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4 Things That Drive Conflict

business people conflict and problem solving with hands challenge wrestling game and remote control

Tension of some type is present in almost every relationship. We may not recognize it, but certain tension is present in all relationships that work properly. That tension allows the relationship to grow and for each person to bring the best out in the other. There are times when tension escalates to conflict. Most of us have experienced conflict in one form or another in relationships. There have probably been times when we have resolved it in a healthy manner and there have been times when it was dealt with very poorly. Probably the most common relationship we experience conflict in would be family relationships and most often still with our spouse.

 

There are many things that can contribute to conflict; external stresses and pressure, health problems, relationships outside of our family. Sometimes it can be stress related to our careers. Many things can create a situation for us that raises the level of stress in our lives and creates times of conflict or makes us more susceptible to conflict. Though many of those things can be contributors, the one underlying issue that seems to be present in all conflict is communication. It could be the lack of communication or the way in which we communicate that creates the conflict, but generally, conflict can almost always be tied to how we communicate. The resolution of conflict is also affected by how we communicate. There are many things that affect our communication in moments of conflict, but here are four specific things we can be aware of when conflict is present that may help us avoid, reduce or resolve situations.

 

The Words We Use

There are times when conflict is present solely because of a word or phrase that we used; something we should not have said. Sometimes we say those things unintentionally, but other times we escalate a situation using words we know will offend. What we say is important. Words can wound, infuriate, and escalate but they can also diffuse, solve and comfort. When we have chosen words that have created conflict, we should be quick to acknowledge that and correct the situation. When we are in conflict, we should be aware that what we say can make the situation better as well. I have heard it said that each of us carries a pail of water in one hand and a pail of gas in the other. When we approach a conversation, especially where conflict is involved, we have the choice to throw water or gas. Our choice of words determines whether we put out the fire or enlarge it.

 

The Words We Don’t Use

There are times when conflict arises because of words we don’t use. Sometimes it is information that we have not shared. Other times it is words of affection or affirmation that we have withheld. Sometimes saying certain words would eliminate or at least alleviate some of our conflict. Unfortunately, we often withhold some words in conflict because we think it makes us look weak or we do not want to be considered wrong. We also think that if we acknowledge any fault on our part the other party may think they are right or be unwilling to acknowledge their own. Refusing to use words when you know it is right for you to do so only adds to the conflict. I once heard it said that the twelve most important words we could learn to say in marriage relationships are, “I was wrong. I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you.” Those first nine words are valuable in any relationship. Don’t withhold words that will resolve the conflict.

 

The Tone We Use

Sometimes the escalation of conflict is not just the words we use but rather the tone we use with those words. Sometimes we speak sharply. Other times we are speaking sarcastically. There are times when speaking loudly tends to affect the chances of conflict. The tone with which we speak affects how our words are received. As a communicator, I know that voice inflection can give several different meanings to a single sentence. Sometimes we are not aware of our voice tone and how what we are saying is being perceived by those to whom we are speaking. The dictionary defines tone as “a quality, feeling or attitude expressed by the words that someone uses in speaking or writing.” As you can see, feeling and attitude are a big part of our tone. We must be aware of the tone of our words, not just using the correct words. The correct words with the wrong tone can harm instead of help.

 

The Tone We Listen With

Though tone is most often attributed to the speaker or writer, the way we listen also affects what is being said. There are certain words and phrases that each of us find difficult to hear. The reason may be because of past experiences or past pain, but every time someone utters those words, we only hear them one way. There are other things that affect how we listen. External situations such as our job may have a bearing on the way we hear what is being said to us. Conflict with other people can affect our ability to listen appropriately. Predisposition to the person speaking or the topic being discussed are variables in the “tone” with which we listen. We often hear what we want to hear. Some of that is because we are all listening with a certain bias or “tone” if you will. We must make an attempt to understand what is meant by what is being said instead of letting our own prejudices cloud the situation and make the conflict worse.

 

Every one of us will experience conflict in our relationships. We must make sure that our contribution to the situation makes it better instead of worse. You may have some other ideas about things that contribute to conflict or other ways we struggle to communicate. Feel free to share those in the comment section. In the meantime, we can all work on our words and our tone; both are affecting conflict. Gas or water? It’s our choice.

