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Got Clarity? (part 1)

2020-vision-logo-glassesA few weeks ago I got new glasses. I like the way they look. But that’s not why I bought them. My last pair was several years old and my vision had changed a lot. I was constantly taking off my old pair of glasses to see things close up. Even then, my vision was blurry at best. My new glasses have given me better than 20/20 vision. Everything is much clearer now.

Clarity is important in life too. We measure the clarity of water and we carefully examine the clarity of diamonds before we buy. Seeing clearly is important and it seems that wise leaders are always seeking greater clarity. But it’s not always easy. The Apostle Paul said that comprehending reality in this life is like seeing a blurred image in a mirror (1 Corinthians 13:12 GW).

I’ve always felt that it’s very important to have an accurate understanding of God, self and circumstance. So I want to look at these three areas and offer one simple suggestion to gain greater clarity for each.

God
Having an accurate understanding of God is paramount for any Christian leader. Understanding basic theology as well as cultivating your personal relationship with Him are absolutely critical for you to see who God really is, and how to live your life and lead your ministry accordingly. Simple suggestion: Read your Bible! The regular study of God’s word is going to be your best resource in understanding God. (You probably already know that.)

Self
We typically think we know ourselves pretty well. But ask a trusted friend, “What’s it really like on the other side of me?”, and you’re bound to get an eye-opening response.

I’ve heard that we really don’t see 40% of ourselves. Wise Christian leaders should make every effort to make those unknown areas known, and then begin to deal with them. Simple suggestion: See a therapist. No,…really, I mean it. Opening up to a trustworthy, Christian therapist can be a personal game-changer. In fact, I’m going to write an entire post soon on why all Christian leaders need a therapist. Watch for it.

Circumstance
The reason we often don’t see our circumstances clearly and interpret them with the appropriate amount of reason is that they are usually mixed up with a great deal of emotion. Remember the 40% of ourselves we don’t see? We typically don’t see the whole picture of our circumstances as well.

Maybe you’re a church leader seeking an accurate understanding of the circumstances of your church. My simple suggestion: Hire a consultant. Much like a therapist, a wise church consultant can help you see clearly. He or she can give impartial, practical advice as well as help you gain better perspective on reality. A consultant can also teach you processes for interpreting your circumstances and help give your ministry a boost.

Clarity is something we need, but sometimes don’t know we need it until, like putting on a new pair of glasses, we start seeing with clarity. People gaining clarity say things like, “I never saw it that way before.” If you can say that about God, yourself or your circumstances, you’ve made progress. Way to go! If you haven’t said that recently, try following my suggestions above. Start with one and see how it goes. And as you gain greater clarity in one area, it can potentially lead to more clarity in others.

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