The Sin Of This Modern Era and What We Can Do About It

Ed Stetzer tweeted in June, “In the last 5 days: 700 refugees drowned off Greece, 9000 babies were aborted in U.S., and 68 were shot in Chicago…and a gorilla dominated the news.”

There is this subtle sin that has crept in the world and grown in power the past several years. Sadly, the Church has not been immune to it. What is it? The subtle deadly sin of disengagement.

Why are we so disengaged?

Let’s look at what has happened in recent history. In the last ten years the Iphone, Ipad and cloud computing have taken the world by storm. We are more connected in more ways than any, ANY other generation in the world…. ever. We are more interconnected as a human race than we ever have been before. But the world has changed in other ways as well. More fighting, more wars, more tension, more offense, more distraction and more taking sides. I wish I could say this was only outside the Church, but you and I both know it is happening in every religion, every country and in every nation. And yes, that includes those who are following Jesus.

I’m thankful and grateful for modern technology. I am. I can send videos to my friends back home in the States in milliseconds. I can communicate, in real time, with anyone I want no matter where they are in the world with an internet connection. I have files stored in a server thousands of miles away from where I live. I can listen to any music I want, watch any movies or shows I want, and keep track of how many minutes of sleep I get a day. I can publish a book, on my own, and have it sent worldwide in a few hours. It’s unbelievable.

And it’s distracting. Simultaneously, we are the most engaged and the most disengaged generation in history. We are the most engaged- engaged with knowledge that is. But, completely disengaged with reality. Disengaged with life, people, living human beings. Disengagement, it seems, is the sin of this modern era.

Second, it seems this way especially when looking at current political circus in the States, it’s clear that there is something darker going on. There is an underlying idea that the world is going to Hell, everything is falling apart, but we as Christians will be ok. The idea that we need to circle up the wagons, grab our guns and protect ourselves. And at the same time, held in tension, there’s this idea that we’ll be ok, so let those who don’t know Christ die knowing that their eternity is uncertain…as long as we’re ok.  It’s the, “I’m in, you’re not; I win, you lose. Sayonara,” mentality that for whatever reason the Church just can’t shake. I’m not saying that everyone in the Church believes this. But there are those who do, and no matter how small they may be in number, they seem to be the loudest.

How have others been engaged?

We have disengaged from the “least of these.”  If we’ve done it to the abandoned, forgotten ones in the world, we’ve done it to Christ, Matthew 25. But there are examples of engagement.

God reveals to us that we are to be active participants. Think of Esther in the Old Testament standing up for her people before the king. Think of four simple fishermen who were content doing just that the rest of their lives until someone showed them the Truth. Peter, Andrew James and John became active participants in the world and did not sit by and let it fall apart. In recent history we can think of so many more….Mother Teresa, Martin Luther, William Carey, Hudson Taylor, Lyman Stewart, Amy Charmichael and more.  These people did not say “Sayonara” to the world. They became actively engaged in being a part of its redemption history.

Taking an honest look at ourselves

Let’s look at the Church in a couple of areas. First is social justice. To be fair, we are considered aliens in the world. So, it is hard to look around and not allow the thankfulness of our salvation in Christ to turn into some sort of prideful sneer towards someone who does you wrong. It’s hard not to feel some sort of weird justification when something bad or hard happens to someone who was hurtful to you. We want justice but only in those things we deem important. When we look at social justice or fighting for justice to those oppressed innocently, it seems that the Church in many ways does this well. And I am so grateful for this.

But in other areas, we as the Church fall way short. Even now I hear from fellow believers in my home country, this attitude of “Well, that is unfortunate for you. You should work harder, be stronger, get over that, move on.” We fail to see that many things in life aren’t up to us. Many things aren’t something we can just get over or work harder at. They aren’t things we can immediately, from out of no where, become stronger in. Many of us are completely powerless to either situations or privileged people.

Go to any Alcoholics Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous, Over-Eaters Anonymous, Celebrate Recovery or any other recovery type of meeting and you will soon see people who are unable to just “get over it.” I honestly believe there is no difference between the ones who attend those meetings and everyone else except for one thing- the ones who attend those meetings know how helpless they are and how much they are in need of a Savior. The other group of people would probably have a hard time admitting that.

