Compassion

As the NFL football regular schedule ended this weekend, some are celebrating, and some are lamenting their team’s season. Some teams really clicked this season and others couldn’t fight their way out of a paper bag. In the end, some teams won or lost because mistakes made – no doubt about that. I’m not talking about any team or game, but games are usually won because one team took advantage of someone else’s mistake. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Someone makes a mistake and the office jerk is not only quick to point it out but also then tries to take advantage of it. How do you react when someone makes a mistake? I always make two promises to the teams that I’ve lead – 1) I will make mistakes and 2) I will never repeat them. They key is what we do with the experience of making a mistake. 

We all forget that post-it-notes were a result of someone’s mistake. The old saying of “its water under the bridge” is so true; you can’t get it back. My philosophy is that you have to acknowledge the error, learn from it and move forward. This is why, each week, football teams review films of the game they just played – win or lose. They don’t dwell on the outcome, they are always looking forward. People make mistakes all of the time. A baseball player who hits the ball only 33% of the time (.300 avg.) is a great player. Wouldn’t it be nice to have that kind of productivity goal? So next time someone around you makes a mistake or you do; give them a little smile and let them know that it’s okay. The office jerk will get theirs in all due time.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

We always seem to make one mistake after another; breaking commandments left and right. How can we call ourselves Christians if we can’t live a life without sin? St. Paul would certainly have a thing or two to say about that. His first direction in this one verse as part of a letter to the Ephesians was “Be kind and compassionate to one another”. This is a great place to start. How you handle yourself with others is a good indication of the messages that have gone to your core. My guess is that you are compassionate and caring toward others. You do your best to help when you can and pray for help when there is more to be done than you can handle. 

As Christians, we forgive and forget a lot more often than we give ourselves credit for. If you held onto every wrong against you, the weight of those emotions would be crushing. We forgive strangers everyday yet we find it hard to forgive those we love. Jesus Christ taught us to be patient with everyone. Even His own disciples were les than helpful in the end yet He forgave them. God, Our Father in Heaven who loves us so deeply, is compassionate with us even when we disappoint Him. All of our sins have been forgiven by Jesus’ death and resurrection, no exceptions. God forgives you for the sins that you have committed and those that you have yet to commit; that’s why we can call ourselves Christians. Go out and demonstrate God’s love through your faith in Jesus Christ, the world needs our kindness, compassion and forgiveness. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I’ve posted this before and find myself returning to it every year at Christmas time. We just celebrated the birth of our Savior, and it is reminder of the real “new beginning” in our lives. There are two times during the year that I really focus back on God’s word; now and at Easter. We can get so wrapped up (no pun intended) in the hustle and bustle on “holiday season” that we can easily forget about our celebration. We forget about Love and Forgiveness as God promised to all of us. We rush from event to event that we miss the best present of all time. So again, I thought that I would let the word of God stand alone and reach everyone in its own way. Please have a safe New Year’s Eve and may God bless your 2022.

God’s Love and Ours 

7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 13We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” 1John 4:7-16

Frosty the Snow Man

I don’t think that at any time in the last 10 plus year that I’ve been writing this weekly devotional that I’ve shared someone else’s work. I have been following The River Walk for almost as long as I’ve been writing. Given that many of us have recently put up our Christmas trees and decorated our homes, I thought that this “story” of a modern-day radio interview was a good start to the month of December. While it is a little long, it is certainly is worth the time. Please note the link below and check out what they are doing at the River Walk. 

http://theriverwalk.org/2021/12/03/frosty-the-snowman-2/

December 3 – At a radio station in modern day America

Frosty – People just don’t get me. I get way too much attention, and I don’t want it. Any of it.

Rudolph – Yo man, I know just what you’re saying.

Host – Hello, ladies and gentlemen. We’re here at Straight Talk with a round table of some of the biggest legends of Christmas. To my right, I have Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Reindeer. On my left, I am joined by the infamous Grinch and George Bailey, and across from me is none other than Mr. Santa Claus himself. I would like to thank you all for coming and joining us tonight.

