Jesus had a lot to say about worry.
He came to an unstable and unpredictable world. He lived in an agricultural society where one summer’s drought could wipe out crops for the winter. He hung out with fishermen, who might fish all night long and catch nothing to sell or bring home to family. And Jesus knew the human heart and the temptations presented by the cares of this life. Matthew records some excellent instruction that Jesus gave them, and I wanted to share a few of them with you.
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? (Matthew 6:25 NKJV)
First, Jesus says God gave us our human life and our bodies without us even asking. Human life and our physical bodies are incredibly valuable. Our life is much more valuable than the food we put on the table; our body far more valuable than the shirt we put on. If God gave us life, which is so very valuable, will He not provide us with food, which is of far lesser value? If God gave us these bodies which are fearfully and wonderfully made, will He not give us clothes to cover them? And even further, if God has given us eternal life, will He not provide for our temporal life?
Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:26 NKJV)
This passage reminds us that God faithfully provides for animals. Birds don’t sow or reap or store their food in barns—and they don’t fret about whether they’ll have enough for tomorrow or to get through the winter. Yet He feeds them. And Jesus tells us that humans, the crown of God’s creation, the only creatures made in God’s image, are of much more value than birds. If God provides for birds, then surely He’ll provide for those He created in his own image. Furthermore, will not God especially provide for those He bought with His own blood?
27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? (Matthew 6:27 NKJV)
Worry does absolutely no good. It won’t bring in money, food, or clothing. Worry only has negative results: it chokes the word of God and distracts us from God. It is unbelief, the opposite of faith. And it leads to more fear and anxiety. And the different scenarios we play out in our minds can’t prevent a single thing from happening. And besides that, most of the things we spend so much time fretting about won’t happen anyway.
Here’s what I want you to come away with.
Your life and body are far more valuable than any food you eat or the clothing you wear. If God gave you life and fearfully created your body, He’ll provide food for that life and covering for that body.
God provides for birds who don’t know enough to plant, reap, and store up for winter. Humans created in God’s image are far more valuable than birds, so He will undoubtedly provide for us.
Worry can’t do a thing. It won’t bring in a penny. It can’t put a crust of bread on the table or add 5 minutes to our lives.
So don’t worry, trust your heavenly Father who cares for you. He’s a Good Good Father. (By the way, if you haven’t heard this song before, take a listen below. You’ll love it!)
It’s been said that people judge you by the words you use, and this is true. Some of my readers may not agree with this statement, however, if you do, then you understand the importance of choosing your words with prudence.
Words have power!
Words shape our worlds!
Words shape our behaviors!
The words we use every day shape our realities, whether we realize it or not. The words we use to express ourselves can make a powerful impression on the lives of people around us, whether they occur in a polite conversation at Starbucks, or a more spiritual exchange while you’re ministering the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Words have the power to impel nations to war, peace, and alliances. The fact of the matter is, the words we choose can do the same for us in relationships. Our words can create war, peace, and forge lifelong alliances. The impact of what we say, and how it is delivered, can literally have eternal repercussions.
Growing up in the Thompson household as a child, we were greatly encouraged to regard our words carefully and avoid one word in particular at all costs.
Do you know what that word is?
If I, or one of my siblings, ever said “can’t”, we were quickly rebuffed with, “Can’t isn’t in the Thompson dictionary.”
How often do we utter the words “I can’t?”
• I can’t be a missionary.
• I can’t be a business owner.
• I can’t be a teacher.
• I can’t be an author.
• I can’t be a straight ‘A’ student.
• I can’t lose weight.
• I can’t forgive.
• I can’t move forward.
• I can’t give.
• I can’t love again.
• I can’t reconcile.
• I can’t repent.
The list goes on and on!
This word has become so common and accepted that we have completely missed the major problem with such a declaration. When we declare that we are not able – we are. In essence, declaring that the Mighty God who empowers us is also not able.
Do you realize once you make such a declaration, you are correct? If you SAY you can’t do it – you are correct!
Today, I encourage you to stop limiting yourself. More importantly, stop limiting God!
You can, because He can! God is able!
