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The Principle of Genuineness
Job 20:5: That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?
Mark 7:6: He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
Jesus Christ reserved his harshest criticism for those who were not genuine, but were hypocrites. The power and willingness to be absolutely genuine in your life and ministry are one of the most important qualities of a great leadership. The measure of how genuine you really are will be shown by your resolve to deal with people and life in general by being absolutely genuine and real.
You must also live your life by looking at things as they are and not living in denial. You must admit that things are the way they are only don’t make them worse than they are. I’m a firm believer in thinking and speaking positively. But denying reality is not positive, it is noxious. It keeps you from being able to deal with the issues of life as they are.
To do that you must concentrate on getting data, get the facts. Facts don’t lie. The more solid data or facts you gather, the better will be the picture of life as it truly is. The quality of your decisions will be largely determined by the quality of the information on which those decisions are based. To gather data you must ask the right questions. To get data and information you must ask “what” type questions. Don’t ask “why” type questions if your after information. The time to ask “why” type questions is when you’re wanting to move somebody to make a decision, or take action. But if you ask a “why” type of question when you’re looking for information you will close down communication. That is because a “why” type question is the moral equivalent to pushing someone, or pressuring someone. The normal response to this type of action is resistance, evasion or out and out lies.
To get the facts, to get data you need to ask “what” type questions. What happened? What was said? What did they do? What was your response? What results did you get? What did you do? Etc.
This is even true when you are dealing with yourself. Don’t ask yourself “How can I do this…” If you knew how you’d be doing it. Even here a “what” type question is more effective. Phrase it like this, “If I were to do or accomplish “X” what would I do?”
As a musician and having a strong motivational gift of a teacher I am often asked by people for advice on learning to play a certain instrument in some particular style e.g. jazz or rock. What I tell every aspiring musician is this. Listen to the pros playing, what it is you want to learn. Listen only for your instrument e.g. drums, guitar, bass etc. Then ask yourself this question, “If I were going to play that, rift, song, line etc. what would I do to get it to sound like that?” This releases the creativity in you to solve problems and develop new ways of doing things.
Once you’ve gotten it down and you’ve matched the pro ask yourself a new question “What can I do to enhance, improve on or spice this up?
As you gather information and you get facts and data you must then discipline yourself to remain objective, and to avoid assumptions. Assumptions are the lowest form of knowledge. And when you begin to operate on assumptions you are not operating on truth but fantasy. Look for the truth above all, rather than trying to strengthen or excuse a position you may already hold. An exercise you might try is this. Pretend that you’re looking at somebody else’s ministry or somebody else’s church or someone elses business and you’ve been asked to counsel and speak into their situation. Standing back from the situation looking at it from the outside, will give you a more honest and factual view of what really is happening and what the facts really are.
Truly mature people are confident enough in themselves and they are extremely honest and objective about who they are . They have no illusions. They are not insecure and do not feel compelled to explain themselves to others. They know who they are and they accept themselves, with out having to hide anything or pretend to be something or someone else. They are “genuine, they are authentic.”
Genuine people know they are not perfect and they don’t try to be. They can admit their weaknesses are willing to change their behavior to correct them. They don’t require perfection of themselves and as a result don’t feel guilty when they make mistakes. Because of this they don’t demand perfection of others and are more gracious in their interpersonal dealings with subordinates. The fact is that most people, including very successful people, often have weaknesses as well as strengths. And, they make mistakes. Mistakes are part of the learning process.
To be genuine you will need to evaluate yourself realistically. What are your greatest strengths? What are your areas of weakness? Your strengths, most likely are what have gotten you to where you are today. Your weaknesses are like the emergency brake that is left on, and they will regulate the ease that you move ahead in your life ,business or ministry. In what areas could your weaknesses be holding you back or limiting the effectiveness of your life, business or ministry? What action can you take to change that?
Your weaknesses will set the limits of where you can use all of your strengths. The more genuine you are and authentic you are with yourself, the more effective you will be in contending with the nonstop changing settings of life.
What are the strengths and weaknesses in your life today? Ask questions continually, of yourself and everyone else. This will give you a better picture of things as they are. Read, study, attend courses, and get other people’s viewpoints to get greater clarity of how things really are.
When you are willing to face the weaknesses and imperfections in your life, your church, your business or your ministry, whatever they might be, then you can be genuine and then you can authoritatively and effectively pray for guidance to do something about them. Then do it! TAKE ACTION!
If you don’t like the way things are, you have the God given freedom and ability to make a new choice. Imagine how you would like things to be and then begin creating the reality you envision. Be future focused rather than the past bound. Focus on the solutions rather than the problems. Decide where you are going rather than fussing over where you came from. (Phil 3:13 ”this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,”)
Stop granting yourself the self-indulgence of regret about things that have already happened and that cannot be changed. Something that has already happened is a fact. It is a part of your past reality. Many times the only thing that you can do about a fact is to control your perception of it, let be something you learn from not something you constantly regret. The way you respond to an unalterable state of affairs will often influence your effectiveness in the now and success in the future
One method I have found that is most workable for us is what we call our Monday morning Debrief. This involves a meeting of all the key people who are involved in the Sunday service. The head usher, my wife, all pastoral staff, the worship leader and the sound crew. Every Monday morning we go over the Sunday Service that we had the day before. We analyze and critique everything, including my sermon and its delivery.
Our goal is to improve and the only way we can do that is to be brutally honest and genuine with ourselves about how things went and what needs to be improved. This keeps us moving ahead and doing it with genuineness.
You must take the responsibility to do what is needed to solve the problem or change the situation. Never allow yourself to wish, hope, or trust that someone else will do it for you. You are a leader not a victim. You are in charge. Deal with your world as it is, and how you are, only then can you do what is needed to make it how you would like it to be and how you would like to be.
“Nothing happens until something moves.” (Book by Robert Ringer)
1. Examine your strengths and major weaknesses. Then list them down. What are the most vital skills you need to strengthen or change. What is your most ineffective personal quality? What is your weakest essential skill? Describe them clearly and then develop a plan to change them.
2. Identify and examine the genuineness of your church or ministry, your services, and your methods of operation. What are the weaknesses or areas that need improvement in your ministry? Whatever they may be, take some specific action today to correct the weaknesses and to make the most of your strengths. Become a genuine minister of life instead of a wanna-be or a hypocrite.
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