We are continuing on with our series (Four Character Qualities of a Leader) with today’s third principle. If you missed the first two you can find them HERE and HERE. As I have mentioned before, by far there are more than just four character qualities every leader should have. What I’m hoping to convey is that these four are a good place to start. We have already looked at the quality of knowing who you are and the quality of being responsible. In today’s post we will consider the quality of setting proper priorities.
Four Character Qualities of a Leader
(Moses) considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. Hebrews 11:26 (NASB-U)
Quality 3 – SET YOUR PRIORITIES
The older I get (I’m 42 now) I have learned that I need to continue to get better at accomplishing more with less time. There is a constant tension with all the items in my “to do list”. There are the items in my Husband List, my Father List, my Vocational List and my Personal List. I need to learn to priorities all these items to ensure that the important things get done on schedule. What’s more, many of the items that I believe are extremely important really are not important when they are weighed in the grand scheme of life.
For instance, it might be urgent for me to fix the leak in the bathroom so that it doesn’t ruin something in my basement – the leak needs to be fixed today because each day it gets worse. However, just as I get into the project of fixing the leak, my daughter comes home and tells me that spiritually she feels lost. I have to weigh the “importance” of both items to determine which one will get me attention. I can fix the leak and save money down the road at the real cost of losing an incredible opportunity to talk to my daughter. Or I can put the home repair project aside and talk with her (listen too) at the cost of water damage in the basement. Here’s the big picture; twenty years from now I don’t care about that little leak but I hope I have a great relationship with my adult daughter.
Immature (Juvenile) Priorities
1 John 2:16 (NASB-U)
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
The biblical book of 1 John gives us some great insight on what priorities we should not keep. Specifically, there are three areas that Satan will use to try and get us off track in life:
- The Lust of the Flesh – This is the trap of possessions or the things I can touch. It’s the idea of enough is never enough. If we set our priorities on the things we acquire in life we will find out that it will end up consuming us and destroying us. Did you see that word; “CONSUMING”? It’s where we get our word “consumer”; we are consumers and the stuff we consume, if it becomes our priority in life will end up consuming us.
- The Lust of the Eyes – This is the trap of pleasure or the things in life I see and experience. It’s the idea of going from party to party or event to event. In today’s language we might use the phrase “eye candy” or something new to see. This too will destroy us because we will never “see” enough. Think about all those hours we (you & I) waste on our smart phones, tablets, game systems, or computers – searching, surfing, posting, looking, gaming – trying to find fulfillment in life only to have someone sitting next to us just as lonely as we are, yet we don’t have a meaningful conversation with them.
- The Boastful Pride of Life – This final trap deals with our prestige and popularity. It’s the idea that I am going to make my name great. That I am going to be somebody – as a friend of mine said; “Terry, I tried my entire life to become a ‘self-made-man’ only to find out that it would also destroy me and my family.” He now tries to be a “God-Made-Man”; that is, a man that is humble and allows God to mold him.
This list represents the priorities of a juvenile or immaturity. If we pursue these priorities with our life (more things to acquire, more events to experience and striving for success & popularity; we will discover that we are really extremely shallow people with few true friends. However, if we learn to set Mature or Adult priorities we will see life from a far greater perspective.
Mature (Adult) Priorities
Philip. 3:8 (NASB-U)
More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,
- Fulfilling my God given purpose is better than popularity.
- Learning to love people is more important than pleasures.
- Having God’s peace is more valuable than any possession.
Learning adult priorities will not be easy because; by nature, we are selfish people. Nevertheless, we need to look at the greater cause; Philippians 3:8 tells us to count all our stuff here as lost when we compare it to knowing Jesus Christ. In fact, God tells us in the book of James that when we humble ourselves, that in due time He (God) will lift us up. We all want to have fun, to be somebody and have nice things. God says to put people first and the things of “this world” will take care of themselves.
So to recap; to be a great leader, we need to know who we are (in Christ), we need to be responsible for what we do and we need to set proper priorities. Tomorrow, I will give the fourth character quality of a leader. Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or comments please email me; I’d love to hear them.