Because God is able, we are able!
Today, throw the “can’t” out of your vocabulary and begin to replace it with the truth and promises of the matchless, undefeated Word of God!
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV)
Planning an event can be very overwhelming. The timeline, the details, the cost, marketing strategies, location… this is just the beginning. Often times the stress of making the event happen can lead you to a place in which you ask yourself, “What am I even doing?”
I, too, have been stressed out before and asked myself that same question.
However, planning a successful event does NOT have to be overwhelming. It doesn’t have to stress you out, robbing you of the joy that serving others can bring.
Over the past 20 years of planning all types of events, in diverse sizes, and for various demographics, I have picked up a few pointers that I’d like to share to encourage you.
1. Determine The “Why”
Are you having this event to inspire and challenge? To see others come to a place of repentance and relationship with Jesus Christ? To equip leaders to better effectively serve? To promote an idea or project? To garner support from volunteers?
Determining the “Why” will instantly streamline your focus and point you on the path to having a well thought out, well-planned event. This is the absolute first step.
2. Get Started Early.
One mistake people make when planning, is underestimating the amount of time they need to bring everything together. Keep in mind that the prep time needed will vary depending upon the context of the particular event. The earlier you start – the less stress you and others will feel. Plus, more time gives you ample opportunity to vet your ideas and make changes without missing a beat.
3. Think Like Them.
Who is “Them”? It could be your audience, sponsors, speakers, security team, caterers, the corporate community, etc. In every phase of your planning, make sure that you are thinking about “others”. The objective is to remove all other distractions so that your partners can focus on their task(s) effectively; and so your audience doesn’t have to climb over obstacles to benefit from your event.
4. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
Let me say it like this… If you think you’ve over communicated, you’re probably halfway there to get your point across. Therefore, communicate clearly and often with both your team and your attendees.
5. What Is The Call-To-Action?
In other words, what do you want your attendees to do with what you’ve presented.
Remember, the win is not getting them TO the event. The win is getting to do something with the information you’ve presented to them AFTER the event. The proper win is what makes your event a healthy event.
6. Enjoy the journey.
This is critical, because it allows you to drink deep from the moments that bring together an experience that is going to accomplish something special. Trust me, you want your event to be born and nurtured from a joyful attitude, as opposed to one that is depleted, stressed, and burned out. Everyone will enjoy themselves when it is evident that you have enjoyed yourself.
My wife has long since been a proponent of personality profiles and understanding how people are wired. This insight, applied personally, has positioned her to add value you to our family, friendships, and a number of organizations in myriad of ways; in addition to adding a peace in understanding herself and how she’s been uniquely gifted by God.
I recently asked one of my interns to go through this process, which produced an Aha! moment. Everyone on our team should do this! Here’s why:
You will understand where you fit. In his book, “From Good To Great”, Jim Collins explores the necessity of not only identifying the right people, but making sure they are on the right bus. Knowing your unique personality, natural temperament, specific gifting, and how you are wired in general, will undoubtedly help you in identifying which jobs and volunteer opportunities you want to pursue. Trust me, this will mitigate much frustration.
Communication is key. This information is not only insightful, but empowering. Share your findings with your team. This will not only help them understand you, it will give you a better understanding of each other and the unique vantage points each team member brings to the table.
Strategic placement. Depending upon the project, this information will let you know who should play what role.
Understanding and value. When we have a better understanding of someone, we oftentimes develop a better appreciation for them. Your team will begin to value the diversity that exists, through understanding one another better. Understanding and value are inexplicably intertwined.
The Holy Ghost changes everything. Remember! While our temperaments and personalities are gifted to us from God at birth and shaped as we grow; as we all mature to become more like our Master, our nature will inevitably change to reflect Him. You are not bound by your weaknesses, and your strengths will undoubtedly be enhanced as His glory is continually revealed in you!
Are you ready for the moment of truth? You can begin your journey and take the personality profile test here. #ItsFree
Hopefully, you’ll find the following infographics helpful and brief summary of each personality type helpful. You will find a much more detailed description at the conclusion of your test. So, make sure you bookmark or email yourself the results.
