Monday, July 31, 2006

Finishing Well

If you follow this blog to the end, I'll get to my devotional time this morning.

I had the privilege of hearing Dan Webster speak on authentic leadership (focusing on the heart, and not the head of leadership). One of the points he brought out was that 70% of leaders don't finish well. Check out that stat - 70%. That's crazy. He gave 3 reasons for that. Complacency / Laziness; Temptation; Discouragement.

Now I realize that some of the people reading this don't think of themselves as leaders. However, we all have people that look up to us and you never know what leadership roles you'll be in some day.

I think of Zidane (in French; or here) (French soccer player who head-butted an Italian player in the last few minutes of the World Cup Final this year), one of the world's greatest soccer players, and what so many (even nominal) soccer fans will remember him for is a head-butt and helping his team lose the Cup.

I think of Bill Clinton, a man whose ability to lead was surpassed only by his inability to control himself morally. Whatever his legacy, no one will ever forget Monica.

King Saul and King Solomon started off well, but ended horribly. King Uzziah did the same. You can make your own list of people who didn't finish well.

In my devotions this morning I was reading about King Josiah - the 8 year old boy who became King and really turned things around. He found the book of the law and started following it. After following the passover regulations, 2 Chronicles 35:18 - "No Passover like it had been kept in Israel since the days of Samuel the prophet..." It sounds great - and it was.

But... instead of listening to God's messenger (2 Chronicles 35:20-24), he went to war and was killed. How sad to have such an amazing life and yet finish poorly.

I worry about finishing poorly. I have some histroy in my family of doing that. I think our best defense against finishing poorly is a tight walk with God and very sober judgment of self. We must know our weaknesses and set up defenses against them. Where are you weakest (complacency, temptation, discouragement)? What defenses can you put in place?


At 7:16 PM, Anonymous Tracey said...

Tracey was here...

Once again, you have brought up a point that I have never considered before. How lost I would be without your thoughts and comments.

It's interesting/scary to think that we could end the same way as some of the great leaders of our time. Perhaps some of us already have.



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