Stupid is as Stupid Does

Proverbs 1:4-6 (msg) To teach the inexperienced the ropes and give our young people a grasp on reality. There’s something here also for seasoned men and women, still a thing or two for the experienced to learn-Fresh wisdom to probe and penetrate, the rhymes and reasons of wise men and women.

I’m on vacation, relaxing and enjoying time with my family. I’m having a great time. God is good! Enjoying time with God as well just reading proverbs and wanted to share some thoughts I love that my dad and grandfather taught me as a young man, how important the bible is, and how it’s wisdom can transform and revolutionize our lives.

In this passage that’s what this is saying. These writings are inspired by God and penned by the great king Solomon. What he says is simple. The word of God teaches us how to live, but more than that he reveals the right attitude for growth and development.

No matter if we are young and zealous, beginning to learn about life, thinking we know more than we do, we need to pay attention to the wisdom of God and be teachable.

No matter if we are older, experienced and have faced many issues, there is more for us to learn. More growth and development to be had. Be teachable.

The killer of a persons growth and development, the thing that will stunt it more than any other is the pride and arrogance of thinking we know more than we actually do. I’ve made a commitment to be a life long learner. In my mind that is the key to success. So, let’s be honest about where we are and be open to be taught necessary lessons to achieve Gods purpose.

We don’t know it all, we don’t enough, and the moment we think we do, we’re done.

What are you learning right now?

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I Hear Voices

As a leader over the years I have learned there are numerous voices speaking to you at all times.  Voices of good counselors, voices of family, voices of people who have an opinion about what your doing, and distracting voices speaking about nothing in particular.  These voices speak more in some seasons and less in others, but rest assured when its time to make a decision or you’re in transition your life will become voice central.  You’ll think your brain is a switchboard.

There are also some supernatural voices speaking to you.  That of God and even the enemy.  I can’t stress enough, how important it is in your life as a leader to listen to the right voices, especially in high pressure transitional seasons.  Listening to the wrong voices in certain seasons can cause you to miss destiny moments, God connections, and future opportunities.  It can literally cause your life to take the wrong path.  Not that you can’t come back from a mistake like that, but sometimes its a long way around.  If the voices you are hearing, are fearful, doubtful, cynical, negatively critical, shut them out!

In 2 Samuel 10 there is an account that is incredibly sad.  Especially for a leader.  As a leader you know there are certain relationships that come into your life that are meant to help you grow,develop, teach and sometimes even protect you.  God arranges such relationships and they are such a blessing.  In this passage of scripture we see that God arranged this for a young leader and because he listened to the wrong voices, he killed the relationship, and sealed his fate.

The Leaders name was Hanun, he was the King of Ammon, the son of Nahash.  He had just taken the throne of Ammon, because his father had died.  I’m sure his heart was in full grieving mode, while at the same time trying to lead a nation, and establish himself as king. Transition doesn’t get bigger than this, decisions are tense and pressurized.  He had to think about the best interest of the kingdom, his family, their standing in the region, so many things must have been racing through his mind.  Not to mention he was hurting.  He had lost his leader, his king, his father.

At this time David was ruling over all Israel, he had taken his rightful place as King and God was giving him great success.  He expressed his desire to build God a house, and this blessed God so much that he made a covenant with David that his family would set on the throne of Israel forever.  David was winning every battle, he was a force to be reckoned with.  People who opposed him militarily quickly found it wasn’t wise to do so.

David heard of the death of King Nahash, and he remembered that Nahash was kind to him.  David said I want to show kindness to Hanun and Ammon because they have lost their king.  So David sent some men from his kingdom to comfort the young king.  To let him know everything was going to be alright.  To, no doubt, console him and give him confidence that David himself was watching out for him.  Then it happened.  He heard the voices. The princes of the people of Ammon said to Hanun their lord.  “Do you think that David really honors your father because he has sent comforters to you?  Has David not rather sent his servants to you to search the city, to spy it out, and to overthrow it?”

When he heard this, their vicious insecurity stabbed at his heart and fear overtook his mind, and he lashed out without thinking.  He took the men that David sent to him, shaved their beards, and cut their clothes in half from the waist down.  In other words he shamed them, and embarrassed them.  Consequently this action put them at odds and David’s armies overcame them and what they feared would happen did.

What do we learn from this.

