Social media is the thing these days. Everybody has some form of it, probably even your grandmother.
I’m no exception. I have a Facebook account and a Twitter account. I also keep up with Motion’s Twitter and Facebook, as well as the Vimeo account. I also have some other Facebook pages that I’m responsible for.
Something I obsess over, without even meaning to, is how many likes, followers and friends I have. I never went into it with having X number of likes as a goal, but somehow it’s become a big deal for me. I guess it brings some validation. As if having a certain number of likes on your page means you’re more significant and have more value. It’s really dumb when you think about it.
I wonder what my life would be like if I was more concerned about what God thinks about me than some cyber buddy? Would I have different priorities, ones that really matter in the grand scheme of things? Would I be more concerned about what the real people that are in my life think?
It’s easy to get caught up in, speaking from first hand experience. But looking at it from a simple and logical perspective, what is really important? I think we all know the answer to the question. What we do with it is up to us.
So it never fails that when I think that I do a terrible job preaching on Sunday, I get more compliments and “I needed thats” than any other time. Conversely, when I think I do pretty good (you never think you do THAT good if you have an ounce of honesty in your body) people never really say anything.
Maybe they recognize the struggle and are just being cordial? Maybe they are just throwin’ me a bone? But I have a suspicion there is more going on. I think about 2 Corinthians 12:9 where it says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”I believe that even in what I perceive as a failure or poor “performance”, God sees as an opportunity to remind me that it’s not about me. This is His deal, His church and we are His people.
Though our circumstances may differ, the principle remains the same. Whatever areas that you feel deficient in are areas for God to show His gracious strength in and through you. After all, just like the church is not mine, our lives are not our own. They are His, and He can and does choose to use our weakness and foolishness to show His strength and wisdom.
I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m weak… and I suppose that’s a good thing.
Philippians 2 says to “watch out for dogs”. I was thinking about this in my oversimplified cranium and had a thought.
We’ve all had the unfortunate privilege of experiencing dogs do some unusual things. One of those things is sniffing each other rear ends. This nasty display got me to thinking about Paul’s warning in Philippians.
This is my strange thought: Don’t go sniffing people looking for something that stinks. Any yahoo can find faults in other people. Rather than sniffing out their flaws we should find the good in each other to celebrate.
Watch out for the people that are always critical and cynical. Set the tenor of your relationships by having a proper, God-centered approach. We are all God’s creation so there is without question something that you can celebrate about every person.
Don’t be a dog!
I heard a quote last week that was cheesy, but insightful:
“It’s not about X’s and O’s. It’s about Jimmy’s and Joe’s.”
If you know me, then you know that quote was used in a sports-related context. However, it very much carries over to our efforts as a church. Let me explain.
The intent of the quote is that what you do isn’t as important as who you do it with. Of course, in a sport this seems obvious. You can have a great system, but if you don’t have the right people to execute the plan then you’re not going to be effective.
What excites me about this idea is that I’m convinced that we have the right Jimmy’s and Joe’s on our team. God has been so precise in sending exactly what we need as far as skills, talents and personnel.
Sure, I feel like we have a great plan as a church. We have a clear mission to lead people to live and move and have their being in Jesus Christ. But even more important than that, we have the right people to carry out that directive!
You ever get that feeling that you’re on the verge of something great?
That would pretty much sum up my existence and the hope-filled expectation I have about Motion. I honestly believe that we can change Longview, and I don’t really make any apologies about it. I got a text from my friend Stephen Webb from Elevation in North Carolina the other day that said, “Praying for you now, my friend. Dominate Longview!!”
I love the strong language. Dominate Longview!! What would that look like? People coming to Jesus and the hope that is only found in Him in droves? Lives being truly transformed by the overwhelming, stunning grace of God? Love controlling and dictating relationships and families? Sounds like something I want to be a part of!
So in short, let the domination ensue!!
Every week at Motion our volunteers have the immense honor of receiving leadership insights from my good friend Daniel Boney, or as we call him, “The Smartest Man Alive”.
A few weeks ago he talked about how to be “pretty sure” you’re in the will of God. I love the way that he set it up. I heard Steven Furtick say one time that they are only 51% sure of anything they do and whether or not it is the right thing. I tend to agree with that. Here are some of the guidelines Dan the Man gave us for being in the Will of God.
1) Prayer- Seems obvious, but it is a great place to start if you are facing a decision or aren’t sure what you are supposed to do with your life. God wants us to pray, and it oftentimes works out that if you listen you will have clearer direction.
2) The Bible- Again seems obvious, but if you’re anything like me it is good to be reminded that the answers that we need to life are usually found in God’s word. Perry Noble said something that was extremely profound with regards to this. “God’s will never contradicts His Word.” If you are doing something that is unbiblical, it’s not God’s will for you.
3) The People Around You- Wisdom is in the multitude of counsel. If everybody you talk to that loves you and is godly thinks your idea is a bad one, there might be something to it. Put your pride aside and hear them out.
4) Gut Check- Sometimes you just “know that you know” what you are supposed to do. I think we’ve all experienced this on some level. Maybe it’s conviction or compelling from the Holy Spirit, but at any rate it’s usually a pretty good indicator.
One closing thought that he gave if you are in limbo about what God’s will and next step for your life is was this: Just keep doing the last right thing until the answer becomes more clear. If you don’t know what to do, keep doing what you’re doing now that is good and seemed to be His will at a previous point until you get more succinct direction about the hope-filled and good future He has for you.
This is just a taste of what we get to enjoy every week at Motion in our Leadership Meetings. A wealth of knowledge indeed.
So a group of Moxie men and I always hoop it up on Sundays after Motion. It’s literally one of the highlights of my week. I love hangin’ with the guys and running around attempting to look like I know what I’m doing. But, this past week it also reminded me that I am still a work in progress.
One of the guys that came, who wasn’t part of our group, was being a real jerk. I’m sure you’ve been in situations like this. There is a definitive line between the playful banter of the usual trash talk ilk, and just being a pompous, arrogant _____. I should have ignored it and just let it go. Isn’t that essentially the premise of grace? Giving undeserved kindness? I didn’t. I don’t really even remember what I said, but I know I lost my cool and got entirely too bent out of shape about something, that in the grand scheme of things, is minuscule.
I felt awful afterward. I felt like I let the guys that I’m trying to lead down in some way. My assumption is that conviction was at work reminding me of the areas I need to improve on. Odds are, you’ve got some of those too. So for those of us who are trying to lead God-honoring lives remember: you fail, you get up, you learn, you get better.
God loves us right where we are. But He loves us entirely too much to leave us right where we are. He wants to take us to greater depths in our relationship with Him, love for each other, and grace toward the undeserving.
Works in progress unite!