The Power of a Leader’s Words

The Power of a Leader’s Words

As a person of faith I like to start out my day with early morning studies. I came across a set of scripture verses that really resonated with me and gave me great insight into a leadership principle I find invaluable. Tucked away in the the literature of the Old Testament is a key character named Boaz found in the story of Ruth. Boaz is described as a land owner and “a man of great wealth.” The story takes place during the labor-intensive time of the barley harvest. Boaz was fully staffed with a large crew of barley reapers.

As Boaz approaches the laborers he is employing, the first words spoken by Boaz is “‘May the Lord be with you.’ And they replied to him saying, ‘May the Lord be with you.’”

Here’s my question: Is there a correlation between how Boaz speaks to his employees and his great wealth? I say, yes, absolutely. Whether you are a person of faith or not, the principle is the same. Speaking words of blessing, affirmation and warmth toward those you lead engenders trust, confidence and warmth back to you in great measure.

Skeptics will say this is a Pollyanna moment and will open the door for employees to take advantage of you. I disagree and choose to make decisions and take actions based upon the belief that I have hired smart employees and professionals who truly care about the quality of the input of their contributions leading to excellent results. If they don’t measure up, then it will become evident and I will act accordingly.

I choose not to treat my people according to the lowest common denominator. Rather, I will speak to them according to my lofty expectations of them and according to my highest regard toward them. This will spur on even greater trust and confidence from them in me and the mission of the business.

Throughout a typical day, there will be opportunities for you to respond to employee situations accordingly with words of challenge, correction and guidance. But just as Boaz, the man of great wealth, let the first words you speak be words of blessing, affirmation and warmth.

Tell Me Why?

Tell Me Why

Grandson, Ryker

Tell Me Why? 

Suffering, Lesson 6 

So, let’s apply what we previously discussed regarding the sources of suffering. I go by the principle that coping with trials and suffering makes more sense to me when I know the purpose. I often initially scream, WHY! WHY! WHY! without really thoughtfully asking. I do more out of frustration. But when I come to my senses, I find it helpful to seek God and prayerfully reflect and ask ‘why?’.  

So, we are now into the story of Job so let’s prayerfully ask ‘why?’ What was the source of Job’s suffering? Based on the sources of suffering I outlined in an earlier post, if I were taking this as a multiple-choice test, how would I answer? How would you answer? You can choose more than one.  

  • The consequences of our own personal sin and/or the sin of those close to us. This is the culmination of bad decisions. Nope, not this one. 
  • Hatred toward God within our society and hostility toward Christians. We sometimes suffer because we are ‘guilty by association.’ No, this is not from the hatred of men toward God. Job’s pain was inflicted directly by Satan. 
  • To refine us and strengthen us. We have two choices when we encounter trials: allow them to overtake us or allow them to fortify us. James 1.2-4 Yes, I believe this one applies to Job, although it is not stated directly as the purpose of God. 
  • To humble us and subdue our sin nature. God causes/allows trials in order rid us of pride, arrogance and self-dependence. Job didn’t have a lot of pride but he had some, so at first, I thought it was a reason. But God states that Job is a blameless and upright man when Satan accused him. So, the text doesn’t state this as a reason or source of the suffering but eventually, it was an outcome. 
  • In order for God to accomplish His purposes. God sometimes allows evil and then uses it to bring about good. Yes, this applies as well. God had a purpose and plan. 
  • To be an encouragement to other Christians. A result of our suffering should be our ability to now comfort others. Yes, Job 42 should be an encouragement to us. Ultimately, this is part of the value of the book of Job for us. If we think we have it bad, consider Job. In our suffering, be reminded that Job 42 is coming. 
  • To manifest the image of Jesus. No, this isn’t the reason for Job’s suffering. This occurs when we suffering for the sake of righteous, such as Jesus did. This is when we suffer as Christians and reflect the image of Jesus. 

Is this helpful? If you are going through any trials or suffering at this time, is it helpful to prayerfully consider why? If you’d like, send me an email and let me know and also let me know how I can pray for you. 

Father, help me to be a mirror that reflects the grace of Jesus so that all can see, You are a good and gracious God. I know that trials and suffering may come but that doesn’t stop me from asking you to protect me and those I love from the schemes of Satan and the pain he wishes to impart. Protect us Lord and watch over our lives with great care and tender protection. Amen! 

Without Cause

Mt. Rainier National Park

Without Cause 

Job 2 

Lesson 5 

In Job 1, Satan approaches God and slanders Job and states he will turn on God if he suffers. God allows Satan to cause the demise of Job’s possessions and his children. Absolutely devastating!  

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped.  

He said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.’ 

Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God. 

To sit here in my study, to pour over these words in chapters 1 and 2 and consider the plight of Job is an emotional and sobering experience. The relief and blessings we find at the end of the story in Job 42 is coming. But as we move from the devastation of Job 1 into chapter 2, things get worse before they get better. Much worse. 