6 Things I Was Reminded of During “Miracles From Heaven”

sunbeams in fog in the forest

Recently Barbara and I went to see the movie “Miracles From Heaven”. As a pastor I do my best to support faith-based movies even though they are at times working with very limited budgets. “Miracles from Heaven” was well made and had some very good actors and actresses. The story line was about a young girl who had a very rare disease that would not allow her body to process food properly. Her health was declining and there seemed to be no help for her. Through an accident that may have killed her, the neurological issue seemed to be solved. It was a miracle. As I watched that movie, I was reminded of several things that we often overlook in our own lives.

 

Thankful for Health

One of the first things I thought about as I sat in this movie is my health and the health of my family. We are very fortunate not to have had any life threatening illnesses. It doesn’t make us any better than anyone else. However, it is something that we often take for granted. Our children and grandchildren were all born healthy. We have the resources to have basic care and meet our basic medical needs. We have the ability to be active and eat healthy so we can maintain our health. Many others need our help and prayers and I am thankful that I am healthy enough to be able to do those things as well.

 

Our Faith Is Tested

I watched as this mother struggled with her own faith as she watched her child suffer. She was frustrated with the scorn of others and questions about her own life. She wondered how a God who is supposed to love us could allow her child to face such a difficult illness. She did not want to attend church and admitted to struggles praying and believing. The truth is many of us face those same struggles; moments when we question God or His role in our lives. Times when we wonder why He has not answered our prayer or solved our dilemma. Our faith does get tested over time. In the outcomes of life, our faith either strengthens or weakens depending on the long view that we take. Faith itself requires us to believe things we cannot see. By its very nature faith must be tested in order to be strengthened.

 

Trouble Makes Us Better or Bitter

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people use that phrase. I also must admit in looking back over my life and watching the lives of others that it is very true. Difficulties or trouble in people’s lives either makes them better or bitter. They are either thankful for the experience and the joy of the journey, or they are bitter about the difficulty. We usually respond with gratitude that people are in our lives and care for us or we become critical that others have not done enough. Everyone will face trouble, pain and heartache at some point. How we respond to those situations may affect us much longer than the problem or circumstance. We truly do have a choice of whether we will get better or bitter.

 

Medical Professionals Are A Blessing

Often we overlook the sacrifice and care given to us by those in the medical profession. Part of the reason we overlook them is because we view it as a vocation instead of a calling or gifting. As I watched Dr. Samuel Nurko portrayed in this movie I was reminded that men and women who serve in offices and hospitals around the world in the medical profession do so because of their love and care for others. The gifts they have been given by God, the talents they have honed and the education they have received provide value for millions of us so that we can experience a better quality of life. We should not overlook those that daily provide care for us medically. We are blessed to have those people in our lives.

 

All Trouble Is Not Bad

This young girl was very ill and it appeared there was nothing medically that could be done. She had an accident and fell 30 feet inside of a rotten tree. In most circumstances, she should have died or at the very least been severely injured. The family was distraught because it took hours to retrieve her and she was not responsive. Once she was examined at the hospital, she only had minor scrapes and bruises. By all accounts she hit her head exactly right to solve the medical issue that she had. Her fall was her healing. Sometimes we view trouble or hurt as only that, trouble and hurt. But many times those situations are providing things in our lives we could or would not get otherwise. Her accident turned into her miracle. There is something good that can and should come from every moment of pain and hurt. All trouble is not bad.

 

I Am Thankful For Miracles

Some things we can explain scientifically. Other things we cannot. I am thankful for the problems that science is able to resolve and the help they are able to provide to people. I am also thankful that there are times when no one can explain what happened. The miracles that take away our ability to take credit or bask in our own knowledge. The events that leave us speechless and searching to know and understand the source of these events. My faith allows me to trust and believe that God delights in those moments as we seek to know and understand Him better.

 

I don’t walk away from every movie or event with a list of things that impacted me, but I began to think about these things while this movie rolled a few days ago. We can learn something anywhere we are. Don’t overlook the fact that God is speaking to us every moment of our lives. We just need to be open to listening.

Superhero or Villain

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Superheroes and villains captivate our attention from a young age. It really doesn’t matter whether you are boy or a girl, we fall in love with the princess being saved by the prince or Gotham being saved by Batman. Batman was my superhero of choice when I was younger. I grew up during the action series in which Adam West played Batman with all of the “BAM”, “POW” and “OUCH” graphics. It came on at Bat time on the Bat channel. No one ever died and the same villains continued to appear with a new scheme to harm the superhero and trouble the city.

