It’s been a fruitful journey of learning these last few years. A journey in which I have had to lean into corrective measures and where I have intentionally sought out feedback on how I’m doing. And one thing I have tried to avoid is making these excuses: It wasn’t my intention to do that, or it’s not my fault that happened.
And truthfully, sometimes it wasn’t, but I had to be willing to listen to what my choices did and how they affected others. And then, based on that clarity, I had to intentionally make different decisions based on the lessons I was learning. I leaned in and learnt new behaviours.
And choosing to change your behaviours requires incredible vulnerability. It requires self-discipline to journey through the parts of yourself that we most often want to avoid. It means that there is a bridge that I must cross, and that bridge is leading to a new, transformed me. But the choice is mine. I’m responsible for taking that step of obedience in the right direction. Sometimes it’s scary, especially if behaviours are entrenched in us.
Good intentions don’t excuse bad behaviour – ever.
As I cross from one place of transformation to another, sometimes agonizingly so, I learn lessons. Lessons such as don’t react to everything. Don’t read everything. When I make a mistake, own it, don’t look for excuses for the bad behaviour. Ask for forgiveness when and where appropriate.
It’s so essential for any leader to be mindful that what they do and how they do it affects others – and it touches and transforms their own soul. It’s vital in leadership to learn new skills and to mine the depths of our souls, seeking to learn who we are and the hurts that we need to leave at the cross, never to be picked up again.
Always remember that your identity is in Christ. Let His truth be the loudest.
Embrace it. Cling to it. Daily remind yourself of it. Meditate on it. Be still in it, allowing it to reach every corner of your soul.
I have loved this Hillsong song in recent months.
Another of my big lessons from these past five years has been this: the ones whom I journey with, the ones who are companions and friends on the journey, must be chosen wisely. Why? For they will influence who I become as I seek to live receptive to feedback and transformation. I want not to be around toxic people and behaviours. I don’t surround myself with those who make excuses for bad behaviour. I pick the wise, the loving, the kind, the ones filled with grace AND truth because, at the end of each day, their presence in my life makes me a better human being.
We face our greatest leadership challenge every morning in the mirror. – Andy Stanley
Are you stuck in patterns that you know aren’t working? Are your good intentions really just excuses for bad behaviour? When you connect the dots in your life, are you where you are based on the choices you’ve made or not made? Are you an excuse maker? A blame shifter?
Here’s the good news friend, Christ came so that we could have new life! We don’t have to stay where we are. I don’t have to stay where I am, and neither do you. The choices (or excuses) we make today do not have to be the ones we make tomorrow!
Jesus said the following:
“I have come as a Light into the world, so that whoever believes in Me [whoever cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] may not continue to live in darkness.” (John 12:46, AMP)
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” (John 10:10, AMP)
New life is ours to live! “His grace runs deep.” I choose life. What do you want?
Carmen, through teaching, speaking, pastoring, blogging, and podcasting, invests in others so they can lead and live better. She is the founder of LEAD Women Ministries, ordained with the PAOC, an Associate Pastor at Westside Pentecostal Church, holds an MA in Leadership & Management, and she can often be found collaborating with other leaders or organizations on projects where there are outcomes to grow people’s confidence, competence, and character.