“Di ko pa kilala sarili ko. Well, I guess that’s part of being young and yah that’s one of my aha moments. Kulang pala yung time bigay sa sararli ko para kilalangin sarili ko.” (“I don’t know myself yet. Well, I guess that’s part of being young and yah that’s one of my aha moments. I didn’t give myself enough time to get to know myself.”)
What an amazing insight from a Gen Z participant in one of my recent workshops!
The theme was core values; the principle was “core values express your identity” so I threw the question “So who are you?” Little did I know when I asked people to share their aha moments, this fellow opened up, something which he doesn’t usually do, as he is well known in the office to be the very silent type.
1. Contrary to Simon Sinek, you don’t start with WHY. You start with WHO. How you see yourself shapes your values, purpose, character, behavior, and eventually, destiny.
2. We are all living out our identities. The real question is if we are aware of our identities… or if we are just drifting through life day after day, doing little more than consuming space and resources.
3. Yes, the younger you are, the more you need to reflect on your identity. It would be tragic to be old and grey but you look at the mirror and see a complete stranger.
4. It is never too late to figure out who you are and who you want to be. And our ideas of self-identity will likely evolve and mature over time. I know that I am not the same Nelson Dy ten, twenty, or thirty years ago.
5. Last, we need an identity that is independent of what we do and unshakeable no matter what happens around us. I found my identity as a child of God, that I am God’s beloved, that whether I lose my job, my health, my possessions. my identity is still intact.
So, have you spent time exploring who you are?
There is a catching phrase in today’s passage. It is “out of His glorious riches”.
We usually think of God strengthening us with His power and through His Spirit. But this verse bids us to take one step backward, which is to realize that the power we receive is out of His glory.
And not only glory, but riches of His glory. We can think of people with meager glory, but of an infinite God with infinite glory? That would stagger our imagination.
And THAT is where our power will come from. With this astounding insight, we are encouraged to endure any hardship, love any person, and labor in His Kingdom.
Have a great day ahead!
I was coaching a business leader who had problems getting his points across.
“I don’t understand it,” he vented his frustration, “I gave my team all what they needed to know and told them what to do, but there were times I got wrong reports, missed deadlines, and stalled projects. What’s wrong with those people? Weren’t they paying attention to what I was saying?”
I had to gently remind him that in this coaching conversation, we were working on him, not on other people. So I probed, “What do you think you can do differently?”
It took a while, but he grew to realize that just because he was speaking, he assumed that he was understood. This illustrated the difference between information and communication.
I love what journalist Sydney L. Harris said, “Information is giving out and communication is getting through.” Too many times, we know what we mean but forget that the other person does not know what we mean (unless, of course, he’s a mind-reading Professor X).
The business leader became aware that although he was giving out data, timetables, and directives, he was not getting through as to the goals, priorities and expectations.
A 360 on him revealed that sometimes he was ambiguous (“Boss, do you mean that I follow up with John or wait for him to update me?”) and inconsistent (“But boss, yesterday you told me to prioritize A. Now you’re telling me to finish B first”).
Worst, he relied heavily on a Viber chat group, where his staff could not tell his vocal tone or body language. Sometimes, his words came across as abrasive or dismissive, which sunk morale. For this, the leader came to learn the difference between intent and impact.
Once the leader focused on communicating – not merely spouting facts or barking orders – did the office run more efficiently. Among his new-found techniques were:
· Talking to them face-to-face as much as possible
· Asking the listener if he needed to clarify some details
· Being mindful of potentially ambiguous words… and gestures
· Taking responsibility for the confusion, rather than blame-shifting on the listener
· Welcoming questions and feedback from his staff
Do you want to be a clearer communicator? Take it from the business leader: it is not what is said; it is what is understood.
“What did I do to deserve this?”
“How can I make it through?”
“What’s in it for me?”
These are some of the questions I imagine coursing through the minds of people going through major difficulties.