Second is the area of knowing versus doing. David Fitch in his book “The End of Evangelicalism?”   writes, “the ‘inerrant Bible’ allows us to believe we have the truth while at the same time remaining distant from actually engaging in it as a way of life. We assent unabashedly to the perfect book without it truly meaning anything. It acts as an “ideological fantasy” wherein we live in a projected world where we can believe we have the truth, but in real life have to make little or no changes to the way we live.”

I admit that I have given give into the selfish desire to become judgmental and disengaged at times as well. Knowing I have the Truth and no one else does gives me a sense of power and of judgment. It gives the idea that because I know the Truth, there’s no reason for me to change. Knowledge somehow gives us power and control…. we think. We are still grasping for control and think we can do a better job than He can. If we didn’t, there wouldn’t be people burning out, falling from moral failure, blindly sticking with one political group, having more protests about what they are against rather than what they are for, among other things. But knowledge doesn’t cause us to become engaged.

And third, the area of spectators versus participants. In recovery groups there’s a level of grace towards one another that is unmatched to almost any other group of believers that I’ve ever been in. Why? Because those in recovery all understand that they are in the same sinking ship in this world. Citizens of the world or citizens of heaven, we were all born into this fallen place. It’s what we choose to do with this time while here that counts. Giving grace and living a life of honesty, vulnerability and forgiveness allows us to transcend the boundary between disengaged spectators and participators. Spectators watch the world fall apart like they’re watching a movie in a theater. Participators are the ones who are scratched, beaten and bloody because they decide jump in the pit and help those who need it.

What do we do now?

So, how do we stop this and start becoming engaged with the world?

First, spend time in reflection asking that the Spirit reveal to you areas in which you have been disengaged. If you think you haven’t been, that’s a good sign that you probably have. Then as those areas come to mind, seek forgiveness. This is not a one time reflection, but an ongoing one.

Second, for those who have lived a life of engagement listed earlier, and the countless others, it came down to a decision. A decision to become active. Willing to face the pain and suffering around them and become “one” with those in the midst of it. They went against the trends of the culture they were in. Becoming engaged with the world is starting to see faces, eyes, of those suffering. Not just read headlines.

Third, it begins with looking around your world and finding the suffering that is around you. Looking up from your phone, laptop and tablet, and seeing the world for what it really is. Not the digital world we have become too comfortable living in.

Fourth, becoming engaged starts with being honest with your own emotions and acknowledging the feelings of those around you. Just like Christ did. The women at the well, the oppression of the merchants in the temple, the lame man unable to get to angelic pool to become healed just to name a few. He empathized by being honest with what He had gone through in order to engage with those in pain around Him. He wept.

By becoming engaged with the world and not just informed about it, we are living out that second commandment of loving our neighbor like our self; and, almost on divine accident, the first like it, loving our Lord our God with all of our heart, all of our soul and all of our mind. May we be known as the generation that engaged the world for Christ.

be blessed today

 

 

 

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The Art of Ending

I never took a preaching class. As part of high school and core college classes, I had to take a public speaking course. I enjoyed them. It was good to get feedback, but apart from that, nothing. I’ve also never taken a formal writing class. You probably can pick up on that in my writing. There are far better writers in the world, and I don’t desire to compare myself to them…it just won’t make my day. Nonetheless, I still enjoy speaking and writing.

Why? That’s a good question. Their might be a bit of ego in there, being in the limelight, center of attention. Although, God allows me to fail in that area from time to time when my pride tries to block any glory going to Him. In those times, I search to find a greater reason why I like these forms of expression.

Thankfully, I have come to find a greater depth as to why I enjoy it. Depending on what I’m speaking, writing or talking about, there are two main reasons why it brings me joy and encouragement. First is that I am a bit of a visionary leader. I love being able to cast vision, help others develop a vision and encourage others to see what God could do if we took a risk. So much so, that it is very hard for me to follow someone who isn’t a visionary leader. Casting vision and then continuing to bring people back to that vision, for me, is key at making anything work. People who can’t do that cause me to question if they can’t dream or believe in something greater, how could I? But that’s another topic for another day.

The second reason why I enjoy speaking and writing is that I can simply share my journey in hopes that it may help someone else, just like others have shared their journeys with me, encouraging me to keep moving. Without us sharing our stories, we can end up feeling all alone, unique, un-relatable and isolated-not what God intended when He calls us the family of God, the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ.

