It is not very often that I have a dream about a post for my website.
Last night (December 30th), while asleep, 2 Corinthians 1:12 popped into my mind, along with some thoughts and a strong impression that this should be the subject for my January 1st post.
“For our boast is this; the testimony of our conscience that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God and supremely so toward you.” (ESV)
When I got to my computer, after getting up, I saw that I actually did a post in April of 2009 on the same topic. So without looking carefully at what I said then, here are some fresh thoughts.
Paul speaks of behaving with Simplicity & Sincerity
These are two concepts/ ideas/desires that I’ve had for a few years. I desire for my own life:
Simplicity in the way I live
Sincerity in the way I lead.
It seems to me that much of what is out there is an attempt to complicate my life, with more stuff in my house and closet and more stuff on my calendar. Buy this or that…sign up for this or that…do this or that. More and more people I know seem to be complicating their lives rather than simplifying their lives. I would like to move in the simplify direction. Before deciding to do something or buy something…I would like to really think and pray, asking myself if it is the best thing for me to do…the God-honoring thing to do, or is it just another ploy to move me into a busier, faster and more materialistic life style. To please my Lord, I need to stay focused and unencumbered.
I think and pray a lot about motives and doing things with the right heart and attitude when it comes to leading and leadership. The word “sincere” literally means “without wax” and you can read the 2009 post for the background on this. It has to do with being the real thing…no pretense, no wearing masks, playing games or trying to be somebody I’m not. Just being myself regardless of where I am or who I’m with. John Wooden encouraged us to,
“Pay more attention to your character than your reputation because your character is what you really are, whereas your reputation is merely what other people think you are.”
If I pay attention to my character (being a sincere leader) my reputation will take care of itself.
Paul makes note of the fact that he behaved among the Corinthians with simplicity and sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God. I want to be constantly reminded that growing in simplicity and sincerity is not going to happen because I desire it or work hard at it, but as God works His sanctifying grace in my life in these two critical areas.
As the Lord brings me to mind during 2012, pray that, by His grace, I would grow in living a simple and sincere life.
(Here is link to the April 2009 post http://bit.ly/rE0g3k if you want to check it out.)