But there’s an encouraging promise in today’s passage, James 1:12. It says that if we remain steadfast and have stood the test, God will bestow upon us a crown of life.
Note it is not just any crown, but the crown of life. We are not told what this will look like (I can’t help but imagine a laurel wreath), but the crown of life is our reward as we navigate through the dark nights and choppy waters.
As we keep the faith, trust in God, resist compromise, and continue to obey Him, yes, there is something “in it” for us. Let us persevere and God will honor us in a heavenly ceremony far better than any gold-medal athlete can imagine!
Have a great day ahead.
If we have difficulty loving someone, chances are that’s because we are starting from the wrong source: ourselves.
The perfect starting point is to draw from the love of God to us, then with hearts touched and afire, the supernatural outflow would be compassion to others.
Jesus also gave this principle on forgiveness. In the parable of the ungrateful servant, a king forgave a wretched servant of 10,000 talents, therefore the expectation is for that servant to forgive a fellow servant of a comparative few amount.
The best vantage point to love the unlovable is to realize that, objectively speaking, we would be unlovable to God because of our inner filth and mess, but He lavishes His favor on us to the point of sending His Son to the Cross for us.
Once we have tasted this kind of unmerited favor, it would be unthinkable for us to withhold the same affection to those we think don’t deserve it.
Have a great workweek ahead!
Here’s another mystery. In Philippians 2:13, we read that it is God who works within us to will and to act to fulfill His good purpose.
Now have you noticed something astounding? Even our desire and intention to be good come from God.
It is a bit humbling. We may pride ourselves as decent, compassionate, law-abiding people. Some may even go as far as thinking God is lucky to have good folks like us. But even our goodness is by God’s grace.
I’m not a theologian, but some doctrines give me the impression that if we are left to ourselves, we will inevitably degenerate into immoral brutes and it is only by God’s hand that we are not so. Can you imagine how civilization as we know it would be impossible?
Yet the parallel truth is that we are responsible for our actions and if we extend correctly, our moral inclinations.
Therefore, let no one say God “owes” us – whether an earthly blessing or passage into Heaven – because we love doing good. Even that love is from God and as in everything else, all goes back to His good purposes.
For that, our only response is worship, awe and humility.
Have a magnificent Monday!
The conventional wisdom is that our thinking shapes our behavior (thus habits, then destiny).
But today’s passage carries the insightful detail of what channels your thinking. Romans 8:6 pointedly says that our minds can be governed either by our flesh or the Spirit.
If our minds are ruled by the flesh (usually interpreted as our sinful, self-driven nature) then we will reap death. What the death exactly means, we can explore in another venue.
But for now, let’s look at the other side of the contrast. If our minds are ruled by God’s Spirit, we will enjoy life and peace.
Therefore, imagine your mind as a train running down a track and ahead is a fork, and there’s a switch that will make the train go to the left or to the right, where will you pull the switch?
In the same way, choose where your train of thought (pun intended) will go. Will it be towards destructive patterns of desires and living, or will it be towards obedience to God with life and peace as the destination?
Mind our minds and everything should follow.
Have a great weekend ahead!
“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm” (Proverbs 13:20).
I love this. While many people (notably parents and teachers) think they can lecture others to become wise, the reality is that wisdom is more caught than taught.
I learned a lot of wisdom from observing how wise people conduct their business, make decisions, deal with difficult people, and so on.
But here’s the thing. It is not really true that we learn from experience. It is reflecting on that experience that yields lessons and principles, the cumulative body being wisdom. In fact, wisdom involves both insight and teachability.
Practical application? Hang around with wise people: folks you look up to, men and women of godly purpose, those whom you can count as mentors.
Conversely, stay away from toxic and twisted-logic crowds, they will dumb you down and thus drag you down.
Be ever hungry for wisdom, know where to look for it, and how to process experience to live that beautiful life you seek. TGIF!