Just For Today
A Daily Approach to Prayer and Scripture
Sunday, February 1
“Through love serve one another.”
Gal 5:13 NKJV
WHAT KEEPS US FROM SERVING OTHERS? (4)
Control. While it’s important to focus on understanding others, you must also be authentic and open so that they can understand you. Because it can make us feel vulnerable, many of us are unwilling to be transparent. Author and former U.S. Navy Captain Mike Abrashoff observes: “Some leaders feel that by keeping people in the dark, they maintain a measure of control. But that is a leader’s folly and an organization’s failure. Secrecy spawns isolation, not success. Knowledge is power, yes, but what leaders need is collective power, and that requires collective knowledge. I found that the more people knew what the goals were, the better buy-in I got—and the better the results we achieved together.” Any time people sense information is being withheld from them, it creates distance. They feel like outsiders, and as a result morale drops along with their performance. In his book Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way, Jim Lundy writes about what he calls the “Subordinates’ Lament.” It says, “We the uninformed, working for the inaccessible, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful!” Ever feel like that? Then there’s the “Mushroom Farm Lament” which goes like this: “We feel we’re being kept in the dark. Every once in a while someone comes around and spreads manure on us. But when our heads pop up, they’re chopped off. And then we’re canned.” Good leaders don’t isolate themselves, and they don’t deliberately keep people in the dark. They inform them, and include them in the decision-making process whenever possible. If you’re serious about serving others, open up. Let people know who you are and what you believe.
Monday, February 2
“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart.”
2Co 9:7 NIV
ROUND AND ROUND IT GOES!
The Bible says: “Whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (vv. 6-8 NIV). When you give what God tells you to, He’ll give you back more. When you know that, it’ll revolutionize your approach to giving. Paul isn’t talking about people who’re trying to get rich; he’s talking about “cheerful givers” who want to finance God’s purposes. He’s saying not only is it safe to give, it’s the way to greater blessing. That’s especially good news for reluctant givers, because when you give something away it can feel like a loss. But contributing to God’s work isn’t giving something away; it’s investing—with a guaranteed return. A farmer who sows doesn’t lose his seed, he gains a harvest. Can you imagine a farmer praying this prayer? “God, give me a crop. I’m trusting You to get involved, but I’m holding on to my seed just in case.” Is that what you’re doing? If so, here’s some good news. When you sow generously, God gets involves in your finances. Can you imagine a more secure position to be in? The Bible says, “The generous will prosper” (Pr 11:25 NLT). When you give, it enables God to return to you even more, which in turn enables you to give even more—and round and round it goes!