By Susan Lawrence
A friend on Facebook recently posted, “You know you’re in California when the weather report includes a ‘wind chill’ of 49 degrees!” Others were posting actual temperatures below zero the same day. It’s all about perspective.
Contestants on The Biggest Loser are thrilled to purchase a size 16 for the season finale. When a new mom has to purchase a similar size, much larger than her pre-pregnancy weight, she’s devastated. It’s all about perspective.
Your leadership position and ministry is all about perspective. How do you respond when challenged with conflicts, timing, and resources? Do you respond from your own perspective or God’s?
It’s not an option in leadership (or in life!). Conflict is inevitable. Your choice is in how you deal with it. Ask yourself:
Do I jump into conflict without assessing the situation first? Do I avoid conflict at all costs? Or do I fall somewhere in between?
How has conflict resolution been modeled to me by mentors, leadership models, and family?
It’s important to be aware of your personality and experiences in order to understand initial reactions or limits you’re placing on your responses in conflict. Most important is seeing God’s perspective on conflict. It’s all about perspective.
How would our spiritual growth be impacted if God chose never to confront us? Or if He chose to always confront but never encourage us? You have a similar impact on those you lead. It’s not up to you, your experiences, and your personality to determine when to confront and when to encourage; God provides you the discernment you need.
“Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Eph. 4:15).
Do it God’s way. Confront (in love) when required. Encourage (in truth) when required. See it through God’s perspective, and be obedient.
All leaders have time issues. You might think there’s not enough time at your fingertips. You might be a poor manager of time. Perhaps you’re impatient, or you wait so long for God to make the next move obvious that you miss out on the opportunities He provides to you during the wait.
The truth is everyone has the same number of hours in the day. If you’re obedient to God, you’re going to get done what He intends for you to get done. Replace your to-do list with His to-do list. If there’s something that doesn’t get done when you’re being obedient, apparently it wasn’t supposed to get done in that time frame! “You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail” (Prov. 19:21).
Perhaps your challenge with timing isn’t about time management as much as it is about patience. You want to act now, but you find yourself in a waiting pattern. Or you think you need time to prepare, but God says, “Now!” Reread Proverbs 19:21. No matter how you struggle with timing, it’s not about your timing. Set aside your perspective. Adopt God’s. It’s all about perspective.
Every leader struggles with provision at some point. We have too few volunteers, too small of a budget, too many meetings. “If only we had….” would solve many of our leadership woes! It’s all about perspective. When we assess resources through our human perspective, there will always be a desire for more or less. We don’t see how everything fits together. God’s provisions are perfect. If we don’t have enough of something, He’ll provide what we need (not what we think we need) to accomplish His will. When we feel burdened with “too much,” God balances the scales. But we have to adopt His perspective in order to experience His balance.
“And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else” (Acts 17:25).
Be aware of the perspective you have. Jot down words to describe your responses and experiences throughout the day. Overwhelmed, frustrated, joyful, ecstatic, betrayed, compassionate, frantic, blessed. At the end of the day, give it all to God. Share your list, your perspective, with Him, and ask Him to help you see it through His perspective and to ultimately replace your perspective with His. After all, you’re living life for Him…and it’s all about perspective.