Grinch – Hmmm.

Santa – It’s our pleasure.

George – Yes, yes. It’s just wonderful to be here.

Host – Thank you. Now, before we got going, Frosty, you said that you don’t really feel like you belong here. Could you run with that thought and explain to our audience what you were telling us before the cameras started rolling?

Frosty – Sure thing. In fact, your introduction inadvertently underlined the very problem I was talking about. You called us legends. It sounds like I’m some sort of superhero. You’ve got Batman and Flash, Wonder Woman and… frosty? You have the Justice League for eleven months of the year, but come December, the Christmas League takes over?

Rudolph – Word. Is my superpower supposed to be having a red nose?

Santa – You can fly.

Grinch – Heh. and you’ve got a nasty cold of radioactive proportions.

Host – So Frosty, are you saying you feel like you are getting too much attention?

Frosty – That’s it exactly. I mean, all over the world, when snow begins to fall. As soon as it starts to pile up, kids start rolling it into balls and making snowmen. Then one day, one of those things came alive, and here I am. Did I do anything special? I didn’t will myself into existence, and it certainly wasn’t some magic hat.

Host – So, how did you come alive?

Frosty – You tell me, sir. How does the gospel of John’s Christmas story start out? “All things were made by Him, and without Him, nothing was made that has been made.”

Host – The “him” being…

Rudolph – Jesus, man. It’s all about Jesus.

Frosty – Exactly. I came into this world when nobody expected it, just like Jesus. My arrival brought joy to everyone in the world I met. That’s Jesus. When the weather turned, I left this earth but not before promising to return. Who does that sound like?

George – Just a minute, just a minute. Now hold on, Mr. Frosty. You’re here today and tomorrow and the day after that. Then you will be back next year and the following year and every single year to come. But Jesus, He’s coming back one time, then he’s shaking the dust off this crummy little world. He’s gonna build new things. He’s building big things. How does that fit into your little analogy there?

Frosty – That’s a good question. It isn’t one I really have an answer for.

Rudolph – Yo, check this. It’s all about the faithfulness of God. You will faithfully show up the first time the snow falls. Every year my nose starts glowing at the same time. God gives us just what we need precisely when we need it. He’s faithful like that.

Host – So you are saying you agree with Frosty?

Rudolph – Sure thing. That cool dude points to some parts of the real Christmas story, and I point to others.

Santa – Ho, ho, ho. You and Frosty think you’ve got it tough? You should try walking in my shoes.

Host – Santa, thank you, but we would like to save your story for last. Rudolph, how so?

Rudolph – It’s like this. I was rejected by others, scorned, and despised by them. Then I became the one to point the way for them. I was a light in the darkness. I understand that the connection doesn’t seem all that hot, but no doubt my whole reason for being is to light the way for others.

George – Service. Your Christmas theme is service.

Host – Could you elaborate on that, George?

George – I’d be delighted to. Each one of us highlights one aspect of what Christmas is really all about. Santa here is about the gift. Frosty is joy, and our bright little animal friend here is about service.

Host – And what would your theme be?

George – I’m about memories and regrets. There’s something about the Christmas season that makes people get to thinking. Everyone starts getting together with their family but some are heartbroken over the ones who won’t be with them this year. Others might have to be away for one reason or another, and they begin thinking maybe they won’t really be missed at all. Some people will spend the holiday and the end of the year just thinking over all the mistakes and failures of the past year. Pretty soon, they get to thinking that maybe, just maybe, the world would be a better place if they weren’t in it. I get that. I was there once. Then God sent me an angel named Clarence to help remind me that each one of us is loved and valuable to him and to others as well. It’s no small fact that despite all the joy this season is supposed to bring, the Christmas season also sees a significant increase in depression and suicide. I am here as a reminder that it doesn’t have to be like that. Each one of our lives touches so many others. If we weren’t around, we would leave an awful hole in the hearts of others, wouldn’t we? But I’m talking too much. Am I talking too much?

Santa – No, no, no.

