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Daily Boost

  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

Dec. 2, 2010 - Daily Character Development

By Geff Mastro

In his book Leadership 101, John Maxwell writes about the importance of character and notes the impact and influence a person has on others will eventually come regardless of one’s title. People don’t keep following you because you’re the boss. They keep following you because of some perceived expertise or ability or some aspect of your character that appeals to them.

The prophet Isaiah said of the Lord, “He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2, NIV). As the perceived son of a lowly carpenter, Jesus certainly had no special earthly qualifications. Yet He was able to spontaneously gather crowds of 4,000 and 5,000 and speak “as one who had authority” (Matthew 7:29).

It’s been estimated that everyone will influence approximately 10,000 people in their lifetime. That was DEFINITELY true about Jesus! But is it true about us today? Especially in our electronic and faceless work world. I know I haven’t worked directly with 10,000 people in my life.

To answer this, I have to look at the far-reaching effects I can have on others whom I don’t directly work or have intimate contact with. I have to look at those aspects of my character and behavior I may not even be aware of that are continually impacting scores of people around me.

That includes not only the people under me on the job, but also my Sunday School students, the people in the library, the people where I order my Chinese food, and even that man at the gas station who doesn’t speak English. I actually make it a point to get out of the car, shake his hand first, and say “Hello, my friend” as much as possible.

We’re involved in a several large-scale dramatic productions at our church that give us a lot of community exposure, even if we don’t know everyone directly. My wife and I have often walked through Walmart and heard whispers from behind us: “Those people were in the show at that church.” I’m always reminded at such times that I’m influencing people around me, and need to be doing so for Christ.

If what Maxwell said is true, then I have to make sure that the aspects of character I am allowing to impact others are the ones I would want them to emulate, not ones I would be embarrassed to show if Jesus himself were standing next to me.

So where do we start with this big task? The Bible is clear about that. “If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?” (1 Timothy 3:5). In other words, if I can’t lead those I’m responsible for in my home, how can I lead others and point them to Christ and a growing relationship with Him? So many of us are interested in being leaders but miss the first arena of leadership in our own homes.

If I want to be a good leader like Jesus, then I need to start with leadership in my own home by making daily character improvement a foundational process in my life. In addition to shaking the man’s hand at the gas station and telling him that Jesus loves him, I need to be aware of the impact my character is having on my wife and children. I need to be aware of how they see me handle situations, what I say with my actions as well as my mouth, and how I manage my free time.

If I do these things first, I just might find myself leading a spontaneous crowd of five people willing to follow me, not because “Daddy said so” but because my image of Christ appeals to them.

— Geff Mastro lives in a Burlington County, N.J., and is a licensed counselor and school psychologist. He attends Fountain of Life Center (AG) in Florence, N.J.

 

 

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