Letter to Your Younger Self

A portion of the Greatest Commandment is for us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. If we read the statement again, we will see that the assumption Jesus is making is that we already love ourselves. On some level that is most certainly true for each of us. On another level, however, we can observe when people don’t love themselves well. This is evident when a person can’t cultivate or maintain healthy or long-lasting relationships, or if they struggle with honesty. It may be observed by a person who is a gossiper, or someone who constantly compares themselves to others. If we canvas the world of entertainment and celebrity, this self-loathing is apparent when people are constantly changing, monitoring their appearance, or getting surgeries to make themselves be something they are not. And there we observe. We cannot love what we don’t see, and we must learn to see beyond the physical or what is only evident on the outside.

If we really want to love ourselves, we must regularly take inventory of our inner person—what is happening in the innermost parts of our minds and hearts, and how God is shaping and changing us through time and space. Self-reflection is an important leadership practice. It is also a means of monitoring our course—whether or not we maintain focus and continue in the pursuit of our lives’ purpose. Personal reflection is a discipline to cultivate because it also brings us to a place of thanksgiving and causes us to glorify God.

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Learning to Ask for What You Need

It is difficult to ask for what we want or what we think we need. Asking makes us uncomfortable, sometimes makes us feel guilty or ashamed. Asking is one of most vulnerable things we can do. Yet, we see throughout the gospels that Jesus asked all the time. Particularly, he asked questions to challenge his hearers or cause them to think more deeply about issues. Jesus often used questions as teaching moments, and those questions were strategically placed to address a spiritual condition, soul cry, or even a physical need in the public square.

LEARNING TO ASK

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Mentoring: Stand Your Ground Part III

Today we wrap a mini-series about mentoring through the hard things. Our first post talked about the importance of offering comfort and encouragement during difficult times, with the understanding that suffering is a part of living in a fallen world, and suffering well is a mark of our Christian faith. Part II mentally prepared us to take a stand against the schemes of Satan. In that post, we discussed the importance of knowing God, ourselves, and Satan. Today, we will discuss strategies and tactics for our spiritual battles.

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