1.  Don’t make rash or big decisions when your hurt?

I think because of Hanun’s hurt and grief he listened to counselors that were full of insecurity and it demolished favor God was trying to establish in his life.

2.  Don’t listen to voices that are insecure, immature, fearful, doubtful, or cynical.

people who base their thoughts and opinions on this type of thinking will bring no good results in your life. NONE!

3.  When you are going through transition take your time.  Don’t be pressured into doing anything urgently.

He acted so quickly and in that moment destroyed his future.

4.  You will ultimately be responsible for the decisions you make don’t be pressured into making them.

The sad part about this is imagine what that relationship with David could have meant for his kingdom, or for him personally.  He could have been in covenant with David which would have meant blessing, protection, brothorhood, community, connection all the things a leader needs.  He lost it all in one rediculous decision brought on by hurt and insecurity.  Moral of the story is when you’re hurt, and in leadership you will be, don’t listen to the wrong voices.

Listen first and foremost to God.  Secondly to good counselors and mentors who will be objective and not moved by your feelings.  Third base your decisions making on the word of God, it is God speaking to us by the way.   It could mean the difference between Success or failure.

What voices are you listening to?

Something to Say About Leadership…What is Insecurity?

In life we hear the word insecurity often. We use this word to describe people who lack confidence, people who wear their emotions on their sleeves, and people who are enamored with the idea of pleasing other people.

What is insecurity really? The dictionary defines it as an unsafe feeling. A state of mind characterized by self-doubt and vulnerability. So insecurity is a feeling of not being secure. It is a feeling of being a target for hurt or harm, when you get right down to it insecurity in its true meaning is just plane fear, the fear that we are not safe.

We’ve thought of insecurity as an overly emotional state, immaturity, and a lack of confidence. All these things characterize insecurity. They also Characterize fear. Insecurity simply means I’m afraid I’m going to be rejected. It means I’m afraid I’m going to fail. It means I’m afraid I’m going to hurt. It means I’m afraid to risk. It means I just don’t feel safe.

We can all see how this can sabotage a leader. This type of thinking paralyzes a leader. Keeps them from moving forward. Keeps their focus on their performance not the vision. What we need to do however is remove the mystery from the word insecurity and just call it what it is, Fear. Say it after me. “I am afraid.” We all go through this at different times. It’s what we do in those times that matters. Will we see insecurity for what it is and eliminate it, or will we see it as a small weakness and let it stay. It’s fear, and if you are a leader fear is your mortal enemy!

Fear is the enemy of the leader. That’s the way we should look at it. We need to listen and believe the bible. Romans 8:15 says, “we have not been given the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the spirit of adoption whereby we cry abba father. It says in Timothy, “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of love, of power, and of a sound mind. So Fear does the transverse of this passage. It eliminates love, makes us feel weak, and paints us into a corner of confusion. Fear is an enemy to the leader.

We need to understand the power Insecurity and fear can have if we allow it in our lives. What does it cause? If I fear people’s opinions than I can’t lead with a clear vision, If I fear taking a risk, or failing, then I will stick with the status quo. If I fear rejection from people I will be obsessed with my performance and never feel like I’m good enough. It really is a killer of leadership. We must force it out of our lives.

I taught our staff today, on the idea that leading progress requires courage. Its possible to lead and not be moving forward, Moses did it for 40 years in the wilderness. It took courage for Joshua to get it moving forward. God told Joshua in the book of Joshua chapter one, to “be strong and of good courage and not to be afraid” four times. He was getting the point across to Joshua that it was going to take courage to lead to the fulfillment of the dream, to do the right things, to stand against fear itself, and bottom line it takes courage to lead people. It requires us to do the uncomfortable, to confront, and to influence others.

When I was starting out, I wanted everyone to like me. I thought that was leadership. It made me second-guess my communication. I wondered constantly if I was measuring up. It caused me to compete with others in my own mind, and to compare myself with others. I was afraid I would be rejected or I wouldn’t succeed. It wasn’t until I realized leadership is a “stand alone” place much of the time and It takes courage to help people. You can’t help people if you are constantly seeking their approval, because then it’s all about you and not them.

There are ways to defeat this fear. There are perspectives we must have, and perspectives we must change to defeat this enemy. It can be done.

Next blog I will talk about the first way to overcome insecurity, and how our perspectives can create either a vicious cycle of fear, or a victories cycle of confidence.

Hope this is helping you. Please comment on fears you have faced in leadership and how you have overcome them.

-David