Weekly Thoughts – February 20, 2024
Fred asked questions – not just random, shallow ones, but queries which went deep to the heart of situations. When there were problems to solve he asked questions to break up the “log jam.” His philosophy was very simple: “ask a question the person wants to answer.” This week the thought features two questions Fred liked to ask himself.
I have spent my life asking questions. I always work to find the key question. Here are two that I have meant a lot to me in my development.
1) Does my will control my feelings? Integrity is more a matter of the will than those of feelings. Certainly feelings are important for without them are mechanical. We are unable to connect with others through empathy or compassion. They are great implementors but poor leaders. Our will must control our feelings. The will is the single most distinguishing feature of our character. I was fortunate enough to have a Mother with an indomitable will. In spite of many physical disabilities, she persevered, often quoting Galatians 6:9: Be not weary in well doing, for in due season you shall reap if you faint not.” Leadership demands a strong will – not a selfish or stubborn will but a determined will to do what needs doing. By will we overcome our yen for pleasure and our satisfaction with mediocrity. There is a will which the leader must give to them in the organization who lack it. This does not blind us to the importance of emotion. It does, however, wring out the rationalization and procrastination that can attack us. Our will, not our feelings must be charged with the ultimate responsibility for our actions.
2) Is grace real for me? The great saints knew grace was genuine, real, personal, and palpable. Brother Lawrence, Frank Laubach, Francis Fenelon all had no doubt that they were the constant recipients of God’s amazing grace. It was a practical part of their everyday life. For example, Brother Lawrence said that when he made a mistake he didn’t spend any time thinking about it — he simply confessed it and continued on. He told God that without Him falling is natural. Before I read that, I lingered over guilt, thinking “immediate grace is too good to be true.” Brother Lawrence’s experience and counsel greatly released me. Nevertheless legalism appeals to our human nature. I must remind myself that the very Scripture that makes me know my guilt lets me know God’s grace. By refusing grace we play God and punish ourselves. We then view events as punishment; we redefine discipline. In reality it isn’t discipline – just the natural consequences. Mistakenly, we inject our own reading of it as God’s judgment. Why? Because we feel we deserve judgment rather than grace. Grace brings freedom. If only we could accept it fully, then we, like Brother Lawrence, could admit failure, accept forgiveness, and keep on to make forward progress. Such grace cannot be deserved. When I forget that it is a gift and available, I lose its power, depth, and richness until I stop and understand that “he who is forgiven much, loves much.”
This week carefully consider: 1) What are key questions I ask myself? 2) How would I evaluate the ratio between will and feeling in my decision making? 3)When is grace most evident to me?
Words of Wisdom: “I must remind myself that the very Scripture that makes me know my guilt lets me know God’s grace.”
Wisdom from the Word: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Colossians 6:9 NET Bible)