Ultimately, whatever business or industry or profession we are in, we are in the people business. All of our efforts fail without good investment in people. So our overriding priority must be on the people God has placed around us.
“The human brain is simply not designed to multitask. You can get by doing multiple things at once, but you can’t do them well. Your brain is physically unable to process more than one set of instructions at a time, so while you are juggling all of those actions at once, your brain is scrambling to keep up. Through a variety of experiments measuring brain activity, scientists have discovered that the constant switching back and forth from one activity to another energizes regions of the brain that specialize in visual processing and physical coordination, while simultaneously disrupting the brain regions related to memory and learning. According to the research, ‘We are using our mental energy to concentrate on concentrating at the expense of whatever it is that we’re supposed to be concentrating on.’ Got that?
“More simply: when we multitask we’re dumber. How much dumber? A recent study for Hewlett Packard exploring the impact of multitasking on performance revealed that the average worker’s functioning IQ drops ten points when multitasking…. (The analogy the researchers used is that a ten-point drop in IQ is equivalent to missing one night of sleep.)” —Marcus Buckingham
The biggest victim of attempting to multitask is your relationships. Those closest to you suffer the most. If someone needs me and I’m too busy to give them me, then very busy has become too busy and it’s time for me to evaluate who—not what—is my highest priority.
Friends, this is something that helped me with the apparent controversies not only in the Bible but in conversations with those who have differing opinions from me. I hope this helps you too!
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Rusty noted how I had used the description of the early life of Jesus from Luke’s Gospel—And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52)—and then how I created a pyramid of health for shepherd leaders to follow.
I think that Dr. Luke, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, listed those four items in a very specific order. It begins with the growth of our mind, which helps us make healthy choices for our physical body, which allows us to concentrate on our spiritual growth. But ultimately the real proof of our God-honoring healthiness is seem in how we interact and react with other people.
In my book Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter I take five chapters to unpack the various aspects of a leader’s health, and I offer some practical first steps for anyone to address areas where their health is not at its best.
I’ll be sharing more clips from this interview soon, so please stay tuned. Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter is now available in print or ebook, and in audiobook through either Audible or Apple.
Abraham is commanded by God to sacrifice his son Isaac. Look at Abraham’s faith in just one word: “WEwill come back to you.”
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Wil Robinson shares a fable from Leo Tolstoy with the three most important questions everyone should ask themselves. The three questions are: How can I learn to do the right thing at the right time? Who are the people I most need, and to whom should I, therefore, pay more attention than to the rest? And, what affairs are the most important and need my first attention?
“Faithfulness is displayed in both word and deed—seen best by combining the Great Commission’s instruction to ‘make disciples’ with the second greatest commandment to ‘love thy neighbor.’ The beauty of the Gospel is found in both proclamation and demonstration. Neither comes first; neither comes second. Like the perfect marriage, it’s the duty of the Christians to take on each, giving 100 percent effort to both.” —Gabe Lyons, The Next Christians
John Piper observes, “The number-one reason why people in such seemingly hopeless situations purchase scratch-offs is because things already look so hopeless for improvement that the so-called ‘stupidity’ of wasting this dollar won’t really make anything worse.” This post elaborates on how the lottery preys on the poor.
Listen to the podcast of this post by clicking on the player below, and you can also subscribe on Apple, Spotify, or Audible.
Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy (Proverbs 27:6 NLT).
Proverbs 27 may have more wisdom about our friends than any other chapter in this book. But sprinkled throughout the entire book of Proverbs is outstanding wisdom about our closest relationships. Allow me to share just a few observations with you.
David was the gold standard for every king of Israel who followed him. Numerous times throughout the history of Israel, we will see a note that a certain king either followed God like David, or turned from God unlike David. Yet there exists a wart on David’s portrait: an adulterous affair with the wife of a man in his inner circle, and then subsequent lies and a murder to cover up the affair. “The thing David had done displeased the Lord” (see 2 Samuel 11).
But I’d like to turn your attention to when this affair occurred: “In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war…David remained in Jerusalem” (2 Samuel 11:1). He was without his usual comrades. The men who knew David best, who could probably sense if something was amiss, weren’t around to warn him. When David tried to find out the identity of the bathing beauty on the roof next door to his palace, an unnamed attendant tried to remind him, “Isn’t that Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah?” but David dismissed him.
Elijah was arguably the most forceful and fearless prophet in Israel’s history. Not only did he stand up to the evil kings of Israel, but he spoke out against the kings of surrounding nations, too. In answer to Elijah’s prayer, God brought a drought on the land, and again in answer to Elijah’s prayer, God sent rain. Elijah challenged the 450 prophets of the god Baal and the 400 prophets of the goddess Asherah to a duel to the death, which ended up in a decisive victory for Yahweh. Yet, shortly after this massive victory, Elijah was depressed to the point that he wanted to die.
What led to Elijah’s depression? Something very similar to David’s slide into adultery: He was alone. Elijah ran away from Queen Jezebel’s death threat, left his servant behind, and proceeded all by himself into the desert. It was when he was without a comrade that he prayed to God, “I’ve had enough. Take my life” (see 2 Kings 17–19).
And what about Peter? He boldly claimed his loyalty to Jesus, even to the point of wielding a sword at the guards who came to arrest his Master. But when Peter was alone, after the other disciples fled, he denied three times that he knew Jesus (Matthew 26:33, 51, 69–75).
God designed us to be in relationship with others. His statement to Adam in some of the earliest words of the Bible—“It is not good for you to be alone”—are words for us still today. —from the chapter “Going Farther”
We need true, God-fearing friends close to us. Ask God to bring those friends around you, and ask the Holy Spirit to make you into that kind of friend for those He does bring around you.