There was a little stack of paper slips tucked away in the corner of our grandson’s closet. His mother found them while cleaning and organizing his room. She did not think much about a 5-year-old hoarding away these tiny slips of paper because he loves to collect things, such as tiny cars and animal figures. But as she picked them up to toss them away, she noticed there were hand-written words on the papers, so she investigated a little further. What she thought were seemingly un-important slips of paper, were the love notes she had written to him every day since he started pre-school. Each day she had written him a note saying she and his father loved him and was proud of him then placed it in his lunch box for him to find later in the day. He, in turn, had kept and saved all the notes, then stored them in a safe place when he returned from school in the afternoon.
Later that day, she asked him about the notes and why he had saved them, He said, “Mama, they say you love me and are proud of me and it makes me feel good.”
This story makes me feel good, also, just knowing the love this family has for one another and being willing to share their feelings in ways that provide strength, encouragement and set a higher standard for their children. For me this is a perfect example of the unconditional love Christ shares with each of us.
When I was told this story, it gave me pause. I pondered over this for several days trying to wrap my head around the unconditional love Christ has for us, even when our attention turns away from Him while we chase the shiny things of this world. I stand in amazement of His graciousness and patience with me when I get “busy” and fail to follow His plan for my life. This delightful story of our grandson, the innocence of a heart not yet influenced by the world and the sweet gesture of a loving mother and father gives me hope, challenges me to be better and do more to make a difference and add value to others.
As leaders, we do not just set the goal, we set the standard. If we give our best for our people, how much more should we pursue excellence with God. Good leaders do not settle for less than excellence. They do not merely set goals, they set standards that raise the bar for everyone. These standards begin with our spiritual life and how we live it.
As leaders we must understand, effective leaders seek to understand before they seek to be understood. Great leaders are good communicators. When we communicate, we must look for the good first; identify what we can affirm; be specific about our encouragement; note what needs to be changed; challenge our followers to grow through change; communicate why change is important and express our confidence that they can do it.
As leaders in our homes, communities, and organizations we must understand complete obedience involves inward submission, not just outward service. Because strong leaders raise the bar and challenge people to reach it. We must know what we stand for and what we will not stand for. Finally, we must understand we may need to compromise on methods, but we should not compromise on our principles.
A friend of mine always makes the statement, “We are just sowing seeds…” meaning we must believe in the seeds we sow, knowing that some will produce fruit. Once we see the fruit, all our effort seems worth-while. What a great analogy for me to understand when I share my faith, hope, joy and unconditional love with others, everyone my not get it, but those who do will can go forth with confidence that they are making a difference and adding value to others.
I want to encourage all of us to understand that Christ loves us unconditionally and through His love and sacrifice offers us everlasting life, and that should make us feel good. Mark 4:2-20
Have a wonderful day,