Once you complete it, I’d love to hear about your experience with your findings? Did you facilitate this exercise with your team? Has it helped with strategic efforts? Productivity? Let me know! #GoBeyondReason
Personality Summaries were obtained from Paul Sohn (giving credit where credit is due). Check out his blog here.
- On personality trait measures, score as Artistic, Reflective, Careless, Sensitive, Flexible, and
- Among lest likely of all types to suffer heart disease
- In men, among least likely to report chronic pain
- Second highest of all types to report marital dissatisfaction
- Among most likely to have suicidal thoughts in college
- Tend to be more successful than the average in learning a foreign language
- Among types most likely to be dissatisfied with their work
- Personal values include Autonomy and Creativity
- Overrepresented in occupations in counseling, writing, and the arts
- Least common type in the population
- On personality trait scales, scored as Sincere, Sympathetic, Unassuming, Submissive,
- Easygoing, Reserved, and Patient
- Among highest of all types in college GPA
- Among most likely to stay in college
- Most likely of all types to cope with stress by seeing a therapist
- Highest of all types in marital dissatisfaction
- Personal values include Spirituality, Learning, and Community Servicer
- Commonly found in careers in religion, counseling, teaching and the arts
- On personality trait measures, score as Discreet, Industrious, Logical, Deliberate, Self-confident, and Methodical
- Among types least likely to suffer heart disease and cardiac problems
- Least likely of all the types to believe in a higher spiritual power
- One of two types with the highest college GPA
- Among types with highest income
- Personal values include Achievement
- Of all types, least likely to state that they value Home/family, Financial security,
- Relationships & Friendships, and Community Service
- Overrepresented among MBA students and female small business owners
- Commonly found in scientific or technical fields, computer occupations, and legal professions
- On personality trait measures, score as Candid, Ingenious, Complicated, Independent and Rebellious
- More likely than other types to study a foreign language
- Most frequent type among college students committing alcohol and drug policy violations
- Have lowest level of coping resources of all the types (with ISTPs)
- One of types least likely to believe in a higher spiritual power
- Highest of all types in career dissatisfaction (with INFPs)
- In school, have lower grades than would be predicted from aptitude scores
- More likely than average complete engineering programs
- Personal values include Autonomy, Freedom, and Independence
- Overrepresented among working MBA students
- Commonly found in science and technical occupations
- On personality trait measures, score as Conservative, Conventional, Guarded, and Reserved
- Among types most likely to believe in a higher spiritual power
- More likely than average to experience chronic pain
- Among types most likely to suffer heart disease
- Second most common type among education majors in college
- More likely than other types to watch more than 3 hours of television per day
- Personal values include Happy family, Health, and Spirituality
- Overrepresented among MBA students and male small business owners
- Among three types with the lowest income
- Commonly found in education, health care, and religious occupations
- On personality trait measures, score as Easygoing
- Among types most likely to report heart disease and hypertension
- In college, likely to report low levels of assertiveness
- In essays, projected themselves the fewest number of years into the future of all the types
- Among the types least likely to stay in college
- Most likely of all types to report stress associated with finances and children
- In a national sample, likely to value a work environment which provides security, clear and simple instructions, and no expectation of extra work hours
- Underrepresented among MBA students and small business owners
- Commonly found in occupations in health care, business, and law enforcement
- On personality trait measures, score as Calm, Stable, Steady, Cautious, and Conventional
- More likely than other types to experience cardiac problems and hypertension
- More likely than other types to experience chronic pain
- Among four highest types in college GPA
- More frequent among African Americans
- Personal values include Financial Security
- Most likely of all types to enjoy a work environment where everything is done by the book.
