Wednesday, February 4, 2009

This Is Serious - Part II

This Is Serious - Part II

I doubt there is one person in America who can not identify the guy in the picture posted above, but just in case, it is Michael Phelps. Eight time gold medal winner in the last summer Olympics. Without a doubt, he is an unbelievable talent.

The sad thing is that I have had more discussions about him in the last week than I ever had during the time he won all of his gold medals. (Just in case you've been out of touch for a while, he was caught smoking marijuana.) I've also read a few blogs about it and thought this one did a good job of expressing what I feel about it as well. I highly recommend, if you have the time, to read through all of the comments.

Tonight, during a good conversation with a GREAT friend, Michael Phelps was brought up. During our conversation I was reminded of a chapter I read in the book Visioneering by Andy Stanley. This particular chapter deals with the topic of moral authority. Here is how he defines it: "Moral authority is the credibility you earn by walking your talk. It is the relationship other people see between what you say and what you do, between what you claim to be and what you are." Here is a simple example of this idea. You have a cavity, so you go to the dentist, but when you get there you see that his (or her) teeth are disgusting. They have very yellow teeth that are black with decay. Their teeth are all chipped and some of them are missing because they had to have them pulled out. You get the picture. What kind of a dentist are they if they can not keep their own teeth clean and healthy. You are most likely not going to take their advice on oral hygiene if they won't do it themselves.

The same idea is true for us. We can not speak into the hearts of the people God has placed in our lives if we are not striving for the same things we are teaching them. Whether we like it or not, we are known by our actions. Andy Stanley said it this way, " must be careful how you live. Everyday represents another potential opportunity to develop or destroy your moral authority.".

All of us make mistakes. We are human. It's gonna happen. What we should strive for is not perfection, but purpose. Sometimes it is good for the people who follow us to see us make a mistake because it helps them to relate to us. I believe what they are truly looking at is how we handle the mistake AFTER it is made. Do we have repentance over the mistake? Do we set up check-points in our lives to guard ourselves against another mistake?

What we do is serious. It affects the lives of those who follow us. As leaders who are trying to point people to THE ONLY THING that really matters in this life, we should admit when we have made a mistake and then strive to live a life that pleases God.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Leslie, you know not how this encourages me. Especially your past two posts. Great advice, and I'm sure I'll revisit these many times.