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The beginning of the year is traditionally a time for making positive changes through solid resolutions. But what should you resolve to do to move your leadership and influence to the next level? Episode 65 of Faithful on the Clock offers five powerful suggestions to try.
This episode is designed to provide resolutions that guide you toward a deeper Christian character, rather than to build a set of superficial good habits.
Resolution 1: Ask how your decisions or opportunities will benefit God. We are called to love and serve Him first and need to make the most of our time to do so.
Resolution 2: Ask how your decisions or opportunities show love for your fellow human being. This connects to the second commandment and runs counter to the common message that you need to prioritize yourself.
Resolution 3: Consider your sense of urgency. You should have a healthy sense of obligation for everything you do and let God direct that sense of obligation over time.
Resolution 4: Delegate and help others as much as you can. This ensures that both you and others have time to get into the Word, know God, and improve your influence for Him based on that understanding.
Resolution 5: Honor yourself. This is based on a sense of healthy humility in which you recognize and respect that you are in God’s image. Don’t let yourself get mistreated, because that makes you ineffectual in whatever He wants you to do.
Pick one of the five resolutions to focus on for one week. Journal about what you learn or share it with others. Repeat with each of the other five resolutions.
Share the resolution list with someone else so they can use it themselves and help hold you accountable.
What’s coming up next:
Companies always say they want to make a difference. So how can your business actually do some real social good? Episode 65 of Faithful on the Clock focuses on the role companies have in initiating and maintaining positive community change.
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Hi, everybody, and welcome to Faithful on the Clock, the podcast where every slice of cheese on the sandwich is there to get your faith and work aligned. I’m your host, Wanda Thibodeaux, and today I’m excited to bring you an episode on resolutions. It’s that time of year, after all, so what are some fantastic goals you can set for yourself and your leadership? I’ll give you just a few suggestions in just a few seconds.
Well, thanks for joining me for this resolutions episode, listeners. I’m gonna get right into it today, but I do just want to say that one of the reasons I’m doing this episode is, I think a lot of us resolve good things about our habits, you know, maybe not spend so much money or take better career risks, that kind of thing. But these resolutions I’m gonna give you, they’re more about how we live in the Christian character, OK? They’re ones that you can kind of apply or spread around a lot of different habits or areas of your life. But let’s go ahead and jump in.
So the first resolution I want to suggest that you adopt is that, whenever you’re considering a decision or have some kind of opportunity, just hit pause and ask yourself, “How does this benefit God?” And there are lots of verses that talk about serving God, but you know, the first commandment is to love the Lord your God. That’s it. Just make Him a priority. And I’ll give you Colossians 3:23, which says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” And the bottom line if you really absorb that verse is that, if what you’re doing isn’t going to benefit or glorify the Lord, it’s not really something that’s worth the time and effort. Because remember, in John 9:4 Jesus says, “As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” That’s one of my favorite verses. So your biggest task is to be mindful of the limited time you have here on this Earth and to make the best use of it for God’s sake. And so I put this at the top of the resolutions list because, you know, there are a lot of really cool things you could do that would be financially great and add convenience, but all that money and convenience isn’t worth it if it leads people away from faith. You see what I’m saying? You have to choose the right projects and interactions and resolve that your decisions and opportunities always have loving God as a centerpiece.
But this brings me to the next resolution, which connects to the second commandment to love your neighbor. And the resolution is that for whatever decision or opportunity you have, you ask yourself, “How does this show that I love my fellow human beings?” So what this means is, there are a lot of things in business where you might be tempted to put yourself first. That is ridiculously easy to do when we’ve got so much out there telling us that we’ve gotta look out for number one all the time. So for example, maybe your company could make a lot of money by using a certain kind of operational practice, but it’s going to create hardship for people outside of the business down the line. And these things really happen, OK? So like, there’s this guy, Patrick Struebi, and he was really successful in his commodities trading firm. But the more he worked, the more he saw how the practices the industry was using were harmful. And so he packed up from Switzerland and went over to Mexico, and he started an organization called Fairtrasa to help small farmers out of poverty. So he could have just kept going where he was and made a bunch of money. But he knew that what he was part of wasn’t really supporting people, and so he made a conscious choice to pivot and change. That’s what I’m talking about here. That you ask yourself, “Is what I’m doing helping others deeper than just a surface level? Does it improve their life in a long-term way and see them through God’s eyes?” And certainly this is something you can apply to your coworkers or the people you supervise, all of your customers or clients, on a daily basis. It’s really just about being that agent for positive social change within the Christian way of living.
So then the third resolution I’d like you to consider is to examine your sense of urgency. Now, I know we talk about urgency in the sense of competitiveness and how you do iterations as you innovate and all that. But that’s not really what I mean here. What I mean is, ask yourself every day if you really feel excited about what you’re about to do. I mean, we all have days where we drag or feel a little down, but overall, can you get up in the morning and feel sure that if it were your last day on Earth, it would have been well spent? And that again ties back to John 9:4 about how we only have so much time to work for God. So ask yourself, “Do I feel obligated to what I’m about to do?” Don’t worry about money or the competitive side of things, because generally what happens is, if you’re really obligated to something, you’re gonna give it everything, get good results and be naturally competitive as a result anyway. And I wanna point out really quickly here that, if you start to feel obligated to something different over time, that’s OK. I know we hear that, you know, you just gotta have grit and never give up, or that quitters never win. But statistically, people change careers or projects all the time, and some of the most successful people in the world, they swap things all the time because they’re able to see when something else would be even more fruitful. The key is just to let God be the director. Don’t just go into something different because you’re bored, OK? Really pray about it and ask God to show you where you’re meant to go. Because it very well might be that once in a while, He calls you to something different, and that can be a beautiful thing.