- Overrepresented among bank officers, financial managers, MBA students, and small business owners
- Often found careers in management, administration, law enforcement, and accounting
- On personality trait measures, score as Critical, Detached, Guarded, Independent, and Resourceful
- Commonly found in populations of male college scholarship athletes
- More likely than other types to suffer cardiac
- Lowest ranked of all types in using social coping resources
- One of four types least satisfied with their marriage or intimate relationship
- Among types least likely to complete college
- Personal values include Autonomy; at work, value Stability, Security, Independence, and Achievement
- Commonly found in skilled trades, technical fields, agriculture, law enforcement, and military occupations
- On personality trait scales, scored as Active, Pleasant, Social, Demanding, Impatient, Appreciative, and Compromising
- Most likely of all types to cope with stress by exercising
- Most likely of all types to believe in a higher spiritual power
- Ranked by psychologists as among least likely to have trouble in school.
- Personal values include Friendships, Education & Learning, Creativity, and Community
- Among types highest in job satisfaction, but also among the most likely to report plans to leave their jobs
- Commonly found in careers in religion, teaching and the arts
- On personality trait scales, scored as Enthusiastic, Outgoing, Spontaneous, Changeable, Impulsive, Energetic, and Understanding
- Scored among highest of all types in available resources for coping with stress
- ENFP women are less likely to suffer from heart disease
- ENFP men are less likely to suffer from chronic pain
- Rated by psychologists as among most likely of all types to have trouble in school
- Overrepresented among academically talented elementary school teachers
- Personal values include Home & family, Friendships, Creativity, Learning and Community Service
- Commonly found in careers in counseling, teaching, religion and the arts
- On personality trait measures, score as Ambitious, Forceful, Optimistic, Egotistical, Adaptable, and Energetic
- Least likely of all types to report stress resulting from work or finances
- More likely than average to suffer cardiac problems
- Among the least likely of all types to believe in a higher spiritual power
- Among top types in college GPA
- Among most likely to stay in college
- Personal values include Home/Family, Achievement, Creativity, and Learning
- Overrepresented among MBA students and small business owners
- One of two types most likely to be satisfied with their work
- On personality trait scales, scored as Enterprising, Friendly, Resourceful, Heading, Self-centered, and Independent
- Least likely of all types to suffer heart disease and hypertension
- Least likely of all types to report stress associated with family and health
- Scored among highest of all types in available resources for coping with stress
- Overrepresented among those with Type A behavior
- Among highest of all types on measures of creativity
- One of two types most frequent among violators of college alcohol policy
- Among types most dissatisfied with their work, despite being among the types with the highest income
- Commonly found in careers in science, management, technology and the arts
- Underrepresented among people suffering from substance abuse
- Among types highest in resources for coping with stress
- Second most likely of all types to report believing in a higher spiritual power
- Highest of all types in reported satisfaction with their marriage or intimate relationship
- Among most likely of all types to stay in college
- Most likely of all types to be satisfied with their co-workers
- Values at work include clear structure, security, and the ability to be of service to others
- Among the types most satisfied with their work
- Commonly found in careers in education, health care, and religion
- On personality trait measures, score as Changeable, Energetic, Forceful, Initiating, and
- More likely to use emotional coping techniques over spiritual or physical resources
- Tend to look to authority in education rather than expressing intellectual curiosity; prefer hands-on learning
- Among most likely to stay in college
- More likely than other types to watch television for more than 3 hours a day
- Second highest of all types in marital satisfaction
- Among types with lowest income
- At work, tend to be satisfied with co-workers but dissatisfied with job security, stress, salary, and accomplishment
- Personal values include Home/Family, Health, Friendships, Financial Security, and Spirituality
- Overrepresented in health care, teaching, coaching, and child care occupations
- On personality trait measures, likely to score as Contented, Energetic, Prejudiced, Self-Satisfied, and Practical
- More likely than other types to exhibit Type A behavior
- Of all types, scored highest in coping resources (with ENFP)
- Ranked 3rd highest in marital satisfaction among all types
- Among top four types in college GPA
- Least likely of all types to think about suicide in college
- Among most likely to stay in college
- Among types most satisfied with their work
- High-ranking personal values include Health, Financial Security, Achievement, and Prestige
- Overrepresented among bank officers, financial managers, and business owners
- On personality trait measures, score as Dominant, Flexible, Demanding, and Sociable
- More frequent among patients suffering from chronic pain
- One of four types reporting highest levels of assertiveness in college
- One of two types with lowest college GPA
- Among most likely of all types to stay in college
- Values at work include autonomy, variety, independence, and structure
- Overrepresented among MBA students
- Commonly found in careers in marketing, skilled trades, business, and law enforcement
As I’ve contemplated the journey of being an employee in a plethora of secular and/or sacred environments, I’ve realized there were a number of principles I embrace that have guided me through a process of not only becoming hire-able, but have lifted Him higher in very practical ways.