Rudolph – You’re just spitting truth, bro.

Host – Mr. Grinch, I would love to hear your input on all this. Frosty is joy, Rudolph light or service, Santa gifts, and George memories. What about you? As the villain of this bunch, what do you have to say for yourself?

Grinch – To most people, I’m the villain. For some people out there, I’m the hero. Those who say they hate Christmas absolutely love me. I’m fine with that.

Host – I’m sorry, I don’t follow.

Grinch – When people say they hate, double hate, and loathe entirely Christmas, it isn’t really Christmas they hate. It is the busyness and the stuff. There are so many parties to attend, presents to buy, cards to write… is old Aunt Mildred even still alive? We’ve been sending her a card every year but didn’t Cousin George tell us this last Christmas that she passed on a few winters back… some accident with a reindeer. Anyways, things get so busy and hectic and cluttered with stuff that people just want to cancel everything. It would just be so much nicer to just lay in bed staring at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness.

Rudolph – Cheer up, dude, it’s Christmas.

Grinch – You’re Rudolph, a freak with a red nose. Nobody likes you.

Frosty – Hey there.

Grinch – Sorry, I just slipped into character. What was I saying? Yes. People think that Christmas is all that stuff and business, trees and decorations, and the same ten songs that loop endlessly on every radio station and in every store in the world. Is it any wonder that people just want to end it all like George was talking about? Anyway, one year, I decided I had enough. I snuck in there and did my worst to cancel Christmas.

Host – What did you do?

Grinch – The food, the decorations, the tree, the presents… I stole it all. You know what? It didn’t change a thing. Christmas still came. It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes, or bags! I thought about this and then thought some more. I pondered for three hours till my puzzler was sore. Then I thought of something I hadn’t thought of before! “Maybe Christmas,” I thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!”

George – By George, you got it! You’re the hero for all those who hate the fact Christmas has lost its meaning amidst all the business and noise of the season.

Host – And now it is time for us to go to a commercial. Be sure to stay tuned to hear what Santa has to say about all this. Also, don’t forget to tune in next week when we will be discussing the economics of the holidays with Mr. Potter and Scrooge McDuck.

Thankfulness

Thanksgiving was last week and I felt another devotion on thankfulness was fitting. Leaders are in the position to influence the lives of those that work for them, those they work with and occasionally, those who they work for, especially if you are in middle management. Regardless of our roles in life, we are often so busy trying to juggle all of our priorities that sometimes we forget to say thank you. If we are in a leadership position, it is only because people follow us. If they are following us because they have to, well, we are simply just managing them. If we are true leaders, we are influencing people’s lives each day by what we say and do. If the people who work for you are truly following you, they will alter their perceptions, attitudes, knowledge and behaviors all because of you. 

Last week I suggested that you pick someone who makes your life just a little easier and say thank you to them. I’d like to suggest that you also say thanks to the team that follows you. Tell them about the great work they do and how it impacts your business, then tell your coworkers how great it is to work with them and what they do to support you and then thank your boss for what he or she does for you personally and how you’ve grown from your experience working for them. Even if your boss is horrible, you are still learning something. Don’t let this Thanksgiving time slip away without thanking those that make your workdays a little more bearable. As a leader, it’s important for your people to know that you notice and that you care.

8Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. 9Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.  1 Chronicles 16:8-9

We are taught that when we pray, we should give thanks to God for all that he’s done for us. Even if you are struggling right now, God is with you making you stronger. We often pray when we need something or are worried but how often do we pray just to give thanks? We see people accepting awards or scoring points in a sporting event point to the heavens as if to say “thanks to you God”. We don’t have to wait until we win an award or score a touchdown; everyday is reason to celebrate.

Today’s verse reminds us to tell others what God has done for us: “tell of all his wonderful acts.” The greatest thing that God has done for us is to send us a Savior, someone to intercede on our behalf with God so that our sins are forgiven. Jesus Christ taught us how to live, how to treat each other and how to be saved from ourselves. He is a great leader and deserves our thanks. Today, tell God how thankful you are for everything in your life and ask for the courage to spread to the word. 

