Nothing is more vitally important in your life than your self-leadership. It has been my first-hand observation over 33 years of ministry that this is the single greatest struggle and failure of most men and women. Each of us must realize that we are responsible before God for our own lives, for what we become, for what we develop into as a person, for what choices and decisions we will make, and what life habits we will choose to develop and sustain.
One of the most profound truths of the Bible is found in Gal. 6:7 (NLT) “Don’t be misled. Remember that you can’t ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow.”
Men, one of the greatest gifts God has given to us is the freedom of choice. How you use your freedom to choose is the singular most important thing about you. We cannot ignore God’s laws and get away with it. This verse is not telling us, “Hey you better watch out, or God will swat you down.” It is telling us that you cannot ignore God and His ways, God and His truths, God and His wisdom in your life and practice and get away with it. If you don’t lead yourself well, you will needlessly suffer harm. We will each suffer the consequences of ignoring God and His laws.
All of us must own our life, take full responsibility for the person we presently are, the person we choose to become and the choices that we make. My sincere, earnest desire is to help you lead yourself well. Think with me for a moment. You and I choose whether to regularly be late for meetings, or whether to lead ourselves into the consistent habit of arriving early and be on time. This is primarily an issue of self-leadership, not random circumstances.
You and I make the choice to either eat healthy foods or give in to our cravings to eat junk. The consequences are on you. Not anyone else. The sad, tragic reality is most people choose junk. Most people gorge themselves on an abundance of junk food. Which over time, causes unhealthy weight gain, leads to very poor health, many diseases, and lots of money spent trying to mitigate our lack of self-leadership in this area of life.
You and I either choose to lead ourselves into simple fitness routines that increase our health, our vitality, our longevity, our physical, mental and emotional well being, or we lead ourselves in laziness and we reap the consequences of declining mental, physical, emotional well being, vitality, and health.
You and I either learn to deal effectively with our emotions, intentionally develop self-control and healthy self-management of our emotional world and feelings, or our emotions and feelings will run and ruin our lives. They will rob us of mental well-being and lead to emotional binge eating, which becomes a vicious, destructive cycle. Our lack of self-leadership in becoming emotionally mature men and women creates tremendous stress and strain on our marriage relationship and our ability to effectively parent our children. Most people let their feelings run their lives. It is very self-destructive. We must train ourselves to acknowledge, deal with and process our emotions and feelings in a healthy, Biblical way.
You and I either learn to lead our mouths and bring self-restraint and wisdom to our words, or our unrestrained, foolish words destroy the very marriage and family we had hoped to build.
You and I either lead ourselves into a deep, intentional, spiritual life and relationship with God or we have only ourselves to blame for our spiritual lethargy, our lukewarm complacency, and our meaningless relationship with Jesus. We can and must lead ourselves into a rigorous, earnest seeking of the Lord and into a fervent and disciplined prayer life. We can and must lead ourselves into time each day of intentional thankfulness and praises to God for all he has done and given to us during our time spent alone with God, or our spiritual life, our emotional life, our mental an even our physical well being will deteriorate and leave us weak, vulnerable, childish, immature, and in a frequent state of discouragement, fear, and despair.
You and I either lead ourselves to pick up our Bibles, the Holy Sacred Word of God, bread of life, water for our soul, or with one excuse after another we slowly but surely starve to death as a result of being too lazy to open the spiritual refrigerator door and feed ourselves on the manna from heaven which satisfies and enriches the soul. If we do not lead ourselves to meditate on God’s promises, God’s truths, God’s very words to us, we will struggle our whole life with mental and emotional well being. Our fears, worries, anxieties, and out of control thought life will dominate and destroy our lives and our relationships.
You and I either learn to lead ourselves wisely and with great restraint in our finances, choosing frugality over material extravagance, choosing contentment over more, making the most of every dollar God has graciously given to us, or we will become a slave to all kinds of stuff to spend that money on and we will never get to a healthy financial place. Simple choices like making your own cup of coffee each day rather than spend $3-4 dollars per day at Starbucks or some other coffee place. Simple choices like not eating at restaurants and making your food at home instead. Do you even realize that you could save that money instead? Did you know that if you spent an average of $90 a month on coffee at Starbucks and $80 a month eating out, that if you put that $170 a month/$2040 a year, in an IRA at 5% growth over 30 years, you could have $142,312! Do you grasp what that habit is costing you? Choice after choice, how are you leading yourself?!
Here is the great news!! Because of Jesus Christ we have all God’s power in us to change. Every single one of us can grow and change. We can choose to lead ourselves differently. We can choose to get out of bed earlier. We can choose to eat healthier. We can choose to spend less and save more. We can choose to grow in our emotional maturity. We can choose to rigorously and earnestly seek the Lord in prayer. We can choose to dump on God and pour out all our emotions and concerns to Him, instead of carrying them ourselves. We can choose to ask for God’s help and see His direct answers to our prayers. We can lead ourselves to a different way of living. We can choose to lead ourselves into better speech, kinder, wiser words, and discipline our mouth and keep it shut instead of spouting off.
I was on a phone call recently with a man who was sharing with me about the daily hour prayer time that he has intentionally been leading himself to practice over the last year. He recounted to me the tremendous impact on his life as he has deliberately devoted some of that time to praising God. He has devoted a portion of that time to thanking God for a variety of things in his life and has incorporated praying some Psalms in his prayer time, in addition to the specific things he is asking God for. It is bringing real change, greater tranquility, joy, and closeness to God than he has ever experienced before. He chose to lead himself differently than he has in the past.
I was on a phone call recently with another man who has intentionally been leading himself in keeping some push-up bars by his work desk. Throughout the day, he pops down on the floor and has incorporated 30-50 push-ups a day into his life routine. He is leading himself to get on an elliptical a few times a week, and he can tell he is getting stronger than he was previously. He chose to lead himself differently than he has before.
I was on a call recently with a man who has been intentionally leading himself to read his Bible like never before in his life. He has been stunned at the difference he is experiencing in his life as he has chosen to feed on the Bread of life and read what God’s Word says. It is amazing what is happening to his heart and his life. He is experiencing greater joy and encouragement as a result.
I was on a call recently with a man who confided in me that alcohol had become a problem for him. I lovingly challenged him to lead himself differently and stay away from it completely. He has done so and as a result, is enjoying a much greater quality of life and greater self-control in other areas of his life.
I could share many stories with you like these. The simple and profound truth is this: Intentionally lead yourself differently and lead yourself well in all aspects of your life and you will see wonderful results. You will reap what you sow! What you sow, good or bad, grows!
May I ask you, would you please take the time to hear these messages? I believe if you do, they can help you positively change the rest of your life.