Monthly Archives: September 2018

The Keys to Achieving 360 Degree Success In Life

I live in north Houston in a community that seems perfect on paper. If you were to drive through this township, you would think everyone lived perfect lives. Yet the lay ministers and leaders in the churches know better. I am one of those ministry leaders. While many in this community have achieved what many would consider external success, many of these people are internally broken.

If success is broken up into two parts – internal and external success – then most of the people I serve are only experiencing 180 degrees of success.

This is not God’s best. In the bible, we are told that God blessed Abraham in ALL things (Genesis 24:1). This speaks to 360 degree success. Another author is the bible declares that above all things, he wishes that we prosper in ALL things (3 John 2).

Therefore, we know that God’s best is that we experience 360 degree success! The question is how?

How to Achieve Internal Success

Internal success can be defined as experiencing inner peace, love, joy, and rest, deep within our soul. This type of success cannot be earned by working harder. It is a result of growing our intimacy with God. Without genuine living faith in God, we find ourselves overwhelmed with fear, worry, anxiety, insecurity, and restlessness. These are the very things that ruin our personal relationships and disrupt all areas of our lives if we do not get a handle on them. How do we get a handle on them? Deepen our relationship with God for he is the author of peace, love, joy, and rest.

To experience internal success requires that we take what Jesus considers the greatest commandment seriously: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matthew 22:37).

How to Achieve External Success

External success is defined as success that is earned through our own initiative. Said another way, this type of success is up to us. It requires working hard, persevering, discipline, and so forth. But here is the reality. Doing the things mentioned above does not automatically guarantee external success.

To be successful requires two things: First, you have to operate within the sphere of your gifting (the one thing that you are uniquely created, skilled and have an innate ability to do). Second, you have to use your gifting to help solve people’s problems.

Therefore, the first question you should ask yourself if you want to experience external success is this: What problems are people experiencing in my community that I am able to solve?

This is where love comes in. By its very nature, love always seeks to solve a problem because it cares so much! In fact, those who love people are always looking to solve people’s problems – to make people’s lives easier, to take away their burden, to make people’s lives better. Therefore, we see that love is creative, committed, perseveres, works hard, takes initiative, and so forth by its very nature. This is why Jesus considers loving your neighbor as yourself the second greatest commandment (Matthew 22:39)

 Food for Thought: Paying attention to the two greatest commandments will create 360 degree success. This will in turn make you a powerful influencer for good in your community

 

Two Greatest Commandments

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

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3 Lessons To Teach Your Children Before They Inherit Your Money

According to the bible, we should all strive to have enough saved up for our grandchildren to inherit (Proverbs 13:22). If you have already achieved this goal, congratulations, for you have done something very few in society today have been able to do. Most are struggling to save enough money for retirement talk-less of leaving an inheritance to their children.

Now you need to prepare your children for the inheritance they will receive. Failure to do this may turn what is meant to be a blessing for your children into a curse. Without adequately preparing them, they may squander the family wealth or even worse, they may use the money to destroy themselves.

As you think about how to prepare your children before they inherit your money and assets, consider these words of King Solomon (a man widely regarded as the wisest man to ever live):

Wisdom is good with an inheritance,
And profitable to those who see the sun.
For wisdom is a defense as money is a defense,
But the excellence of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to those who have it.

Here are some life lessons you should share with your children

(1) Be Wise With Your Money: The majority of people who inherit a large sum of money blow it and leave nothing to their children. For those that inherit wealth in the tens of millions of dollars, statistics show that the money is usually gone by the 3rd generation. Why is this? It is because people let money get to their heads and they stop acting wisely. It is important to be wise with money. Those who are wise with their money (by becoming financially knowledgeable) can invest it wisely – to grow it so they can use it for philanthropic purposes and to create business that help create jobs for people so they can hep their families. In this way, the wisdom of those who have money become profitable for people all over.

