Weekly Thought – May 5, 2015
Fred and Mary Alice married in June, 1937. Without money, a honeymoon was impossible. They boarded a trolley in downtown Nashville, rode to a Krystal burger restaurant and shared a slider, the little bite-sized menu item. In some ways, his mini-essays are wisdom sliders – bite-sized servings of thought.
A Real Fire
A.W. Tozer remarked that his flame might be small but it was real. It is important that the fire be authentic. One can start a forest fire with a single match, but can’t light a bonfire with a poster of a match, no matter how blazing the flame. A picture of a blowtorch remains a picture. The counterfeit life becomes old but the zeal of the dedicated life cannot be quenched.
A certain attrition rate in leadership is healthy. The armed services actually look for a wash-out percentage… the Army has seven; the Marines have fourteen and it is rumored some drill sergeants think it should be as much as twenty-five percent!
We don’t focus on disqualifying people, but we should not keep people in our organizations who self-disqualify either by lack of character or gifts.
Making people aware of their shortcomings isn’t easy, but is crucial. I say this knowing how painful discouragement can be. It happened to me. I started out in voice lessons, hoping for an operatic career. Fortunately, I had an honest teacher. One morning after a lesson he said, “Fred, you have everything to be a successful vocal artist. You work harder than any of my other students; you have a great desire to sing well. You are only lacking one thing – talent. You are sacrificing to study with me. You can’t make it professionally, so don’t waste your life trying.”
He was so right and so courageous. He blessed me with his honesty. I went into business where I was talented.
Helping someone discern their gifts is one of the great joys. Assisting men and women to exit as well as enter careers is an act of wisdom.
Seminaries should discourage poor leaders before they assume pastoral positions and demonstrate their inabilities. Always remember what Spurgeon told his young preaching students: “Young man, if you can’t speak, you weren’t called to preach.” Certainly God can develop skills that are immature, but rarely does He call us to work for which He doesn’t gift us.
This week think about: 1) Who helped me recognize my strengths? 2) Where am I trying to follow a dream that may not be mine? 3) How real is my fire?
Words of Wisdom: “We don’t focus on disqualifying people, but we should not keep people in our organizations who self-disqualify either by lack of character or gifts.”
Wisdom from the Word: “For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29 NET Bible)