Thursday, June 14, 2012

Reflections - Leadership

Good morning, y'all (that's right... I said it.  I have officially lived in Kentucky for a year so it's time I start using the lingo!).  Did you have a chance to listen to the podcast posted by Brittany last week?  If not, you can find it here.  And if not, I encourage you to jump over there and listen because Christine Caine (the speaker) really knows her stuff and is such an inspiration to men and women all over the world.  For those of you who have never heard of her, she and her family have been in ministry for a long time, but their main focus now is their A21 Campaign, which works to abolish sex trafficking all over the world.  Talk about taking on a really big, ugly problem, right?  And I am embarrassed to admit that until I heard her speak at a conference, I really had no idea how horrific and HUGE this issue is.  Did you know that there are an estimated 20 million people (mostly women and children) imprisoned by slavery today?  Against their will?  From child labor to prostitution, people are still being sold and shipped like cargo to live in bondage and I sit here in the comfort of my cozy living room and complain when my husband has to work late or my children won't nap!  It really puts things into perspective, doesn't it?  Okay, so I did not mean to go into that too much today, but if you did not know about this atrocity that is still occurring worldwide, I encourage you to look into it.  Knowledge is power and bringing awareness to any problem only works toward finding a solution.  And that's what I love about Christine Cain... she refuses to just sit back and let this happen... which brings me to my point today.

You only have to listen to her speak for about two minutes before you hear the point that I'm going to post on today.  She begins to talk about her 5 top qualities for leadership and although all five are great (conviction, confidence, commitment, consistency, and courage), one jumped out at me.  When she talks about confidence, I love that she specifically defined it as "confidence in Christ."  We've probably all been to leadership seminars in our lives, and even though confidence is probably touched upon, have you ever heard it expanded not just to confidence in ourselves and our own abilities, but confidence in Christ.  In God... who created the heavens and the earth and breathed life into you and me.  And ultimately, we can only have confidence in ourselves because all of our gifts and abilities come from Him.  But how many times do we shy away from something because we don't think we're good enough?  Maybe we don't apply for a job because we don't feel qualified or don't join in a discussion because we don't feel smart enough?  It's in these times that we need to take a step back and realize that we can only have confidence in ourselves if we first have confidence in Christ.

A good friend of mine has been going through a lot lately and it has been taking a toll on her emotionally.  Anytime we don't know the outcome of something, it opens the door to the what-if's and she found herself there, which is not a fun place to be.  I listened to her without much advice to give other than just to wait and see, but wish I had more.  Later that day I went home and opened up a new book we just bought for Jake called "Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids" just to skim some of the content.  First off, let me just say that I love this book.  He's still a little young for it, but even though it's geared toward children, I am getting so much out of it!  I think we complicate things as adults, so getting back to the basics is kind of nice sometimes.  But anyway, I "coincidentally" opened it up to the page that had these words:

"I am all around you.  Even when you don't notice Me, I am here.  you may not notice Me because your mind is tied up with other things.  Like worry.  A lot of people believe that worry is just a part of life.  But they are wrong.  Worry is actually a kind of unbelief.  Worrying says you don't believe I am big enough to take care of whatever it is that upsets you so much.  Worrying says you think I need your help.

Wrong!  I am big enough.  I am strong enough.  I love you enough.  Bring your problems to Me.  You can trust Me to take care of you- and whatever you are worrying about!"

I immediately called her back and read that to her... and then later emailed it.  The words that struck me here are "You don't believe I am big enough to take care of whatever it is that upsets you so much."  Ouch.  Do you ever find yourself there?  Without... wait for it... CONFIDENCE in Christ?  How can we believe that we can accomplish anything if we don't always believe (and know!) that God can do anything.  And not only that, but He can do anything THROUGH us.  We are his hands and feet and the only way He can do good in this world is to use us to do His work.  Which ultimately means that we are far more equipped than we even think, so sometimes we just have to step out of our comfort zone and just go for it!  If we just believed with all our might that we can be used in big ways, we really can be a light into the world and change it for the better.  One of my husband's favorite sayings is, "God does't call the equipped... He equips the called."

Is there something in your life that absolutely bugs you?  Something that breaks your heart that you wish could change?  It could be big or small... not all of us have to be as brave as Christine Cain to tackle a global issue (yet anyway... hee hee) yet there has to be something in your world that could be better.  Taking what we learned last week in this podcast, along with the words found in John 16:33, how can YOU use these things to make a difference?  How can YOU begin to change the world, or even just your current situation if you're unhappy with it?  Draw confidence in CHRIST this week and join us again here next week to share.

Please make sure to visit Brittany over at Daughter...Wife...Mom...Sis to read her take on this week's topic and then link up below or leave a comment to share your own thoughts!

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