But in all of this, in looking at other leaders, one of the hardest things I’ve noticed is how to finish. Back to me never taking a preaching class-I’ve always heard that how you end the sermon is the hardest thing about it. How you “land the plane,” so to speak, could make or break any talk you give. Being able to make that conclusion bring it together, summing up to challenge others with what was just said or spur others on in a rally cry is a hard thing to do. In fact, it’s hard every time I write in this blog to come up with how I am going to end each post. The ending is what people will remember. The ending determines what will be remembered.

Though I’m only 37 (yes “only,” don’t mock me you young ones), I’ve come to learn that how I end things is important. How I will end my time here is vital to leave a legacy of God’s grace, provision and love. I struggle with not only ending a blog post, but with handing things off to others. Coming alongside someone to encourage, invest in and build up is something I enjoy. But handing things off entirely to someone else is hard. I know that if that project, business or ministry is to sustain and thrive, it needs to be handed off well. In order for that to happen, the leader, or in this case me, needs to hand it off well. If the pilot can’t land the plane, it doesn’t matter how fast or smooth it took off, and it definitely doesn’t matter how smooth the entire flight was. The landing is important.

Landing it, handing it off well, is not only you being able to empower those who are now stepping into the lead, but it is you submitting to God that He is ultimately over all.  Hanging on too long is nothing but fear based. I talked about that a bit last week. Paul wrote many letters to a lot of people, trying to empower them from afar. He moved from the lead role to a support role. A good friend of mine, Andreas, is the leader of a church planting movement that started out of Sweden. His ministry philosophy goes like this:

I do it, you watch me. I do it, you help me,

You do it, I help you. You do it, I watch you

Not only does he believe this, he has modeled it many times over the past two decades. He not only knows how to cast the vision (take off) and keep the momentum going (cruising altitude), he also knows how to hand it off well (landing). If Paul had not  handed it off, it makes me wonder if Romans, Ephesians, 1 & 2 Timothy would even be in the Bible we read. We simply move into different seasons of life. From being the one who needs support and encouragement to the ones who are giving both to others as they step into the roles God has for them. Modeling to them our trust in others and in God. A “giving back” to Him a portion of what He has given us.

My prayer is that we not only do that with every ministry venture we’re a part of, or job position we have, but also with our lives. To come to a place where we are passing  on what God has done in us to those around us. Encouraging, empowering and speaking truth.

How about you? Do you have experience with someone handing it off well? Have you handed things off well, or perhaps not so well? What was the impact?

be blessed today

 

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Changing Your Ordinary: Living a Celebratory Life in Ordinary Time

I love celebrations. Mainly holidays. There’s so much that goes into our holidays, really. For me, Christmas is a big one. The food, the music, the presents under the tree. Easter is another big holiday in the West. We have certain traditions that we hold to both culturally and in our families. There’s a lot of preparation work that goes into it. Shopping, preparing for guests, taking time off of work, etc. But that’s all part of it when we get to just spend time with our families. It’s all part of celebrating.

It seems that in the Church in the West, we tend to pour a large amount of financial resources into outreaches for these two holidays. It makes sense, right? It’s an open door to talk about why Jesus came to this earth. It gives us an opportunity, that perhaps the secular world is almost inviting us to use, to share about why Jesus died and why He miraculously rose from the dead. Therefore, it make sense why we as the Church would pour so much money into these two times of the year. We want to create a place, a mountain top experience where others can encounter and experience God. But what’s interesting is that we pour so much money into these two holidays and those two holidays are a small percentage of our actual life every year.

There was an important holiday, a historical marker, that passed today, May 15th, that we heard little, if anything, about. It was really the foundation of the explosive early church movement. Today, May 15th is 50 days after Easter…today is the day of Pentecost. This day written about in Acts 2 was not only when the small group of followers of Jesus were filled with the Holy Spirit for the first time, it’s when the Church became the Church and started to grow.

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken.”-Acts 2:1-6

I never used to consider the church calendar, but over the years have come to appreciate it’s purpose in bringing focus and order to our sometimes crazy lives. When looking at it, there are some important things to take note of. First is that the calendar year starts on the first day of Advent, not January 1st. Then, there is Advent time (the time starting a few weeks before Christmas) and Christmas time (starting Christmas day and leading up to the first day of Lent). This time combined makes up 15% of our calendar year, or 55 days. Next, there is Lent (usually starting in February and leading up to Easter day) and Easter time (starting Easter day and ending on Pentecost). This time makes up about 25% of our calendar year or about 146 days. Finally, comes a massive portion of our calendar year, 60% of it actually. It’s called Ordinary Time and it lasts 219 days.

