Posts Tagged ‘character’

I recently was evaluating my life and the journey it has brought me through.  I thought about the moments that I felt like I had failed, which led me to the question, “Did I Fail?”

The truth is I have made some very dumb decisions.  I have hurt others by my decisions and I have let a lot of people down.  Like the time I tried to get a volunteer to resign from her position.  I came up with a plan that would give her some time off.  My hopes were that she would enjoy the time off and come and resign to me.  Not a good idea.  After the “time off” was over, she was ready to get right back in, and she did.  After a few weeks of avoiding her calls and hoping for a good ending, I had to talk with her.

The conversation did not go well.  I listened, for what seemed like hours, about how I was a poor leader and I needed to be honest upfront, even if it was going to hurt.  I felt horrible.  She was right, she deserved better and I let her down.

If the story ended there, I would say I failed.  However, because of that blunder, I committed to myself to learn from this and become a better leader.  That moment hurt her and some others, but because of that, it helped shape my character.  Today, I make difficult decisions, but I am honest and clear about the decision.

I believe failure is when you refuse to allow your character defects to teach you to become a better person.  Don’t be a failure, learn and correct.  I learned a valuable lesson at the expense of someone else, but I am glad I learned the lesson.

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I recently moved into an apartment but have lived in a house with a front yard and a back yard for many years.  I took pride in what my lawn looked like.  I would mow, trim, fertilize and water with incredible discipline.  Because of the hard work, each year the family could enjoy the plush green grass that felt so soft and comfortable on our bare feet…well, at least the front yard was that way!  The back yard was a different story.

The backyard is the area no one sees.  It is hidden behind a fence, keeping the weeds and the yellow spots hidden from the “lawn gockers”.  The front yard got mowed twice a week, the back once a week and sometimes one every two weeks.  The back never received frequent watering and only received fertilizer when there was some left over from the front.  Why does the backyard need to look good?  No one sees it!!!

Unfortunately, many of us treat our character the same way.  We keep the visible well-groomed, watered and fertilized.  Besides that is what people see.  We take pride in maintaining the appearance of a very disciplined manicured life so that others can look and applaud.

However, character goes beyond the visible (or the front yard).  I know I have character defects that I don’t want others to see.  So, I hid them and work harder on the ones I want everyone to see.  Character is truly defined by how well you maintain the parts that no one sees.  Think about it, you can be a great employee in the office, but be a terrible husband or father; you can be a great husband but struggle with lust and pornography; you could be a great business person but be terrible with your personal finances.

Character development begins in the backyard.  It begins with the areas that no one sees.  Working on unseen character defects is hard and it takes time.  After all, these areas have been overlooked for so long and weeds take time to get rid of.  The good news is with a little discipline and attention the backyard will look great and so will our character.

What does your back yard look like?

Amazing

Posted: November 29, 2008 in Thoughts
Tags: , , , , ,

simplyamazingYesterday I had an amazing encounter.  Jon and I were looking for a new venue to possibly host preview services and maybe midweek activities.  We came across a beautiful house that was turned into a meeting place.  The house, at one time, had an indoor swimming pool, however it was filled in and covered with a beautiful wood floor giving someone a big space to have a service or even a wedding.  The whole place was great.

However, it was not the place that made the encounter amazing.  It was the people Jon and I met.  First, i was introduced to a couple that was interested in Discovery Church.  Cool, and they found out about it through FACEBOOK!  Even cooler.  God uses a networking tool like facebook to help connect people for a bigger purpose.  How cool is that.

The other thing that was amazing is meeting the couple that owns the house.  As we sat down and heard their story, I was emotionally moved.  Not because they had lost 2 companies and over 10’s of millions of dollars personally, but because of their discovery of what really is significant in life.  Oh, they still struggle from time to time, you would to, moving from a ginormous house worth a couple of million into a 1500 sq. ft. home with very limited space, but they are on a new journey together.  They are discovering family, character, God and peace.   Their discovery has been painful, to say the least, but to them, totally worth it.

As I got into the car to head home, I watched this couple walking away from a multimillion dollar house and walking to their new home, right next door, holding hands.  I could not help but to think that God loves us so much, He will do anything to get our attention because he wants us to Discover Him.