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is this week in the U.S. and if I tried to tell you everything or everyone that I was thankful for, you’d be reading this for hours. I was reminded of a few key areas in my life that I am grateful for as I wrote a proposal this week for a community that we started working with five years ago. I say “we” because my partner in this project is a long-time friend who I began partnering with over 10 years ago. I am very thankful for the opportunity that I have to work with a great professional who is also a dear friend. The proposal reminded me of the community staff and leaders that we’ve come to know over the years and I’m thankful for the opportunity to have gotten to know them. I also work with a great team of city staff and fellow elected officials in my official duties as a Councilmember. It isn’t always easy, but it is the people who I work with that make it all worthwhile.

The project that I bid on is one that my wife can join us on and I’m thankful for our great partnership both at home and in the business. When my wife and I spend time traveling together or just hang out together in our empty nest, we appreciate how grateful we were for the huge blessings in our lives and what we’ve been able to accomplish under stressful circumstances at times. We never let things set us back; we keep talking about how the hard times build character in us. Once again, we sit amazed by the work of God in our lives – even when we didn’t know it. I encourage you to take time this week to reflect on all that you have to be thankful for and look at how God has moved your life even when you faced struggles, He was there. Thank Him for His work and then thank someone in your life that makes things just a little bit better. Happy Thanksgiving!

15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful… 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:15,17

In our house Thanksgiving Day is the start of the Christmas season. We start listening to classic Christmas music, decorating the house finds it way onto the calendar, preparation for baking begins, Christmas card lists are printed and the peace of the season is in the air. The year will end soon and we all start thinking about how thankful we were for so many things and we look forward to what the new year will bring. No matter what has happened in your life let God’s peace, given to us through His Son Jesus Christ, be with you and comfort you.

It’s hard to think about telling God “thanks” for sending us a savior who had to die before we’d figure it out. God knew what it would take to save us and all He asks is that “whatever we do, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and to give thanks to God through Him.” A simple “thanks”. Sometimes through all of the mess in our lives, the frantic pace that we live and the set backs we have, we still have a lot to be thankful for. Our faith in Jesus Christ and God’s grace has guaranteed us eternal life; free from all these worldly problems. Even when you struggle, be thankful. God has a place for you in heaven, which is something to be thankful for!

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

It doesn’t matter where you live in the world anymore, you will witness some large tragedy while existing in a time in which our “politics” have created unprecedented division. The United States is no longer the sole proprietor of violence and division. Governments are being overthrown, racial and religious divisions are abound, “pro” verses “anti” vaxers are literally fighting in the streets; the world is going mad. Yesterday was the second to last Sunday of the Lutheran Church year and we talked the end times or Revelations. I can’t say that we aren’t entering the “end of time”, because the world has been here before – history has a way of repeating itself. While we think things are bad in our own homelands, they are often minor when compared to other parts of the world. I’d like to suggest that the degree of these events affects our perception of what “bad” means to us. For some, it means having to fly commercial instead of by private plane and to others it means not knowing where their next meal will come from.

There are so many parts of the world that truly have it “bad” but we don’t see it or know someone there so it is easy not to think about it or take action. Each of us, no matter what part of the world we live in, is affected by all of these events which can alter how we feel about other people. Religion, race, sexual orientation, political party or its sub-party are just a few ways that someone else defines us. When we begin a sentence by labeling someone first, it shows that our mind is closed. I’m certainly not suggesting that we blend all of our thoughts and beliefs together into one, but we must guard against putting everyone in the same category because they share similarities. To quote from the movie Shrek, “people are like onions, they have layers”. As we get ready for Thanksgiving in the United States, I encourage everyone to think about being truly thankful for the blessings in your life and ask yourself “have I been a blessing to others?”

“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:14

The two verses that precede today’s verse from Colossians 3 are: “12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” The title of this section in the chapter is “Living as Those Made Alive in Christ” – a set of directions if you will. There isn’t really a lot of room for interpretation in verses 12-14, they seem straight forward to me. Love is the most important virtue. We’ve all heard the expression that “love makes the world go around” but somewhere over the years we seem to have forgotten that. 