Most of our lives are lived in the ordinary time. The normal everyday, go to work, come home, sleep, wake up kind of place. We do our shopping, eating, sleeping, playing, schooling and our normal routine during this time. We have a rhythm during this time. We all do. Besides birthdays and anniversaries (and a few national holidays) most of our lives are lived in ordinary time-reality. Holidays and celebratory times are not reality per say. They are celebratory, not the ordinary. Our ordinary, routine, habitual lives.

I have met a lot of believers, followers of Jesus who live for those holidays. They are only a part of a faith community on Christmas or Easter, but that’s it. I’ve been in churches who pour a lot of time and money into those two holidays for outreaches. But other than that, they really don’t reach out the rest of the year. The problem with living this way is that we are basically saying God only cares about us during those mountain top experiences. Or perhaps, what we’re saying is we only care about God during these few times a year. By living this way, we are showing that God doesn’t really care about us at all apart from these times. That He doesn’t care about us when we are in the ordinary time of our lives, or worse yet, when we’re in the valley and the pit. Man, what a horrible relationship that sounds like, right? Could you imagine a relationship where your spouse only cares about you on their birthday and anniversary and ignores you the rest of the year? Or let’s think about heaven. If there are no celebrations, no holidays in heaven, how boring it’s going to be for all eternity. No mountain top highs there. Do we really believe that?

No. No, we know that’s not true, don’t we? We know that God loves us no matter where we are, mountain top or deepest valley. But it seems we only live for the mountain high.

So, what if we changed our ordinary? What if we created a new ordinary? What if we began to live a celebratory life in our ordinary time? What would that look like? We’d have to change our routines, our habits, but could we? We can, and it’s not something earth shattering or even something new. It’s already been shown to us, modeled for us.

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47

Before Pentecost no one knew what to do. Jesus was gone, ascended into heaven. His followers had no idea what to do next. Their leader gone. But, then the Spirit fills them, Peter gives an incredible speech, and then we read this. The apostles, the early church, their ordinary changed. And God moved dramatically. They ate together daily, they prayed together daily, they listened to teaching together, again, daily. Starting in Acts 3 we read that healings began on a regular basis. And, it says that God added to their number daily. Daily!

So what happened?

At some point, we as broken humans, looked at what was going on daily and decided to condense it to a Sunday service and Wednesday night bible study. We did that. And then those times of communion happened less and less. Healings happened less and less. These ordinary things back then, became extraordinary. Or sadly, perhaps even non existent.

We created a new ordinary that took those days and condensed them and in doing so we put the responsibility of our own spiritual growth and development onto the pastor. We put the weight of that onto someone else so we didn’t have to have the responsibility of being more disciplined, having compassion, of growing in Christ. And by doing so, we could excuse our lack of discipline and put the blame on the pastor.  I don’t think we set out to do it, but we did. And it continues on.

We need to create a new habit so that what happened in Acts 2 becomes our ordinary. Perhaps our new habit will include daily reading in the Word, or daily prayer. Perhaps it will include regular confession to another or regular sabbath and rest. And maybe even consistent, regular service towards others around us.

By doing this, we won’t just experience God in the mountain top or on Easter, but we’ll be continually engaged with Him all year long. We will become more aware of His presence both on the mountain peak in the hellish pit we’re in. Perhaps we’ll be more able to see and be grateful for the blessings of abundance and the blessing of learning in the struggle. I can say that others will see that our God is a God who cares about us no matter where we are, no matter what we’re going through, no matter what holiday it might be. And through that, perhaps that “added to their number daily” will no longer be an action of the past. What if we all lived a celebratory life in our ordinary time? What could happen?

be blessed today

 

Photo Credit: https://lidtop.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/black-and-white-colouring.jpg

 

 

 

Whose Job Is It To Change?

I’ll admit, it’s been painful, very painful to get up every morning and read the headlines in my news feed. Some stories have been heart wrenching-constant war, bombings, children being abducted, raped, killed. Others have been encouraging such as people giving back, new governmental policies to help people displaced from war and people showing more intentionality in helping those around them.