Now, fourth, and this is kind of a two-sided resolution, and I’ll give credit to my home pastor, Pete Parker of Woodcrest Church for this one, because he preached a tremendous sermon on this a few weeks ago. I’ll actually link to that for you. But I just ask you to delegate and help others as much as you can. Now, on the first side of this, the delegation, the rationale is, if you are constantly maxed out, constantly trying to put out all the fires or manage everything on your own, when are you going to get into the Word? The less you get into the Word, the less you’ll probably understand God. And the less you understand God, the less of a positive influence you can have for Him in the world. You see how that works? So you absolutely have to guard your time, and one of the best ways to do that is to find good servants, good helpers you trust who can work with you to make amazing things happen. Now, if you flip that, if you’ve got some time or skills that are collecting dust, go to the leaders you know and ask them how you can serve them. Maybe that’s as simple as making the coffee for the next meeting coming up. But again, it’s just about taking things off their plate. Because if they have a little less to do, then guess what. Then you can encourage them to get into the Word and they’ll actually have the time to do it. And friends, that can have an absolutely profound influence on their leadership and how they treat other people.
So my final resolution for you to consider is to honor yourself. Now, I’m gonna clarify right off the bat that this is not a call to get all egocentric or narcissistic, OK? What I mean is, just recognize what an absolute privilege you are living being made in the image of God. Recognize what an absolute privilege it is that God takes unparalleled joy from the relationship He has with you. And when you respect that relationship, when you respect who you’re made to represent, then you have to start treating yourself with the honor that your heirship deserves. Anything less cheats God, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it kind of cheapen it if you say, “Oh, I’m just, I’m just me. I’m nobody.” You’re NOT just nobody, OK? God knows every hair on your head, every tear you cry. And so have the same respect for yourself that He has for you, OK? And in a practical way, that means, all right, I’m gonna get up, I’m gonna take care of my body. I’m gonna speak up about it in a kind truth if someone mistreats me. I’m gonna have some faith in the skills God’s given to me. And none of this means that you don’t admit your mistakes or that you disregard others. It just means that you understand what real humility is, and I’ll define that for you. Humility isn’t being willing to lower yourself according to shame. I know a lot of us do that, and I think that comes from the tendency of people to tell us to come down a peg or two if they feel like we’re too proud. You know, that kind of chiding when we feel good excitement and dignity, it can make us feel like there’s no such thing as healthy pride. But healthy pride does exist. And humility is being willing to recognize that you are no better or worse than anyone else based on an accurate sense of self, and being willing to fight for and serve other people as much as you fight for and serve yourself. So when things around you get a little stupid or tough, you let that definition guide you a little bit and don’t let yourself get mistreated, because allowing yourself to get mistreated ends up making you ineffectual in whatever God wants you to do.
So there you have it, people. Five resolutions in about 10 minutes. I hope that you’ll take a few minutes to think about how these resolutions could influence your life. And I think if you’re realistic, if you just try to stick to these with some self-forgiveness behind it, I think you’ll see some massive changes in your life. But if by chance you are up for even more resolutions to try, I recommend checking out the resolutions of Jonathan Edwards. I’ll link to those, because he’s got a list, and man, let me tell you, they’re worth spending some reflection time on.
So let me just take a moment to pray for you really quickly.
Lord, if we look through your Word, we see that some of the servants You loved best made incredible resolutions in the desire to serve You. And so God, I ask that you work on our hearts in the same way. Lord, lead us away from all of the superficial stuff. And it’s not that those things are bad, per se, but give us the courage and heart to go deeper for You. And just put the right resolutions in our heart so we know which way to go. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
That’s the episode, people. I hope this gives you a good foundation to move forward this year in a completely new, transformative way. In our next episode, I’m gonna be chatting with you about the role companies have in social good and how you can inspire those in your business to support your communities way outside your industry. That’s coming up in just two weeks, everybody, so go ahead, sign up for our email list and become a sponsor at patreon.com/faithfulontheclock. That not only will put the show right in your inbox, but it’s gonna get you access to newsletters, additional episodes, and all kinds of extra fun stuff. Have a fantastic two weeks, everybody, and be blessed.
Faithful on the Clock is a podcast meant to get your Christian faith and work aligned. You won’t find mantras or hacks here--just scripture-based insights to help you grow yourself, your company, and your relationship with God. If you want out of the worldly hamster wheel and want to work with purpose, then this is the show for you. Hosted by freelance business writer Wanda Thibodeaux.
Wanda Marie Thibodeaux is a freelance writer based in Eagan, MN. Since 2006, she has worked with a full range of clients to create website landing pages, product descriptions, articles, professional letters, and other content. She also served as a daily columnist at Inc.com for three years, where she specialized in content on business leadership, psychology, neuroscience, and behavior.
Currently, Thibodeaux accepts clients through her website, Takingdictation.com. She is especially interested in motivational psychology, self-development, and mental health.