These are issues that have been on my mind quite a bit recently, probably because God is trying to teach me something. Occasionally when He does that sort of thing, I attempt to listen, and in so doing I find that part of my listening involves discussing it with y'all (see how I'm being relevant to you, Trey and Erin and Tree?).
Here are the ones that stood out:
2. It’s dangerous to succeed. I’m most concerned for those who aren’t even 30 and are very gifted and successful. Sometimes God uses someone right out of youth, but usually he uses leaders who have been crushed.Obviously, given his concern for "those who aren't even 30" (not that I'm necessarily as gifted or successful, but still...), this seems to apply. I go back to something I heard from Yoda (i.e. Dave Knaup) recently: Christian leaders' personal crap/sin issues will come to the fore at some point or another. The question is, are you going to confess your struggles to those who will lead you to repentance without blowing up your whole life, or are you going to let it take over your life until one day everyone finds out how sinful you are because you do something really stupid. I've seen recent examples of both, and I pray that more of us, myself included, would do the former. I wonder if this is part of the "crushing" that Swindoll has in mind.
3. It’s hardest at home. No one ever told me this in Seminary.I suspect these do in fact go together, even if he didn't organize it that way. I am more and more convinced that what God wants most from us is daily, unspectacular faithfulness. He doesn't need us for the big stuff. He'll work that out however He wants, and it is our privelege to be a part of it. So I have to figure that what He wants from us most is simple dependance on Him and daily obedience. That is what will lead to us doing the big stuff, and that is what validates our ministry even more than the big stuff.
8. Integrity eclipses image. Today we highlight image. But it’s what you’re doing behind the scenes.
6. Brokenness and failure are necessary.The troubling thing about this truth is that they suck so bad. 'Nuf said.
Lord, teach us to depend on you daily. Teach us to remember that when we were lost and rebellious and dead, you brought us home and resurrected us with new hearts. Remind us that apart from you we can do nothing. Show us how to do the daily things, like loving our wives like you love the church, praying without ceasing, abiding in your words, and becoming truly humble. To your glory alone, through the grace of Jesus alone, by the power of the Spirit alone. Amen.