And then there are the stories that leave me speechless. Stories of celebrities upset about hairstyles drawing national attention and wanna be leaders of nations stoop to name calling and childish spats with each other. It’s hard to read and not feel sad or feel angry. Or even feel shame for my nationality, race or even my fellow followers of Christ. From the outside looking in, it looks like it’s getting ugly in there. It really does.

I know people desire change. Most people I talk to from the States are thankful for a system in which we elect leaders because it gives us a voice even if it’s 1 in 318,000,000, it’s still a voice. It seems that no matter what party you declare to be from, of the myriads we actually have, no one is happy. No one. Everyone wants change.

What I’ve also noticed is that many people are looking to those elected leaders for change. Once they are elected in, change will magically happen even, hopefully, overnight. Somehow this country will completely turn around in four years with this one person elected in and we get to go about our daily lives without giving it another thought. What’s odd is that if you were to open a business, the average turn around for that business to turn a profit and be back in the black is usually no sooner than four years. And that’s having all your employees on board…not 318 million different opinions.

But the Christian life isn’t dependent on others changing. It isn’t dependent on others changing for us. Christ calls us to Himself and as we grow closer to Him, we are left with a choice to change ourselves or not change. Not changing means we lose out on understanding God’s love for us, His beauty and how He has truly made us. Choosing to change means we have a relationship with someone who knows us more deeply and intimately than anyone ever has, does or will. A relationship with a Creator who not only knows you but made you….astounding.

Organizational change cannot occur unless we accept the pain of personal change,” writes Robert Quinn in his book “Deep Change: Discovering the Leader within.” We can’t expect anything or anyone else to change for us.  Whether elected to office or born into our family, we cannot change in place of someone else and they can’t in place of us. The only one that we can change is ourselves. And by doing so, we may have the opportunity to see the world around us change for the better as they watch us and our relationship with Christ.

AJ Swoboda in his new book “The Dusty Ones,” writes “Perhaps the greatest commentary any of us has for preaching the good news is our own textbook of mistakes, which helps us exegete our own failures that quietly whisper the eternal mysteries of grace. Maybe the best preaching advice I’ve ever received is this: if we preach to the perfect, nobody will listen; if we preach to the imperfect, we won’t be able to keep folks away.

Personal change is painful. Stripping away the hurts, addictions, making amends-it’s all painful. But, through the pain comes peace and freedom. If we want to see country wide or world wide change, we need to be willing to walk down the painful road of change ourselves, not simply expect others to do it for us. And then be open and honest with those around us about the transformation we are going through. May it be so with us all.

What are your thoughts on personal change? how do you feel by changing you could really change the world?

be blessed today

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A Day of Perspective

I sadly admit that this doesn’t happen as often as I would like. I won’t say “as much as it should” because “should” can become a shaming word pretty quickly, and blind me from the grace I receive from Christ. However, I admit that I don’t always look at each day as a day of opportunity. There are some days where I am so beat down or defeated, that I’ve already lost the day. No matter what happens that day, it’s all bad, negative, horrible or frustrating.

There are seasons that I go through. Some seem so incredibly fruitful, effective or transformational. Other seasons seem as though I’m just spinning my wheels, wasting my time or just plain hard. Though those times should be evaluated to see if I am wasting my time, usually it’s because I don’t see what may be going on under the surface within and around me. With the transition that we’ve gone through from Russia to here, I have found myself often wondering “why?”

About a month or so ago, I finished reading through a book by Warren Wiersbe entitled “The Bumps Are What You Climb On.” Great little daily read. He was expounding on the last part of Revelation 19:6, “Alleluia: The Lord God omnipotent reigns.” His main point in this particular chapter is that God’s wrath can be poured out at any given moment. Natural disasters, terminal illnesses, mass killings, war, all of these things are part of the fallen world in which we live. If God really wanted to fully pour out His wrath, such as on the people as God shut the door on the ark with Noah’s family safely inside, He simply has to think or speak the wrath into existence. In the book of Revelation, we see the judgement of God being poured out. Let’s face it, I’m sure worse could be done than what we are told about.