Over time it seems these hero and villain stories have grown more sinister, dark and evil, yet the same characteristics continue to appear. The villains almost never die because there seems to be this line of morality, or good, that if the heroes cross it, they are in danger of becoming a villain themselves. When you examine them closely, there are very few things that separate the heroes and villains. They have many of the same qualities and characteristics and sometimes they have been both a hero and a villain. There is a constant temptation to resort to tactics less than admirable. Usually the villain knows he cannot kill the hero, but he never stops trying to deter, detract and undermine the good they are doing. So we continue to get superhero comics, books, cartoons and movies with the same heroes and villains with different tactics but the same storyline: the hero prevails.

In almost all religions there is some type of similar storyline. The power that leads us to do good and a force that wants to keep us from those things. In the Christian faith we identify these as Jesus Christ and satan. Both have other names they are known by such as Savior or Son of God for Jesus and the devil or the evil one for satan. Christ being the hero and satan being the villain. They have certain qualities that are similar such as place of origin, power, influence, followers and passion. However, there are also some distinct differences. Jesus would describe the plot of the story like this, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John‬ ‭10:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬). Though they both may have passion, their purposes are diametrically opposed. Satan desires to devour while Jesus desires to deliver.

One of the things that each of us needs to understand is how each of these purposes play out in our own lives. What influence does Jesus Christ have and what influence does satan have over the things we do and the choices we make? Evil shows up in our lives in the form of many different villains. Their purpose is to distract us from the things Christ desires for our lives even though they cannot destroy us. Distraction and delay are the tactics that are most successful in wavering our attention from the good we are to be accomplishing in this world. As Christians, the hope that we have is that we do not have to succumb to those forces.

Easter is the celebration of Jesus Christ victoriously rising from the grave to overcome death and sin. Though the villains still press and tempt us, the hero is on our side. We are capable through Jesus Christ of overcoming every villain that we face. It is recorded in 1 John 4:4 (NLT) “But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” We have already won. Christ in us is greater than any villain that comes against us. We must be diligent not to fall prey to the tactics of evil, but to rely on the power of Christ residing in us. The hero always wins. The same is true for everyone who is a child of God. We are victorious. We are the heroes that overcome!

I am beginning a brand new 10 week series Easter Sunday called “Heroes and Villains”. We will look at what it means to be an overcomer through Christ, the weapons and tools that are available to us, and the tactics and weapons the enemy uses to bring us down. I hope that you will join us. If you live in northeastern North Carolina, we have physical campuses that meet each Sunday in Edenton, Windsor and Columbia. No matter where you live, you can join us live online each week at www.live.visitopendoor.com and be a part of “Heroes and Villains”.

4 Benefits of Being Productive

Group of friendly men with laptop looking at camera

Sometimes our culture takes a narrow view of productivity. We think of productivity in terms of a job or work and then we equate work to earning money. The reality is that all productivity is not “job” based nor is it always an exchange for money. One of the clearest examples of this would be a stay-at-home parent. Most stay-at-home parents do not exchange their efforts for money, but that does not mean they are not being productive or that what they are doing does not have value. In reality, they are creating long lasting value, more precious than money.

 

Though money is a tool that is often necessary for us to survive, there are other benefits to living a productive life. The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the church at Thessalonica that addressed this issue and he offered some reasons why being productive was important. He said:

 

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us. For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you. We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you. We certainly had the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow. Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.” Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good.” ‭‭2 Thessalonians‬ ‭3:6-13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

 

Part of what he had to say was addressing those that were not producing and the consequences of that, but he also was reminding them of the value of working or being productive. There are at least four reasons Paul gives why being productive is important.

 

You help others

Paul says that they worked hard and paid for their own food so they were not a burden to the others. He understood that if they did not have another person to feed, they would be able to better care for their own needs. Each of us understands the value of being in a situation where everyone contributes what they are able to contribute. When that happens, the burden is lightened for everyone else. When you are productive, it not only benefits you, it also benefits others because it lightens their load.

 

It sets an example

Paul said they worked hard and provided for themselves to set an example for others to follow. He knew that other people would use his life as a pattern and he wanted to give them a good pattern to follow. Each of us are setting an example with the lives that we live. People are determining their work habits and productivity levels based on what they see in us. We have influence on our friends and co-workers, but we especially have influence on our families. Our children are developing concepts of productivity based on what they see modeled before them. Being productive sets an example for them to follow.