We are all afraid of what “they” might do to us. We stereotype people and sensationalize events to make a point. We confuse one act of demonstration for another act of violence or insult. We need to start looking at life and circumstances through the eyes of Jesus, being cautious and vigilant, but with love and compassion. Political issues strain our relationships and cause more distress while religious, racial and sexual orientation stereotypes cloud our understanding and judgment. We are “God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved”. We need to start acting like it. Despite all of our disobedience and selfish ways, God found a way to bring us closer to Him through His Son Jesus Christ. It was Jesus’ act of love that paid the ultimate price for our sins; let it not be in vain.

Righteousness Through Faith

Today, we said goodbye (happy retirement) to our Pastor at church. He has been in our congregation for 16 years and is retiring from ministry after 25 years as a Pastor. It was a bittersweet moment because he has earned this day and we are happy for him to enjoy the days ahead; those days that he’s dreamed of his whole life. Yet selfishly, we didn’t want him to leave because we enjoy his voice and words of encouragement each week. One of the scripture readings we heard today were the verses below. 

Occasionally, the verses just say it so well that I really don’t need to comment – these are those types of verses. I want to leave you with these comments as you read about faith and the law. Whether you have spent your life as a Pastor or spent it doing things that you aren’t proud to admit, the one thing that unifies us a brothers and sisters in Christ is our faith that Jesus is our redeemer and His death is what justifies us before God, our Father. A Pastor and a sinner will see each other in Heaven because of God’s Grace and our faith in Jesus.

Romans 3:19-30

19Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

Righteousness Through Faith

21But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

27Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

Pearls

I’ve mentioned before that inspiration for these weekly devotions come from everywhere in my life. I unintentionally came across today’s verse, and something just spoke to me – pearls of all things. My wife doesn’t own any and I’m certain that the necklace my mom wore when I was a kid was fake. I attended an awards dinner this past week and many of the women were elegantly dressed; no one was wearing a pearl necklace or earrings. As I get older, I am learning to accept that things today are nothing like they were in “the old days”. 

Oysters (mollusks) make pearls and are formed by the soft tissue of the oyster. I immediately thought of a callus that is formed on the surface of the skin – something hard that comes from something soft. Not really the same but you’ll see in minute my comparison. The term pearl is also used as a metaphor for something rare or admirable. When I think about how people live their lives, they can either be a pearl or a callus. One is rare and admirable while the other is hard and often painful. Ironically, we use the term callous (different spelling but same pronunciation) to describe someone who lacks pity or mercy. I’d suggest that our lives, simply as human beings, are to care for one another and show compassion and mercy on those around us. We should all strive to be the pearls in someone else’s life. You’ll never know when something you do or say will become someone else’s pearl.

45“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”  Matthew 13:45-46

I’ve been told that when searching for fine pearls, you will look through hundreds before finding the one that is just right. People are like pearls, you can search a hundred people but when you find one that is just right, you bring it into your life. Some of those pearls you marry and others become your dearest friends. Think about what you traded in (sold) when you found that great one. In your life, you come across hundreds of people, but you have only a few friends and even fewer close friends. When you marry your pearl, you trade your biological family to start a new one. As we have sought the pearls for our lives, we should seek to become pearls in other people’s lives.

God has looked at billions of people and still loves them all. The kingdom of heaven is filled with the finest of the pearls. God gave us the laws to follow and wanted us to become sin free. We remained blemished pearls because we are not able to follow the laws perfectly. So, God “sold everything” by sending His Son to pay for our sins so that we could become a fine pearl and share eternal life with Him. He bought us from the slavery of sin with His Son. As John 3:16 said “Whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Today, know that you are a precious pearl to God. 