Yet…and this is where the hope comes in…Yet, He hasn’t poured out His wrath today. He hasn’t poured out the wrath that we read about in Revelation just yet. Wiersbe’s encouragement is that if today isn’t a day of wrath, then the opposite is true.Today is a day of salvation. If today is not a day of hopelessness- His wrath already being poured out, then today is a day of grace-compassion-blessing-filled opportunity. Today is a day of SALVATION! John, records seeing this great multitude in heaven, knowing full well the power of God and his wrath…..AND they are saying Alleluia, The omnipotent Lord God reigns.” These are a people who understand what a day of wrath is and what a day of salvation is.

So, yesterday I chose to believe and live as if it were a day of salvation. I chose to live as if everything put in my path was an opportunity to show grace, love, compassion encouragement and blessing. Though I didn’t chose it in every moment, I think I did more than usual. And it was a blessing.

That thought, the very notion that today is a day of salvation…whoa, how powerful is that? A day He has given to show His beauty, and glory, and delight and joy. It puts things a bit more into perspective. Hopefully, I’ll be able to chose to do the same tomorrow. How about you?

Have you ever chosen to live a day or moment as a time of salvation? What happened? How did you feel? What did you learn? What was your experience like? I’d love to hear your story!

Why Do I Get Emotional Every Time I Speak in Public?

     Though I am over on the extrovert side of the extrovert/introvert line, I am just barely over. I can turn on the conversationalist when I need to be and I absolutely love, love, love public speaking. It’s exciting for me, and in a way it allows me to share my story.
     A few weeks ago, a friend of mine from college posed a question on Facebook. “To all of you public speakers out there, how do you keep from getting emotional when you speak?” It’s a great question, especially for a guy like me. One thing none of you know, is that I almost always tear up when I speak. It’s something that has caused me a lot of self doubt, embarrassment and shame in my life.
     At one point in my life a mentor of mine and I were getting coffee. He knew me better than most people, and I highly respected what he had to say. “JB, you are an incredibly emotional person. And that’s ok. It’s the way you were created. You have spent a lot of your time an energy being ashamed of that aspect of yourself. What if, instead of being ashamed of it as if it were some sort of flaw, you began to embrace it as a part of who you are? As part of your story?”
     I’ll admit, the thought never entered my mind. Accept it? But that doesn’t make you a man. At least that’s what I thought. Oddly, I could have the same conversation  about that very item with someone one on one, and not cry. But in front of a group, well, ya. So why do I do it and why have I come to accept and welcome it? Let me share…
     I have come to realize that I get emotional, at least in that way, because I am passionate. I passionately believe and resonate deeply with what I am talking about. Casting vision, talking about a difficult road traveled, speaking on my life….they are all things that I am so passionate about, they are an out flowing of who I am. They are a part of my story. A part of me. And they have made me who I am now, which is why that particular group of people invited me to speak. For you, it may be different reasons why you get emotional. No matter why, it is still a part of you and your story.
     Donald Miller, founder of Storyline which helps people tell their story and an author of several books, posted this on Facebook the other day, “If you want to be the most courageous leader, just be vulnerable. Most “tough” leaders aren’t bold enough. You’ll stand out.” I think he’s right. Showing your emotion is showing that you are a real person. Showing your emotion is showing others who might be in the midst and mire of the same issues and mess  you are dealing/have dealt with, that they are not alone. I’m big on humanizing people, and allowing your emotions to come to the surface and be seen is simply allowing your humanity to show through.
     In the case of my friend who posed this question, he and his family have had a rough road. Their eldest son has a severe disability as a result of doctor malpractice. They have endless medical bills, endless appointments and still have to deal with the everyday struggles of life that we all have to. For him to cry or even simply tear up while in some form of public speaking, to me, allows everyone in the room to sit and contemplate the reality of the world we live in. To see that it isn’t all “I”m fine” or “It’s OK.” It allows space for them to recognize that we are all human. Out of this, true relational connection, grace and understanding what real peace is can all begin to grow.
     Be true to yourself, you’re the only one that can be.

7 Steps to Becoming a Relationship Master

This is a great post on being intentional in your relationships with those around you. Not only if you’re in a leadership position, but just humanizing those in your sphere of influence can do wonders for them, your organization and yourself! Joni Wickline breaks these down into 7 simple things you can do that will have massive impact.

One great quote from the post is:  “In the past, a leader was a boss. Today’s leaders must be partners with their people. They no longer can lead based solely on positional power.”-Ken Blanchard

It’s worth the read, and as always, share your thoughts!

Source: 7 Steps to Becoming a Relationship Master