who fell intended to commit sexual sin or was ignorant of the catastrophic consequences of such behavior. Those who fall are often good people who love the Lord and who served Him faithfully and effectively. Many people will spend eternity in heaven because of how God used them. Some were ardent evangelists, Bible scholars, and beloved pastors. Yet they, too, were overtaken. Such a truth makes me keenly aware that the same dark evil that overtook them is eager to overtake you and me as well.

Third, Paul says, “you who are spiritual.” This phrase is troublesome. Do you see yourself as “spiritual”? Apparently, many social media users do. In fact, they perceive themselves as more spiritual than most. Baptists have a reputation for fighting theological battles. At times, these battles have clearly been necessary. But at other times we are deceived into thinking that having pristine theology means we are “spiritual” and pleasing to God. Sadly, sometimes people who pride themselves on their superior theology display disturbingly ungodly attitudes and behavior. It is possible to be theologically orthodox and arrogant, chauvinistic, or morally compromised at the same time. To be spiritual is to be filled and led by the Spirit. Paul is saying that if you are fully surrendered to the Holy Spirit’s leading in every area of your life, you are qualified to reach out to your fallen brothers and sisters.

Fourth, Paul says, “restore such a person.” Restoration is our God-given goal. But how do we achieve it? First, we are to do something. We shouldn’t refuse to get involved or hesitate to call sin a sin. When someone is overtaken by sin, the person’s intimate walk with God is severed. The joy of the Lord is replaced with anguish and guilt. To restore someone into a vibrant relationship with God takes time. It does not happen after one tearful confession. A person’s relationships are severely, sometimes irreparably damaged. Few experiences are more agonizing than facing your family after you failed morally. In the aftermath of a moral failure, jobs are lost, financial security is jeopardized, reputations are destroyed, and opportunities evaporate. The future becomes bleak. What should our goal be? We must begin by helping people restore their relationship with God. Their sin reveals that their walk with God was not where it should have been. Fallen ministers often focus on returning to ministry too soon. But many aspects of a fallen leader’s life must be fully restored before any future service should be considered.

Fifth, Paul adds, “with a gentle spirit.” Restoring those who were overtaken in wrongdoing is a sacred calling. It ought to be undertaken humbly, lovingly, and reverently. This qualifier eliminates many from this calling.

Sixth, Paul warns, “watching out for yourselves so that you also won’t be tempted.” Every minister who fell likely spoke against immorality at one point or another. Some may have even cast judgment on others who had fallen. Paul cautions us about judging others. When you condemn others, you do not reflect God’s heart. And when you are disoriented to God’s heart, you are in danger of committing sin yourself. It is an irony of the human condition that the sins we denounce most vociferously in others are often the very ones we are vulnerable to ourselves.

In verse three, Paul adds, “For if anyone considers himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself” (3).Sitting in the judgment seat is dangerous, for we may presume far more about ourselves than we ought. Some may loudly condemn those who have fallen and yet have no idea how close they are to their own demise. Paul exhorts, therefore, “Let each person examine his own work” (4). Before we cast stones at the fallen, let us examine our personal attitudes and conduct. Is our walk with God growing, vibrant, and glorifying to Him? Is our marriage strong, loving, growing, and edifying? Do we always treat people of the opposite sex in a respectful, godly manner?

If we as a people are going to emerge from this time stronger and godlier than ever, we would do well to heed the apostle’s advice.

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In a Slump? Well . . .

Well – God’s not through with you yet . . . & neither should you be.
Do the next right thing, then the next & leverage up from there.

!

Strike-Out

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4 Ways Leaders can Construct their Lives for the Long Haul

April 10, 2018 By Eric Geiger | Original

The headline of The Ringer article successfully grabbed my attention: “LeBron James’s Life Is Constructed to Keep Him on the Court.” And the details in the article from the podcast are fascinating, such as the statement that LeBron invests 1.5M a year in his body. He has replicated the team gym at his home, has multiple trainers, multiple chefs, masseuses, and understands the science on how to sleep. “Everything he does in his lifeConquer Self is constructed to have him play basketball and to stay on the court and to be as healthy as possible.” And the results are staggering. He is playing some of his best, if not the best basketball of his career as a thirteen-year veteran.

What does LeBron’s 1.5M-a-year fitness regime have to do with leaders? A lot, actually. Because he loves the game so much and is committed to playing at a high level, he is committed to investing in himself. He is committed to putting his body through grueling workouts instead of simply celebrating what he has already accomplished. Like LeBron, leaders must value their health more than their comfort. No, you likely don’t have 1.5 million you can invest in yourself, but you still must invest in yourself. Leaders must construct their lives for the long haul. Here are four ways to do so. (None of this is original or new … but it is important.)

  1. Invest in yourself physically

You don’t have to be a health nut and gym rat to be a leader, but you should invest in yourself physically if you want to lead for the long haul. Exercise, eating healthy, and healthy sleep patterns are proven to give you more energy and mental clarity. It costs money to invest in yourself physically. New running shoes, a gym membership, and eating healthy are not cheap. But they are cheaper than the cost of not taking care of yourself physically.

