From the inside out

I have been part of a team that has taught leadership all over the world.  Our work was the result of a group of men and women who focused on teaching leadership practices shared by ALL great leaders.  It was during a visit to the middle east (Morocco) I learned something from our friends of the Muslim faith.  The nature of man is to be takers…..not givers.  In the west,  many of us  think it is the nature of man to be givers.  Much of the rest of the world does not share this view.  They recognize the evil of mankind and given a choice we will take and not give.  We discovered this as we taught the leadership practices at a seminar in the middle east.  As we revealed the leadership practices were modeled from a statement by Jesus. Mark 9:35 Jesus sat down and called the twelve, and said to them, “If any man wants to be first, he must be last and servant of all.”

One of the men immediately said “I can’t do that”.  He realized the nature of man quicker than anyone I have ever had contact with.  He knew the nature of man.  He also knew he did not have the strength to do something like this on his own.  Something or someone had to give him an inner strength to accomplish such a change of heart.

Our hearts and minds allow us to do good or evil based on the condition of our inside nature.  That nature must be influenced by something greater than us.  My nature is evil and I will do evil unless I am consumed by something or someone else.  Thus enters Jesus.  HE brings strength so I can be different.  HE compels me to be a giver.  HE compels me to put others first.  This song describes how I want to be consumed with the love of Jesus towards others.

From the Inside Out

Below is a contrast of the nature of man from Colossians and Ephesians.

Eph.

3:14-19 – When I think of the greatness of this great plan I fall on my knees before God the Father (from whom all fatherhood, earthly or heavenly, derives its name), and I pray that out of the glorious richness of his resources he will enable you to know the strength of the spirit’s inner re-enforcement – that Christ may actually live in your hearts by your faith. And I pray that you, firmly fixed in love yourselves, may be able to grasp (with all Christians) how wide and deep and long and high is the love of Christ – and to know for yourselves that love so far beyond our comprehension. May you be filled though all your being with God himself!

3:20-21 – Now to him who by his power within us is able to do far more than we ever dare to ask or imagine – to him be glory in the Church through Jesus Christ for ever and ever, amen!

Col.

3:5-7 – In so far, then, as you have to live upon this earth, consider yourselves dead to worldly contacts: have nothing to do with sexual immorality, dirty-mindedness, uncontrolled passion, evil desire, and the lust for other people’s goods, which last, remember, is as serious a sin as idolatry. It is because of these very things that the holy anger of God falls upon those who refuse to obey him. And never forget that you had your part in those dreadful things when you lived that old life.

3:8-11 – But now, put all these things behind you. No more evil temper or furious rage: no more evil thoughts or words about others, no more evil thoughts or words about God, and no more filthy conversation. Don’t tell each other lies any more, for you have finished with the old man and all he did and have begun life as the new man, who is out to learn what he ought to be, according to the plan of God. In this new man of God’s design there is no distinction between Greek and Hebrew, Jew or Gentile, foreigner or savage, slave or free man. Christ is all that matters for Christ lives in them all.

3:12-14 – As, therefore, God’s picked representatives of the new humanity, purified and beloved of God himself, be merciful in action, kindly in heart, humble in mind. Accept life, and be most patient and tolerant with one another, always ready to forgive if you have a difference with anyone. Forgive as freely as the Lord has forgiven you. And, above everything else, be truly loving, for love is the golden chain of all the virtues.

3:15 – Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, remembering that as members of the same body you are called to live in harmony, and never forget to be thankful for what God has done for you.

3:16-17 – Let Christ’s teaching live in your hearts, making you rich in the true wisdom. Teach and help one another along the right road with your psalms and hymns and Christian songs, singing God’s praises with joyful hearts. And whatever you may have to do, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, thanking God the Father through him.