Shared Humanity

It's Christmas. People are celebrating the world over. Many are celebrating the birth of the Messiah, the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy. An event that brought strangers together two millennia ago. And still does today. An event that brings humans together regardless of our differences.

C. S. Lewis wrote that “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal… Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.” One of our two greatest commandments is to live out neighbor love--every day and everywhere we go.  As members of one body, or in the words of Lewis, organs We best reflect the Triune God when we faithfully love and respect one another.

We are to celebrate the diversity that God structurally designed. We must learn to affirm the diversity of the body of Christ’s Kingdom, acknowledging its beautiful makeup of people from different cultures, colors, languages, and traditions. 

In the wake of apartheid, Desmond Tutu traveled the world and spoke to various groups and world leaders about South Africa’s experience. One of his central themes was that of the practical implications of ubuntu--a difficult concept to translate properly.  Tutu offers this definition of the concept in one his books: “I am what I am because of who we all are.” He goes on to state that “Our humanity is caught up in that of all others. We are human because we belong. We are made for community, for togetherness, for family, to exist in a delicate network of interdependence.” It is crucial for us to have a deep understanding of this and practice it in our daily lives.

Check out this 2011 Huffington Post article in which an excerpt from a speech given by Tutu in 2001 is included.  Desmond Tutu: Our Glorious Diversity

May Christmas remind us of our shared humanity. And may we remember it throughout the year.

 

Practice Faithfulness

Faithfulness.  A necessary, but challenging aspect of our leadership, faithfulness is practiced through holding fast to what is good and true and right.  And doing this day in and day out can be one of the most difficult tasks of the Christian journey.  The call is clear - First Corinthians 4:1-2, “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.  Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.”  Always remember however, that our faithfulness is constantly rooted in God’s perfect faithfulness - Lamentations 3:22-23, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

There is a prayer that I pray with my kids every night at bedtime, it goes like this: “Jesus, give us the wisdom to know what is right, and give us the courage to do what is right, even when it is hard.”  May you find the strength to pray the same in your own life as you practice faithfulness in all you put your hands to.

Check out this post about practicing faithfulness: 3 Reasons Why Faithful is the New Radical

Speak Truth

“I can’t tell a lie.  I did cut it with my hatchet.”  That’s how the story of young George Washington and his cherry tree goes.  Now, we know that young George certainly could have told a lie – but he chose not to.  And so it is with us, often on a daily basis.  When we influence (and we all do) we must understand the crucial importance of truth telling.  Without this, we lose the trust of those around us, and there goes our influence. And it is more than just “telling (speaking) the truth.”  We need to act honestly and with integrity in all situations, even when it hurts, as Psalm 15 reminds us. Verbally and nonverbally, when others are watching and when we’re alone, in big things and in small things.

There is a link below, a short article about leading authentically.  The paradigm of authentic leadership is an important one, it includes more than I have time to get into right now. When it comes to acting with integrity in all of our spheres of influence, we must consider authenticity.  The short article provides a few short highlights about ways in which we can think about this.

Check out Why Leaders Must ‘Get Real’: 5 Ways to Unlock Authentic Leadership

May we all continue to strive toward truth telling and acting with integrity, keeping in mind those powerful words from Psalm 15 to “Walk straight, act right, tell the truth… Keep your word even when it costs you” (MSG).