 

It provides for others

Whether your area of work includes an exchange for money or not, your productivity provides for others. Working provides food and shelter for you and your family. Parenting provides care for your children. Paying taxes provides schools for others to have an opportunity to be educated. Productivity produces things that provide for yourself and others. Being productive may produce money, but it also produces other things like a strong family unit. Productivity brings provision.

 

It is good

It appears that some of the people were discouraged because others were not being productive. Paul finishes his instructions by telling those doing good to not be discouraged by doing good. Don’t allow those who are unwilling to keep you from being willing. We cannot correct the poor choices of others. What we can do is continue making good choices in spite of the choices of others. We cannot allow the poor choices of some to cause us to make poor choices as well. Being productive is good.

 

There are times when each of us faces discouragement and frustration and we may question whether what we are doing even matters. Being productive always matters. You are making a difference. Maybe you have experienced some other benefits of being productive. Feel free to share those in the comments so that others can be encouraged. Never get tired of doing good.

My Personal Socio-Economic Experiment

Man Receiving Dollars From Another Man As Payment For A Sale
There has been much written and said concerning the minimum wage in the United States and what is the minimum amount that it takes to live. When I took my first job in 1983 the minimum wage was $3.35. It was at Kinney Shoes where I also had the opportunity to earn commission on top of my minimum pay. Commissions helped me appreciate my own ability to earn more money in spite of the minimum wage I was guaranteed. In fact, I only worked one other job outside of pastoring in which I could not earn commissions because I understood the value of that in earning potential.

As a business owner, I have always appreciated my employees and the stability they brought to my company. I have not always been able to reward them the way I desired, but knew that the business was very dependent on them in order to be successful. I have always tried to be flexible when they needed to be off or leave early and I have tried to give bonuses when possible to increase their earnings. Though I was aware of my own personal financial needs, I did not always give a lot of thought to how wages affected their quality of life. With all of the recent discussions about the subject it has given me cause to think about how much it actually takes to live.

Much of the discussion has centered around a $15.00 per hour minimum wage. The current Federal Minimum wage is $7.25 per hour and has not changed since 2009. There is quite a bit of debate about what is a fair wage and what is sustainable for businesses. As with most issues, everyone has their own statistics and “proof” to make their point valid. As both a business owner and a pastor, I have seen the value in both sides of the argument. I have asked myself questions like:

Can the business sustain every employee making those wages?
Will those wages improve employee moral?
Will it create a sense of entitlement?
Will productivity increase?

I could spend months listening to arguments and seeing examples of how it succeeded or failed in different places. I could have taken a position based on my own research and thought processes, most of which would have been skewed by my own prejudices. So I decided to take a different course of action. I chose to give each of my full time employees at our business a minimum of $15.00 per hour. I explained to them what I was doing and explained that it may not be permanent, but that it would at least be the first six months of 2016. I’m going to do my own experiment of how that wage affects both my business and my employees.

I will offer updates in my blog over the following months to let you know how things are going and what if any difference I have noticed. I will report the benefits and the struggles of everyone involved. If this has been a debate that interests you, then my business will be your guinea pig or experiment laboratory. I am excited and nervous at the same time. Hopefully we can all learn something that will help us improve.

3 Positive Things Conflict Creates

My Or Your Way Signpost Shows Conflict Or Disagreement

All close relationships experience points of tension over time. Any time you put two people together that have different personalities, interests, gifts, backgrounds or experiences, you have a recipe for conflict. Because of that, every family unit experiences conflict at some point. Often it is the same issues that consistently create conflict. Husbands and wives experience it. Parents and children deal with it. We sometimes have conflict with siblings, in-laws, and other members of our family. Conflict is often viewed as bad but usually it is because of the way we handle it, not because of the subject matter. If we understand some of the benefits of conflict, we can improve our approach and our view of it. I have noticed three benefits to conflict.

 

It Identifies The Most Important Issues

Conflict often brings to the forefront the issues and thoughts that are most important to other people. In the context of marriage, conflict allows us to understand what is most on the mind of our spouse. Andy Stanley says there are two types of tension: tensions to solve and tensions to manage. Some issues are meant to be solved. If tension arises that should be solved, then our responsibility is to deal with it. Other tensions are meant to be managed. For example, there is often the tension in the home of work/home life balance. This is probably not an issue that can be solved, but it does need to be managed. When it consistently comes up, it may mean that we are not managing that tension properly. When conflict arises, take a moment to understand that this issue is important to the other person.

