Last month I shared about the significance of self-leadership. Understanding and embracing self-leadership is especially important for parents. If we want to be intentional about the direction we point our kids, it’s a good to have a concrete idea of where we’re leading them and why. Here are four questions to consider while contemplating what self-leadership looks like for you.
- How would you describe your purpose?
- What are your values?
- What are your passionate about?
- Are you living in such a way that your purpose, values, and passion connect?
These aren’t easy questions, even if at first we find an answer comes readily to mind. Identifying our purpose is a weighty matter, one that can take a lifetime for some to discern. However, if you answered the first three questions and then found that the answer to the fourth was an angsty or frustrated “No,” this might be a sign that it’s time to be more intentional about your commitment to developing greater self-leadership.
Follow the Leader
I said it last month, and it bears repeating. There are a lot of places and people from whom we can take our cues on self-leadership
If you want to point your kids in the right direction then don’t take your cues from the guy or gal down the street, the influencer trending on Instagram, or the colleague still living in their parents’ basement. Following a “leadership” hashtag isn’t the same as following Jesus.
Developing the kind of self-leadership that will carry you into eternity requires looking to the one that made eternity a believer’s reality.
Following a “leadership” hashtag isn’t the same as following Jesus.
Scripture tells us that the Word of God is alive, that it is God-breathed, useful for teaching and a lamp onto our path. (Hebrews 4|12, 2 Timothy 3|16, Psalm 119|105.) It also reminds us that Jesus is the personification of both the written and spoken Word of God.
Knowing that Jesus is the embodiment of God’s message to us lightens our load. However, depending on where you’re sitting, the challenge posed by the call to greater self-leadership can still be a daunting one. We can begin by following the example set forth forth by Jesus in the book of Mark.
7 Self-Leadership Lessons From The Book of Mark
Lesson 1: When he felt himself led by the Spirit, Jesus obeyed. (Mark 1|12)
If we are not careful we can deaden ourselves to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Fortunately, when we spend time in prayer, meditation and in communion with God this is a great opportunity to ask that He would make us sensitive to the Holy Spirit, that He would fill us with the Holy Spirit, and that the Holy Spirit would serve as our guide.
Lesson 2: When Jesus was faced with temptation, he did not give in. (Mark 1|13)
Our broken world is full of temptations. There are temptations to cheat at school, at work, and at home. We are tempted to compromise our purpose, our values, and our calling. BUT, there is nothing that we will face that hasn’t been seen in this world. There is nothing that we cannot overcome when we rely on the strength provided by our Father through His Spirit. You can choose to overcome temptation, to not give up and give in. You can choose to persevere.
Lesson 3: Jesus built a strong team (Mark 1|16)
Jesus did not go through his time on earth alone. He had a team of disciples that traveled with him, learned from him – they did life with him. Who are you doing life with? Who are you living in community with? Build a team, choose to risk relationship and connection.But do so with a discerning spirit.
Lesson 4: Jesus believed it was important to teach others what he knew (Mark 1|21)
Life is a process of learning; of gathering knowledge and experience. It’s a process of constantly adding to the toolkit we carry with us. We should choose, like Jesus, to take what we have learned and share the benefit of that wisdom and truth. I believe we have a responsibility, a stewardship, to do so
Lesson 5: Jesus had confidence in His authority (Mark 1|25)
Each of us carries a certain degree of authority and expertise. Anything we do to belie or diminish the authority given to us does nothing to honor the calling we’ve been created for.
Lesson 6: Jesus embraced the power and importance of prayer, even when it was inconvenient (Mark 1|35)
In times of stress and hardship the idea of stopping to pray instead of fretting and spinning is almost counter intuitive. We live in a world that gets loud; that parades the crazy out on the front lawn or on the miniature screens of social media. This is not the example that Jesus set. What confidence or answers do we hope to gain from such volume? From such over exposure?
Lesson 7: Jesus allowed himself to feel compassion and be compassionate to others (Mark 1|41)
Compassion does not come easily to everyone. In order to be compassionate to others we need to be compassionate to ourselves. That can prove difficult. We should be sensitive to our own sufferings and those of others – this is hard when we are encouraged to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, constantly be in an “overcomer” mindset, or feel the need to come out swinging – ready to fight the battles ahead of us.
So, tell me. Which of these 7 lessons resonates the most for you? Which one will you be intentional about?