(2) Do Not Put Money Above God: In his first letter to the Corinthian church, the Apostle Paul writes that Jesus became wisdom for us (1 Corinthians 1:30). Since the Son is God, this means that there is no wisdom without God. By substituting Wisdom for God in the words of King Solomon, we see the words ‘God is good with an inheritance and (God is) profitable to those who see the sun (those who are alive). Why the emphasis on God? It is because money makes a good slave but is a terrible master. When money rules, our world falls apart. But when God rules, our world falls in place. For an inheritance to be profitable to us and others, it must never take the place of God in our heart and life.

(3) Money Will Not Bring You 360 Degree Success In Life: Money is a defense against many troubles that life throws us. Anybody who has a lot of money likely do not have to worry about sustenance or security. The stats also show that having money is a defense against divorce amongst many other things. Bu there is the thing. Wisdom is also a defense. A person who walks in wisdom does not need an inheritance to be wealthy but can build it from the ground up. But the beauty of wisdom is that it is more than a defense against troubles. Wisdom is a source of victory in our lives. Unlike money, wisdom can enrich our lives by bringing love, joy, peace, goodness, faithfulness, courage, boldness, kindness, might, and many other intangibles. Therefore, we must not be like those who have money but are dead inside. We must keep wisdom as the principal thing (Proverbs 4:7)

What steps can you take today to be wiser with your money? 

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Keeping Up False Relationship Appearances

Chris and Shan’ann Watts relationship looked good on the outside. Chris seemed like a great family man who loved his wife. Shan’ann raved about him on Facebook. All good right? Wrong!  It was all smoke screen and mirrors.

We now know that Chris Watts was having an affair. We know the relationship was on the rocks. And we know that Chris Watts murdered Shan’ann.

As is often the case, the neighbors were stunned and saw no red flags…except one. Here is what that neighbor had to say in a People magazine exclusive:

“I think they were always putting on a show,” says Melinda Phillips, who recalls seeing Chris and Shan’ann “clearly having an argument” in their driveway one day earlier this summer.

“Their body language was really angry, and they were just fighting back and forth,” Phillips, 34, says. “He was gesturing his hands and they were shaking their heads, and it was definitely an argument.”

“I didn’t really think much of it, because Lord knows that I’ve had the same arguments with my husband,” she continues. “They caught my eye and suddenly, everything changed. They stopped being so angry, and they started talking a lot more calmly. He even gave her a hug. Mind you, this was in the space of 30 seconds to a minute.”

“From a full-blown fight to hugs in less than a minute, it was incredible,” she says.

Relationships are not always the way they seem to appear. In the case of Chris and Shan’ann, it seems they were keeping up false relationship appearances.

There are many reasons we keep up false appearances: We feel shame. We are embarrassed. We want people to like us. We want people to see us in a certain light (maybe because of out title or position). We don’t want to burden anyone. We don’t want anyone in our “business”.

If we get real, these reasons we give, and many others, come from an inner well of fear, pride, insecurity, or performance mentality. Fear of what people will say. Pride in our own ability to deal with our own issues. Insecurity concerning how we will be perceived if people knew the real us. Having a mentality that our self-worth is measured by how well we perform in life. 

Performance mentality is especially sneaky as we may not know it is there. As long as we are performing, it does not come up. The moment we do not perform the way we think we should is the moment it pops up and rocks our sense of self-worth. To gain back our sense of worth, we either try harder, blame others, or find a substitute that makes us feel like we are worthy again. In the case of relationships, this involves ditching the person we are with and latching onto a new relationship – either physically or emotionally.

If you are in a relationship, learn from Chris and Shan’ann Watts. Do not keep up false appearances. If you do so, all you are doing is stripping people who care about you of the opportunity to love you. You alienate yourself from the help you need. You rob yourself of having real relationships since no one really knows you…so loneliness sets in though you are not alone. And you set yourself a standard which says that living a lie is normal…living a lie is normal to those who are not happy.

For more on the Chris and Shan’ann Watts story, click on the People Magazine Exclusive here: Summer Before Triple Murder  

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