Make a Difference Day

Make a Difference Day is officially October 23rd this year. Each year, our city has about one hundred people volunteer to perform projects all around our city. We’ve had Boy Scout troops, church groups, a group from a local college, several high school groups, and various community minded residents all volunteer to make a difference. So what is this day all about? According to Makeadifferenceday.com; “For more than 25 years, USA WEEKEND Magazine and Points of Light have joined together to sponsor Make A Difference Day, the largest national day of community service. Millions of volunteers around the world unite in a common mission to improve the lives of others.” As an annual event in our city, it always seems to get me thinking about why should we make a difference just one day a year? 

We all make a difference to someone, each and every day. Sometimes we know when we do and other times we don’t. We all do our jobs faithfully, day in and day out. We don’t really expect people to notice what we’re doing. Many times you will hear a public safety professional say, “We were just doing our jobs”. In reality, they were making a difference. Today, as you read this, I challenge you to make a difference for someone. Go out of your way to help someone. A few years ago this was “random acts of kindness”. I’m not saying hold open a door; I’m challenging you to put someone else’s needs before your own. You’ll never know what impact you might have on someone’s life.

“If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”  Ecclesiastes 4:10 

Make a difference, today and everyday, had to be what Jesus was trying to teach His disciples. However, Ecclesiastes was written in the Old Testament. On the surface it sounds like we are being told to make sure that we have friends so they can help you up. If it was that simple, we wouldn’t have half the troubles we have today. What about the man who has no one to help him up? Who will help? God’s commandments teach us to love one another (among other things) and care for each other. 

This means everyone, not just our friends. God took His love for us and sent us a friend that will never leave our side, Jesus. No matter what is happening in your life, you are never alone. God is with you. When you feel distant, God is with you, just hold out your hand and open your heart. When you feel cold and alone, close your eyes and feel God’s warmth surround you. You are forgiven for everything you’ve done. Jesus, your friend, has helped you up after your fall. He sacrificed everything so that we could have eternal life. Now that is someone who made a difference!

Leading or Managing but Never Both

Often, we come face to face with people who are either a manager or a leader but rarely are they both. There have been plenty of books written that describe a leader, so I’m not going to do it in a short blog post. The verse for today talks about: “teaching, rebuking, correcting and training”; all good signs of a leader. Taking the time to ensure that your people are trained to do their job is a management function. Taking the time to build their skills and knowledge so that they can grow/advance is leadership. Rebuking, which is the expression of disapproval or criticism is the management skill of correcting unwanted behavior. Leaders that have courage, will not only help others correct mistakes, but they also take the time to coach their staff toward improvement while allowing the staff space to make mistakes. These “mistakes” should serve as learning points and not disciplinary moments. 

A “manager” will spend time correcting every little thing that people do; we call these types of people. “micro-managers”. Every one of us has worked for someone who wants things done a certain way within a certain time period. A real micro-manager takes their “certain way” and makes changes to everything we’ve done. A “leader” will correct someone by teaching more effective processes, they will teach by explaining what and why certain things are important but most of all, they will acknowledge when they too are wrong. Training employees is critical for an organization’s overall success. Teaching is about learning new skills and training is about taking what you know and making it better. Leaders view training as an opportunity to let people experiment and get comfortable with concepts and processes. The signs of a good leader can be found in these traits, modeled by the greatest leader there will ever be. 

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

This is one of those verses that help summarize the Bible – “All Scripture is God-breathed”. It’s amazing to think that these are the words of God given to us through His writers. If you look back through the scriptures, you will see Jesus use teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in all that He did. Whether he was addressing large crowds, small groups, His disciples, His mother, or the Pharisees; He was working toward righteousness. 

The “man” referred to in these verses is all of us. We should use these traits to become equipped for every good work. No one will manage us, there is no one to “make” us do it; Jesus (our leader) has given us examples to follow. As sinners, it is easy to fall away from the teachings; no one really knows when we fall and there is no one to discipline us. Our coach and our leader, who is there all of time, is God. He is the one who inspired the scripture and sent His Son to be our savior. We shouldn’t fear that God is a micro-manager, we need to embrace the One whom we call “teacher”; He is the one that makes it all right in our Father’s eyes.