 

It Brings Clarity

Some of my most clarifying moments have come during or after conflict. The conflict brought to the surface thoughts, ideas, problems and issues that I could not see or had not seen previously. The conflict allowed me to get clarity in the situation that I would not have been able to get otherwise. Conflict will often force you to set aside all of the things that are unnecessary to the decision or situation which allows you to see more clearly the direction that needs to be taken. Allow conflict to clarify your current situation.

 

It Teaches

Sometimes I hear people say that they said things in anger that they did not mean. The reality though is that it cannot come out of us unless it is already inside of us. Conflict will often reveal flaws or shortcomings in our own lives with which we need to solve or settle. I have often walked away from conflict realizing there were things in me that needed more attention than the issue that was causing conflict. When I use conflict as an opportunity to learn and I reflect on my own approach to conflict, it teaches me important lessons that I need to know that extend well beyond the issue. Never miss an opportunity to be taught when there is conflict.

 

Conflict is going to be present. It is actually necessary. Don’t always view conflict as bad or destructive. It does not have to be. There are benefits to conflict. Maybe you have some other benefits you can offer in the comments below.

3 Problems With Comparison

Elegant business partners holding blank papers on green background

 

February is a month when couples share their love for one another and focus is often placed on a relationship that at other times has been ignored. Over the next few weeks at Open Door Church we are delivering a series entitled “Marriage, Money & Making Babies” where we are looking at relationship issues in our marriage, finances and parenting. We are also offering some classes on Wednesday that will deal with specific words that affect those areas. Our first word is “comparison”. Comparison is a word that affects our marriage, our finances and our parenting. Though there are times when comparison can assist us in evaluating where we need to improve or make changes, there are problems with comparison that will often create unexpected difficulties in our own life. Here are three problems with comparison that I have identified.

 

We Rarely Have All of the Information

We see things with our eyes but we do not always understand what we are seeing. The main reason is because we do not have all of the information. A nice car or a nice house does not always equal a nice life. Sometimes people have or do certain things in order to make up for deficiencies in others areas of their life. We see our co-worker get flowers from her husband and immediately think how sweet and thoughtful he must be. Little do we know that he may by trying to make up for some indiscretion prior to that event. We make judgments based on what our eyes see or ears here, but rarely are we fully informed to make the same application in our lives. If we had to choose between having a spouse we could trust or one that sent flowers, we would choose trust every time. The problem comes when the only information we have is the flowers.

 

Relationships are complicated. Whether it is the relationship with our spouse, our children or our money, we cannot judge what we have based on what we see others have. How you approach each of those issues is influenced by tons of information. The same is true of the person or people to whom you compare yourself. The problem is that you only have the information that influences your choices or decisions, you do not have their information. You only have the outcome. If you knew all of the facts, you may possibly make different choices than they did in the same situation. Use your own information to make your best decisions.

 

We Do Not Know The Cost

There is a cost to everything in life. To get one thing we have to give up something else. For example we can go to a restaurant for a meal but there is a cost. Sometimes we do not even calculate all of the costs. There is a cost to get to the restaurant. There is time involved that we have to pay. Then there is the cost of the meal. It is not always as simple as an exchange of money. Everything in life comes with a cost. When we compare our lives, possessions, parenting or marriages to others, we often do it not knowing the full cost the other people had to pay to get what they have. What did they have to sacrifice to get what they have? One of the most common areas of comparison is in the area of finances or more specifically possessions.

 

For example, consider the purchase of a new house. We see someone in our circle of friends get a new house and suddenly we have a desire for one. We only see the surface cost or the purchase price of the house. But there are probably some additional costs of which we may not be aware. We do not know how much extra work they had to do to earn the money for the house or have to continue to do in order to make the monthly mortgage. They may have had to work 10 additional hours of overtime per week. You may think you are capable of that, but that extra 10 hours costs something as well. It is time not spent with your spouse. It is an extra toll on your health and body. It is a missed school program or ball game for your child. All of those things play into the cost of something. Sometimes we gain the house, but lose significant closeness with our spouse or children, which is a much higher cost than making a house payment. Everything in life comes with a cost. When we make comparisons we are often at a disadvantage because we do not know the full costs of what others have.

