Conforming vs Contorting

Society has laws in place which we should follow and conform to to keep people safe. Rules are very important and very crucial, especially when dealing with a lot of people. If there were no rules, we would have chaos. And when people decide those upholding those rules should be punished, we are in trouble. People want other people to follow the rules and complain very loudly when they don’t but they don’t always want to follow them themselves. It is horribly unfair. And unfairness is also a part of society. Norms seem to supercede that. However, when we get into rules that force contortion of one’s beliefs rather than conformity, there is a disconnect, a very real problem. When lawmakers think with their own personal agendas, against the common good, there is a forcing gradually of people to follow laws against their religious or moral or ethical internal beliefs. Then we have chaos but also some sort of tyrannical dictatorship where people don’t matter, only the agendas matter. That is very dangerous and a form of terrorism in of itself. when we go against our beliefs, we lose our identities and voice and freedom. So contorting is not the way to go. We are not obliged to follow unreasonable requests, rules that go against our personal freedom. We are at liberty to not follow those rules or just follow it until it comes to a point of no return to our identities. Because when we face the judgment after this short life is over, we have to answer for what choices we made. And I believe if we act against how we know we should act, even if we are persecuted for that, we will be held accountable for that. Dwight L. Moody has a story about that. He picked up a hitch hiker, as he used to a lot, and the guys pulled a gun on him as they were driving down the road and told him to pull over. Moody kept driving. The guy told him again and Moody calmly kept going. The third time, Moody asked the guy, “Look, are you threatening me with heaven?” and took him right to the police department. We are responsible to hold to our beliefs or we cease to be who we are supposed to be. We cannot live our lives in fear but in faith. So rules that don’t go against your faith, follow those. We are obliged to and for good reason. But rules that go against our faith, we cannot every obey those. Our country would not exist if we did not believe that. It was founded on faith, despite what others would tell you. People tried to come to our country out of greed. They did not succeed. But when men came to escape others imposing on their faith, there was success. God takes care of those who obey Him. He doesn’t give two shakes about us obeying people who disobey Him. That is my belief. I believe I am right. 🙂 Doing what is right is rewarding, even if it hurts a little at the time. It is always worth it. Always worth it.

Leading

Leadership can be done four ways, which ironically match the four basic temperaments of most people. One option is the dictator. One is the “buddy” leader (those are complete opposites, by the way). One is the micro-manager. And the last is the star of the show leader. That last guy jokes and laughs and thinks the world should revolve around his greatness and fun-ness. This leader and the “buddy” leader are the least effective because people tend to not take them seriously or respect their authority least. This does not mean personally they fail but that their leadership style is not as effective because they are perceived as not serious (even if they are) or not willingly authoritarian enough to enforce punishments. The dictator is effective but not liked and the micromanager just drives everyone bonkers by being too picky or domineering or not letting people just do their jobs. All of these have pros and con’s individually. All have the capacity to get the job done, but the efficiency which gets it done and the travel time to completion varies per style of leadership. In contrast, most of the really great and effective leaders of this world now and from history are actually a blend or mix of these four, and the more balanced they were in all areas, the more effective they were and the happier those that followed their leadership were. This is a principle called by Jesus “being all things to all people” but still remaining pure in your own beliefs and convictions. So, as in the example of the greatest and most effective Leader of all time, we have a wonderful model to follow. Of course, we are not perfect as He was but we have the power and conviction of the Holy Spirit so we can approximate with His help. Now, this being said, only approximately 10% of people are what people consider “leaders” and the rest follow generally, but I believe that number should be inherently higher for Christ followers because part of our job is leading people to the Lord so He can save them. That being said, the first quality of leadership that Jesus exemplified is noticing people and seeing their motivations. So, discernment mixed with attention to detail is our first goal. Jesus also spoke truth and did not mix words when something needed to be done. So we need truth, clarity and conviction in our leadership. Also, Jesus took the time to pray. Self explanatory and imperative! Jesus met the needs of those following Him. To do this, He saw what they were and walked alongside them to provide those needs. So we can not forget the needs of those following and not be self-absorbed but show we care personally for them. Jesus also taught His followers and did not allow them to be finished with their work before they had completed. So, we need to instruct and not bark orders but also be persistent and consistent with our instructions and expectations. The biggest was that Jesus was compassionate and loving with His people. We need to be so also.