Here are a number of things that I would encourage you to consider on your journey to becoming not only an awesome employee, but one that lifts Him up.
11 Quick Tips (But Very Effective) To Be An Awesome Employee
1. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God. Remember, God is your employer and you honor Him by recognizing that all you do is unto Him. If you keep Him first, by allowing all of life to become worship (yes, that includes your career), then you will see supernatural things happen.
2. Maintain and protect your character. The writer of Proverbs said, “A good name is to be desired more than great riches.”
3. Be passionate about learning.
– Be a lifelong learner. Whatever you do, please keep your curiosity alive.
– Learn from others. When you’re hanging with others, do more listening than talking. Remember, everything that comes out of your mouth, you already know.
– What books have you recently read? Readers are leaders! It sounds cliche, however, it is true. Readers are constantly learning, thus evolving and adapting. This is paramount in today’s competitive workforce. More than likely, the job you are in now will look very different a couple of years down the road. Leaders are interested in recruiting talented people who can grow with the ever-evolving demands of their job and bring fresh ideas that’ll add value to the organization. There are few things that will grow you and spark creativity like reading. For some cool reads, check out some suggested reading here 40 Great Books To Read.
4. Go beyond what’s required. There are no traffic jams when you go the second mile. Why? While most employees will do what is expected, very few are willing to travel consistently into the realm of sacrifice. Trust me, people are watching, even when you think no one is watching.
5. Refuse to embrace or tolerate vague goals.
If you don’t clearly understand the goal, how will you be able to achieve it? Ambiguous or unclear goals, produce results that are unclear. Define the win and define it clearly! This is a must for any project or endeavor to be successful. When embarking upon a project, before you set your goals, ask yourself: “What does success look like?” Now. Go for it!
6. It’s not about you, it’s about the team, therefore, think we, not me. Navigating through the complexities that Fortune 500 companies, small startups, non-profits, and governments are facing is challenging. One of the most effective ways to navigate through the challenges your organization is facing is collaboration. More than ever, businesses of any size are intentionally deconstructing silos; and facilitating project management, collaboration, brainstorming sessions, and recreational time together to facilitate some of the best ideas. In a world of ‘me’ first, you will find that you will thrive when you are able to focus on others, first. So, make a note of these things.
– Learn how to work incredibly well with others.
– Partner with others. Synergy is a powerful force. A single horse could pull a heavy load, but when yoked with another horse, together, they could pull much more than the sum of the amount that each horse could pull alone. Pull with the rest of your team, as opposed to trying to do it all yourself.
– Get involved in the community by serving others.
7. Be a 10! What are your strengths? Forget about working on your weaknesses and work on improving your strengths. If you are a really good communicator, become a great communicator. If you are a horrible organizer, PLEASE do not work tirelessly to become an average organizer. No one is interested in hiring mediocrity.
8. Be on time… Better yet, be early. I had to learn this the hard way. Thankfully, my former pastor (Senior Pastor of Life Church, Buddy Thompson) loved me enough as a young adult to communicate to me that my habitual tardiness was not only undermining my credibility, but it was very self-centered. Do you know what being early communicates? It communicates that you want to be there!
9. Accountability. Don’t shy away from accountability. As a matter of fact, embrace it! Take ownership of your projects or tasks, as well as responsibility when you drop the ball. Yes, there will be moments when it is uncomfortable to acknowledge that you missed it, however, you will earn the respect of your peers and leadership when you hold yourself accountable.
10. Be a servant to the vision. When you work to make someone else’s vision come to pass, you will find that you will reap the seeds of such efforts when you are in pursuit of your own vision.