 

We Are Often Disappointed

When we compare ourselves with others and the things that they have and we set out to get what others have or become what others are, we set ourselves up for disappointment. One of the biggest reasons we are disappointed is because we are each created with unique gifts, talents and purpose. When we try to live out what God has gifted others to do, we often find emptiness because it is not what we were designed to do. God created you to be you. You are the most qualified, in fact the only qualified, person to live out what God has for you. Anytime you attempt to be something that God did not design you to be, you feel inadequate and unfulfilled. Trying to live out the dreams of other people is a road that rarely ends in a place where you are satisfied.

 

Comparison is dangerous. Comparison leads to dissatisfaction. It can offer guidance at times to improve, but more often it leads to jealousy and unrest because we are attempting things we were never meant to do or have. Live the life you were designed to live. It is the most fulfilling and rewarding thing that you can do.

4 Qualifications for National Leaders

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The book of Exodus reveals to us the beginning stages of the nation of Israel. Until they entered Egypt, they were basically a single family unit. After years in slavery, their numbers had grown to what some people estimate to be over 1 million Israelites that left Egypt for Canaan. Moses was the leader of this group of people and began to reach a point of being overwhelmed. His father-in-law recognizes the struggle that Moses is having and offers him some advice on how to add other leaders to share the burden for this new nation. Initially they would probably be called judges, but they were there to make decisions and settle disputes. The advice that Jethro offered to Moses included some qualifications for the people that he was to choose. In Exodus 18:21 it is recorded But select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. There are four specific requirements for these leaders: capable, honest, God-fearing, and hating bribes. Each of these qualifications seem basic to any leadership position that we may need to fill. Let’s take a look at how we may be able to apply these to your own life.

 

Capable

For any leadership position, skills are important. It is very difficult to have influence in situations you know nothing about. It is clear that we should be concerned about the qualifications of leaders, especially leaders of a nation. They must have skills to deal with the complex and difficult issues that arise. These skills may not always be gained in the same fashion. Often we have looked for people with certain military or political experience. Both of these can be beneficial, but may not be necessary. However, it is critical that they have developed certain skills for the job or position they are seeking.

 

Honest

There are many stereotypical jokes about political leaders that could be made here. It is unfortunate that politicians are often viewed as dishonest. Some of this is because they cannot always provide what they said they would provide due to their lack of consideration of the actual reach and scope of their power. Other times it is because their lives are so public that if they decide to change their position on an issue (as all of us do from time to time), it is viewed as a lack of integrity rather than a better understanding of a subject. Then unfortunately, there are other times when they are just truly dishonest. In any case, honesty and integrity should be critical components of the people we choose to lead us. You do not have to agree on issues to have integrity. But to lead effectively and for the benefit of the people, you must have strong character.

 

God-fearing

Depending on your stance where faith or Christianity is concerned, this may or may not be on your list. It is important to me. God-fearing does not always mean that someone believes like I believe, but it does mean that they have an understanding of life and a purpose that is bigger than themselves. It is clear in the Bible that God was able to use men that did not recognize him, at least in the beginning. Cyrus, Artaxerxes and even Herod were men that God used to accomplish his work even though they never believed or feared Him. However, I do believe the greatest good is accomplished when men fear God and work to accomplish the greater good.

 

Hate Bribes

Our country has laws that govern the exchange of bribes for favors. It has never stopped them from exchanging hands and truthfully, many leaders find other ways to exchange favors or decisions without the direct exchange of money. Hating a bribe does not just mean that you will not take money for a specific vote. I believe the hating of bribes indicates you feel so strongly about doing what is right and best that there is no amount of favor or exchange, ever how they may appear, that would deter you from doing what needs to be done. This can often be difficult.  I am convinced however, that if our leaders would do what was best and right, regardless of the cost to them personally, our country would be better for it. Leadership is about sacrifice.

 

It is possible you have some things that you would add to this list. It is clear that Israel started out with leaders that held these as important. As you consider over the next weeks and months who you will choose to lead our nation, take these qualifications into account and see how your candidate measures up.

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About Me

I currently serve as Lead Pastor at Open Door Church and I am a certified trainer & coach with the John Maxwell Team. I am also an Associate Trainer with EQUIP training leaders around the world. I currently own two businesses related to the foodservice equipment industry. I am a certified speaker, teacher and coach with the John Maxwell Team. I can offer you workshops, seminars, keynote speaking, and coaching, aiding your personal and professional growth through study and practical application of John’s proven leadership methods. Working together, I will move you and/or your team or organization in the desired direction to reach your goals.