A Change That Changes Everything By R. Scott Rodin
A Change of Perspective that Changes Everything
A change in your perspective can change everything for you. Ask Christian leaders what they hope Jesus says to them when they stand before him at the end of their life. Most will quote Matthew 25:21,
“Well done, good and faithful servant. Come and share your Master’s happiness.”
How many of us are living and working and striving that we might hear those words, ‘well done’?
Well, here’s the problem. The downside of living for ‘well done’ is the nagging question, ‘How much is required to ensure we hear those words?’ In recent months, I’ve been in a series of conversations that focused on this question. Sincere Jesus’ followers were struggling with the anxiety that was produced by the challenge of defining what was required of them. This was not about salvation but about doing enough to be at peace before Jesus while dealing with our inadequacies, fears, and sins.
Knowing all we have done poorly or not done at all, how can we expect a ‘well done’? If Jesus is the judge, can we ever do enough? This can become a tiresome treadmill for leaders. And when we labor through a season of discouragement and disappointments, the quest for ‘well done’ becomes all the more discouraging.
Is there any sounder Biblical alternative?
I believe there is. Instead of striving to achieve ‘well done,’ what if we began listening to the familiar words spoken by the Father to Jesus as he came up out of the waters of baptism,
“This is my Son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased?” (Matthew 3:17)
This statement is quite astonishing. God proclaimed his absolute delight in him before Jesus performed a single miracle, called his first disciple, taught one lesson, or upset a Pharisee. There was no ‘well done’; this was the first day of Jesus’ ministry. There was no ‘doing’ to acknowledge, only a pronouncement about who Jesus was in the sight of His Father.
The Truth About You and Me
What does this have to do with us as leaders?
Consider these truths about you and me.
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. Galatians 3:26
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2
If we are God’s children, could it be, could it be that – quite apart from all we do, all we might accomplish,h and the times we might fail – God, our creator, redeemer,r and sustainer, the Almighty ruler of the universe and the coming king of the world, this God looks squarely at you and me and says, “you are my beloved child. I love you, and I am delighted in you”?
Embrace the Truth
I believe if we as leaders embrace this truth, it will radically change our view of leadership. Living from ‘well pleased’ will empower us for a new journey away from striving to become worthy of ‘well done’ and down a new path of freedom and certainty, living in the daily joy of hearing our Father’s voice pronounced over us, ‘well pleased.’
My friends, moving from ‘well done’ to ‘well pleased’ is an extraordinary gift.
Imagine, no matter the challenges, uncertainties, or even the bitterest disappointments, we never cease to be the source of our Father’s delight. We don’t earn or achieve it or need to fear losing it. It does not reflect our effort for God but our Father’s eternal, unchangeable attitude toward us.
What you will discover in your spirit is a shift in what motivates you. ‘Well done’ motivates us to work harder, strive more diligently and achieve more. It drives us to ‘do’. ‘Well pleased’ frees us to pursue one passion and one only – faithfulness. When we hear His voice and sense His pleasure in us, all we want to do is live a faithful life.
What does God require of you in your leadership role? What will be the source of your satisfaction and joy? What motivates you most as you start each new day?
Take the Challenge
Here is my challenge. Find a mirror, look at yourself carefully, and say, “I am God’s beloved child, and He is well pleased in me.” Repeat it and again. Let it seep deep into your spirit and gladden your heart. When it does, I pray you will find faithfulness will begin to drive everything you do. Nothing else will matter, just a deep desire to respond to the Father’s never-ending love with a heart that wants to live and lead for Him.
R. Scott Rodin is president of The Steward’s Journey and Kingdom Life Publishing. He also runs Rodin Consulting, Inc. He is a Senior Fellow of the Association of Biblical Higher Education and is past board chair of ChinaSource and the Evangelical Environmental Network.
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