I heard a story about a young man who tried hard to move a heavy log into the fire but was unsuccessful in doing so. His Dad was standing nearby, quietly watching his son straining against the heavy load. His Dad broke the silence as he said, “Son, why aren’t you using all your strength?” Confused and a little frustrated, the young man responded, “Dad, I am using every last little bit of strength I have.” His dad quietly responded, “No, you’re not, son”, “You haven’t asked me to help.”
As I ponder this story, I am reminded Ephesians 6:10, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might”. In this pondering I am also reminded of the times when I have been guilty of the same thing experienced by the young man in the story, not utilizing all my resources and trying to do it alone. We need to remember there are all types of resources/strength available to us and we fail to utilize them because we feel we can do it ourselves. Sometimes we believe asking for help, yes, even from the Lord, is a sign of weakness. We do not want to impose on anyone’s time, or we have the mind-set that if we want something done right, we must do it ourselves. This mindset is not always best, because if we continue to do everything for ourselves, we will soon find ourselves working alone.
We, as leaders, in our homes, community, and organizations should use all our strength by recognizing, developing, and utilizing the resources (followers) around us. These followers are waiting, anticipating our instruction, our attention and are available for lessons from the teachable moments that come along from time to time. As leaders, it is important to develop healthy alliances, not only with our family, friends, and close relations but with others as well. It is our responsibility to encourage others as we stretch and grow to others reach their potential. This is using all our resources, at its finest, helping others to develop their skills and abilities by allowing them to become involved and experience doing more than they ever thought they could do, be more than they ever thought they could be, and be able to make a difference and add value to themselves and others.
An effective leader has the unique ability to build alliances that not only advance their career but help to mold and shape others for future opportunities in their career. In Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 it is written, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” When we, as leaders, pour into the lives of others and participate in their spiritual and leadership development to reach their potential, we become more responsible stewards in the lives of our followers.
One of a leader’s gifts, is the ability to recognize special talents and abilities in others that only we see or understand. It allows us to lean into their lives and help them develop special skills, help them refine their abilities, and become a life coach that creates in them a positive attitude when they encounter life’s obstacles. So, we must ask ourselves, what do we do to foster others and to encourage their growth? We can do more than what is requested or expected for others by not only walking the first mile but continue the journey by walking the second mile with them. As stated earlier, we pour into their lives by giving generously, because in a moment of giving we cannot imagine how one’s actions might impact the lives of others in the future. Generously adding value to others is a rare thing, the impact of generosity lingers long after we are gone.
I have heard it said this way; People may not always remember what you do, and people may not always remember what you say, however they will always remember how you made them feel. Making a difference and adding value to someone will always be associated with how you made them feel.
History tells us the book of Ecclesiastes was written by the wise King Solomon. There are some who think he wrote Ecclesiastes late in his life and others who think it was written by someone else after his death, either way he was a great leader, with great wisdom granted to him by God because of his humble request to be gifted the ability to pour into people’s lives and make a difference.
I encourage each of us today to lean into the lives of others and pour into their lives our faith, joy, hope, and unconditional love and allow them to do the same for you. Never fear relying on others to help you stretch and grow each day. On occasions, I go alone to the river and fish from my canoe. However, when I go alone, I need to take a large ice chest along to fill with water and place in the front of the canoe as a counterbalance so I can maneuver the swift water with less effort.
My point, I would rather utilize my resources by having a strong friend along to help paddle and maneuver the canoe. And the reward; my friend and I could share the outdoor experience, use less energy, and later make up a good fishing tale about the big one that got away, just saying. Let’s go out today with an abundance mindset to make a difference and add value to someone today. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Have a wonderful day,