Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve Jones here… I was traveling in my car chatting with my son about an issue. I was “waxing eloquently” and sharing my frustration about this problem that I was dealing with.
Alec stopped me and reminded me of my “three virtues” in life. I knew I had done something right as a father when my son reminded me what I had been teaching him for years. Some time in my mid-twenties I decided I would live life guided by three prominent virtues. There are, of course, many other virtues and I certainly seek to be honest and kind and many other things, but these three virtues I especially value. My boy reminded me to “suck it up buttercup” and look at my problem through the filter of these three virtues. Thank you, Alec… that’s my boy!
The big three are:
I believe loyalty is crucial in life. Loyalty to my Saviour, my wife, my children, my family, friends, staff, colleagues, nation and the everyday commission. I have told my staff through the years that if they ever hear something that I reportedly said about them that is cruel in nature, either the messenger is dishonest or they got bad information. I’m loyal to them.
One of the most crucial elements to nurture loyalty is being truthful and trustworthy. In Kouzes and Posner’s book The Truth about Leadership they write:
“The truth is that trust rules. Trust rules your personal credibility. Trust rules your ability to get things done. Trust rules your team’s cohesiveness. Trust rules your organization’s innovativeness and performance… trust rules almost everything you do.” (pg. 79)
“Building the structure of trust begins when one person takes a risk and opens up to another. If you’re the leader in the relationship, that person needs to be you. You need to ante up first.” (pg. 79)
In a Christianity Today article, Dr. Michael Zigarelli, Dean of the School of Business at Regent College, wrote of an incredible discovery after studying 5,000 Christians. He found out that the one deciding characteristic that revealed whether or not a Christian would experience God’s love, joy, peace, patience (fruit of the Spirit) was GRATITUDE.
The research was rock solid. Here’s what he wrote:
“Gratitude does all this by setting a new thought context for processing our circumstances in life – a context of an abundant life. A context where everything we have is a gift. A context where we see clearly all that we really do have in life, and where we recognize that things could always be worse. Within this context, our view of the entire world is different and we are suddenly empowered to be the people God calls us to be – to more deeply love God, to love our neighbour, and to love our own lives.”
I’ve been a “war buff” since I was a kid. I have a library of books and documentaries on war. My son and I have walked the beaches of Normandy and visited Vimy Ridge, Dieppe and other monuments in Europe. I heard stories of the bombings from my mom and dad who grew up in Britain during WWII. While pastoring, I loved visiting members who had experienced battle. I am fascinated by acts of courage and heroism. I have learned that courage is not the absence of fear, it’s acting despite that fear.
God told Joshua three times in the first chapter of the book of Joshua to “be strong and courageous”. That’s only the first chapter. God would tell Joshua again to be full of courage. Is courage important? God seems to think so.
In their book, A Leader’s Legacy, Kouzes and Posner write, based on their survey research of many people around the world, that courage is essential. Their seminal thought about personal courage is:
“It takes courage to realize your dreams and give meaning to your values. If you are going to leave a legacy of lasting significance, it’ll be the result of acting courageously. You can’t plan to be courageous, but you can choose to act that way. Courage is the virtue that makes all other virtues possible.” (A Leader’s Legacy, p. 132)
Thrive Magazine’s “VALUES that Revolutionize
Keep your eye open for the Fall edition of Thrive magazine which looks at VALUES. In this edition, we look at the seven values found in the Fellowship’s statement of mission (“We are the Fellowship” Direction Document). Discover how our movement of churches is demonstrating how we operate to fulfill the mission and vision God has called us to accomplish. I hope the stories will both encourage and inspire you.
Have a blessed week,