11. Watch what you post on social media. Nuff said!
There are a number of things that are not on this list, however, I felt like these were some must haves for me. What other competencies, skill sets, or values do you feel are important to becoming a hire-able and an employee that brings glory to Jesus? Share your thoughts! #GoBeyondReason
We’ve all had moments in our life when enough was enough. You know those moments I’m talking about? When the clothes that once fashionably fit, now beg for mercy. When the allure of taking an afternoon nap is more appealing than galloping with your kids through imaginary force fields, dueling to the death with swords made from cardboard, and playing one-on-one full court. I know, right? My ten-year-old dude wants to play one-on-one basketball, running the full length of the court.
When I realized I was allowing life (what’s important to me) to pass me by, I decided to make a change. That change started with two things. First, my attitude. Second, my eating.
Now, I know you’ve read a trillion various articles that will give you the song and dance of the benefits that you will experience, once you begin to make healthy eating decisions. And they’re true, however, while I have experienced all of those wonderful and life-transforming benefits of weight loss, increase in all sorts of emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental energy. Yes, even my mental acuity and recollection are firing at more productive levels. I want to share with you 5 life lessons I’ve learned from this juicing escapade.
In the process of making some lifestyle changes, some timeless principles were illuminated for me. Here are a handful of things that juicing has taught me about life:
#1. Choices determine your direction. Direction determines your destination.
Explore the progression of this statement.
Our direction (where we are headed) is fixed to the choices that we make on a daily basis. No one obtains a prize or goal by surprise. That rarely, if never, happens, however, those that obtain the prize, do so by making strategic and consistent choices daily.
If you endeavor to make a change in any aspect of your life, it all starts with a choice. That single choice literally directs your thoughts, inspiration, physical disposition, relational ecosystem, etc., on the path to the desired destination.
Today, you have the opportunity, no matter what happened the day before, to make better choices!
We become what we do.
For us to choose, is for us to act!
“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” —Wayne Dyer
#2. Buy into a process more than goals.
Okay! Before you fall out of your chair. I am not suggesting that you don’t have goals, however, I am suggesting that you buy into the process (journey) more so than a goal.
Weight loss and higher energy levels were my goal, however, when I immersed myself in the process I learned more about myself, various fruits and vegetables, supplements, exercise, blood type, and how my body responds. This has produced a lifestyle change and facilitated a reinvention for myself.
Sometimes we can be so consumed with the goal that we are willing to pursue shortcuts to obtain the goal. However, shortcuts don’t allow the fruit of your efforts to remain. Buying into and submitting to the system and process accomplishes that.
#3. Commitment sustains motivation.
How committed are you to you the process? How important is it for you, and what are you willing to sacrifice in order to achieve it?
Inspiration is powerful, yet fleeting!
That aha moment, albeit profound, will shine brightly for a moment, however, your commitment must be unwavering.
Of course, there were times where I wanted to stop by Starbucks or Outback Steakhouse, however, my commitment sustains and fuels my motivation.
How committed are you to Christ? To integrity? To self? To others? To family? To health?
#4. Food can be our medicine.
Food has healing properties that will heal a variety of our ailments. This understanding has placed me on the trajectory of an organic plant-based lifestyle.
I encourage you to begin taking care of your body by eating nutritious foods, which are vital to feeling well. How you feel is directly connected to your performance, mental health, relationships, and spirituality.
Eat like the champion you desire to become!
#5. Each day presents new challenges.
When I least wanted to juice, I forced myself to the kitchen to break out some organic fruit and vegetables. A healthy lifestyle has its obstacles and each day presented unique challenges!
Accomplishing great things and discomfort go hand in hand. Challenges and stepping outside of your comfort zone makes you better, and it doesn’t have to be something as extreme. It’s the everyday challenges that push your boundaries the most, none of which requires a mad dash to the kitchen to juice. Step out of your comfort zone, embrace these challenges, and watch yourself become stronger.
As the saying goes, “If the mountain were smooth, we wouldn’t be able to climb it”
What am I saying? Start climbing over your challenges in whatever you’re facing!