  1. Invest in yourself mentally

Whether taking classes, attending conferences, or reading books, investing in yourself mentally is an investment. It costs. And even if the resources are free, time is required. But if you stop learning, you will eventually stop leading.

  1. Invest in yourself emotionally

The pressure on leaders will take a toll. If leaders don’t rest, the pressure compounds and leaders can become numb to others or lash out in anger. You must rest. You must find something that helps you recover emotionally.

  1. Invest in yourself spiritually

The apostle Paul told Timothy, the younger pastor he invested in: “Train yourself in godliness. For the training of the body has limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:7-8). In other words, much more important than physical training is training yourself in godliness, in pursuing Christlikeness through the spiritual disciplines of the faith. We waste immense amounts of time in our lives, but prayer, reading the Scripture, fasting, gathering with other believers, and solitude and stillness are never a waste of time.

Plato said, “The first and best victory is to conquer self.” While leading self is the hardest person to lead, the better we are at leading ourselves, the better we will be at leading others. If we don’t invest in ourselves, we are not constructing our lives for the long run.
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Eric Geiger serves as a Senior Vice President at  LifeWay Christian Resources , leading the Resources Division.  Eric received his doctorate in leadership and church ministry from  Southern Seminary . Eric has authored or co-authored several books including Creature of the Word and the bestselling church leadership book, Simple Church. His latest releases are Designed to Lead and How to Ruin Your Life

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But What About the People who Don’t Care?

by Seth Godin

How do we work with someone who doesn’t seem to care?

I have a hard time believing that people can’t care. I think tI Dont Carehat they often don’t see. They don’t see what we see, or interpret it differently.  Or if they see, they see something you don’t see. But if they saw what you saw, and it was related to how they saw themselves, they’d act differently.

The gap is usually in the difficulty of getting the non-owner to see a path to happiness that comes as a result of acting like an owner. Most people are taught to avoid that feeling. Because it always comes with another feeling–

— the dread of responsibility.

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When Your Ideas get Stolen

(stolen from) by Seth Godin

A few meditations:

Good for you. Isn’t it better that your ideas are worth stealing? What would happen if you worked all that time, created that book or that movie or that concept and no one wanted to riff on it, expand it or run with it? Would that be better?Stolen Ideas2

You’re not going to run out of ideas. In fact, the more people grab your ideas and make magic with them, the more of a vacuum is sitting in your outbox, which means you will prompted to come up with even more ideas, right?

Ideas that spread win. They enrich our culture, create connection and improve our lives. Isn’t that why you created your idea in the first place?

The goal isn’t credit. The goal is change.
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Have fun, make money,make a difference; it’s the life you’ve always wanted!

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Digital Now, Transformation Later

We’ve recently made a strategic move to digital promotion (via audio & video). The delta (in terms of change in execution) is still lagging as the desire not to embrace the relatively new medium slowly recedes from the status quo.

I saw this article in Adweek & was semi-comforted to know that we’re not the only ones…

“For brands, digital transformation usually centers on optimizing the customer experience.”

by Dan Tynan, Adweek (excerpt) | February 25, 2018

When it comes to digital transformation, most brands have the digital side down. They’re using Adobe or Salesforce marketing cloud, Sprout or Sprinklr for social engagement, RedPoint Global or Segment to manage customer data, and so on. Hyper Speed

It’s the transformation that’s the hard part. Because it’s not just about having the right tools, it’s about having the right kind of organization, operating model, talent and mindset, says Jason Heller, partner and global lead for digital marketing operations and technology at McKinsey & Co.

“Most companies are technology rich but insight and execution poor,” he says. “They have the technology, they just aren’t using it properly.”

Full Article

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Did Jesus Actually Say That?

Culture is interesting. It often pushes back on what it does not understand – or on what doesn’t fit into the dominant or trending worldview – especially on “hot topic” issues.

I blog (obviously). I don’t currently Vlog (Video Blog). So this blog gives expression to the things I’d like to communicate; it’s my voice in written form. I’ve had discussions about one’s ‘Ontic Referent’ & have also written about it, hereWhat Jesus Said

I’ve often gotten involved in a theological conversation, especially in church, and mentioned “Oh, I just said that on my Apologetics Blog.” The other person knows it’s “in writing” – but it’s my writing – so I’ve “said” it . . . without speaking it.

That being said – I’ll sometimes get someone who says “Jesus never said that!” And, if they mean “never uttered those exact words” – they ’re technically correct. However, let’s look at the Gospel of John

John 1:1-4 The Word Became Flesh

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were created through Him, and without Him nothing was created that was created. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of mankind.

Jesus, “The Word” (another name for Jesus) became flesh). He (Jesus) is God & has been God from the beginning. All things, which would  include God’s Word (which is also Jesus’ Word) were created through Him.
So whether one is reading the written words of Jesus in the Old Testament – OR Jesus’ actual spoken words in the New Testament – one is reading the words of Jesus, a.k.a. the Word.

Often, Jesus did not directly address certain issues because they had already been addressed . . . in His Word within the Old Testament. There was therefore no need to repeat Himself.

Thus, regarding culture, be careful of the things you think Jesus didn’t say – because if it’s in the Bible . . . Jesus said it. He communicated it to us.

Period.

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