There’s a biblical reality in these two chapters that is very, very hard for us Christians to accept. Please remember that my writings in this blog is my attempt to share with you, in real time, my journey of digging deeper into scripture much more than I have done in the past. I am discovering rich truths about the nature of God that are mind—blowing. The side of God we see in Job is not the God that current Christian authors and preachers spend time discussing. What God does here is fair and righteous in every way, but it’s very difficult for us to accept from our human standpoint. Here it is: 

God gives blessings upon blessings that we don’t deserve and didn’t earn. That’s the good news. He saved us not on the basis of anything we did. He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy… Titus 3:5. On the other hand, according to Job 2, He allows us to suffer at times for no reason that we caused. Speaking to Satan, God speaks of Job; he (Job) holds fast his integrity, although you (Satan) incited Me against him to ruin him without cause, Job 2.3. 

This is a difficult statement. God states that He caused Job ‘ruin without cause.’ Job didn’t deserve it. We are all wired to believe we get what we deserve. It’s difficult to accept blessings without earning them and it’s difficult for us to accept suffering we didn’t deserve. That’s why Job’s three friends reasoned that Job must have done something to deserve his suffering. Job stated, no, ‘I didn’t do anything to deserve this.’  Job was right. 

I relish the blessings God gives me that I don’t deserve. But I hate considering that I may incur suffering that I didn’t deserve. But Job knew it was true and stated, The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

By faith, we believe that God is always fair and righteous in all His dealings with us. It takes faith because life can deal us some deep and painful blows. By faith, we believe there is a plan and a purpose. By faith, we believe that all things work together for our good, which sometimes means suffering for a time. By faith, we know that our time on earth is brief and eternity is coming. Now is the time to love God, serve others and walk humbly with our God. Soon will be our time to be in His presence and experience peace and joy for all time. Come Lord Jesus, come.

Father of all Comfort, when trials come, I often think of heaven; when earthly pursuits and attainments will fade, when being rich or poor is of no consequence, when being admired or despised is meaningless. Very soon, in heaven, all that matters is the presence of Jesus; to see Him face-to-face. Comfort me with hope and surety of eternity in Your glorious presence. Amen! 

Be Reminded 

Be Reminded 

Job Lesson 4 

There are times when, in the middle of suffering and dire situations in my life, I will spend considerable time in prayer on my knees. However, sometimes, my specific prayers, which are prayers for good (in my eyes), are not answered. I have seen the exact opposite of what I’m praying happen. This is very frustrating. Once again, I fall into the ‘WHY? WHY? WHY?’ ditch. 

Has this ever happened to you? How are we supposed to process this? Others may try to console us with “God’s ways are not our ways,” or “The Lord has greater plans,” or “Keep trusting God for a miracle.” These are true and certainly well meaning. But when you are really in a pit of despair, they often fall short of making us feel any better. 

For me, the words of others are all fine and good, but I have found the daily reinforcement of God’s Word in my heart and soul, gives me the strength and grace to maintain my faith in God. There’s no shortcut to spending time in His Word and infusing the truth of God’s grace and mercy into the depth of your heart. This infusion strengthens our souls and affirms the noble and good purposes of God in our lives. 

So, you had a bad day? Read more

The Sources of Suffering

Yesterday I had the joy of preaching at the Star of Hope Gospel Mission to about 200 men. My daughter Brooke was with me and took this picture.

The Sources of Suffering 


Lesson 3 

This isn’t one of my most inspiring posts, but it is an important expansion of my previous post on the sources of Christian suffering. When suffering and trials strike, the range of emotions can run high. To have a biblical framework of the sources of suffering helps to answer the initial ‘why, why, why’ question. Then you can move through the pain, seeking God’s grace and peace to cope and perhaps even grow and thrive. 

Why do you sometimes suffer? What is the source of my pain? Read more

Enough Already!!! 


Enough Already!!! 

Lesson 2 

Suffering. WHY! WHY! WHY! C.S. Lewis once called it ‘the problem of pain.’ It is a perplexing dilemma. Why do Christians suffer? 

When you are in the midst of suffering, rational thinking and spiritual reflection can be difficult. That is why it is healthy to consider the topic of suffering now, while you are in a mode to learn and understand. Then, when suffering hits, you will have some mental and emotional tools to draw upon. Tools that the Master has given us during times of pain. 

Why do Christian suffer? We know the general answer; sin. But let’s be more specific. Let’s ask in a personal and particular manner. You see, in the Bible, not all suffering is the same and for the same purpose. Therefore, when you encounter suffering, difficulties and trials, and after you have screamed 'enough already,' prayerfully ask a few questions: Read more

God the Prosecutor

Meat? I don't live in California anymore. Welcome to Texas!

God the Prosecutor 

JOB 38 

Lesson 1 

I prefer to think of God as an advocate, not a prosecutor. In Job 38, Job’s words and actions brought out the prosecutor-side of God. God FINALLY speaks to Job after all of his suffering, trials and ultimately, his complaining about the unfairness of God. What Job is doing, in a sense, is calling God to court so that He can justify his actions. NOTE: Do not try this at home. 

Poking the Tiger 

Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now gird up your loin like a man, and I will ask you and you instruct Me! 

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Verses 2-7 

This is sarcasm in its highest form. The God of the universe is using extreme sarcasm to humiliate one of his most beloved and faithful servants on earth. Why? It’s completely non-intuitive that God would do such a thing.  To us mere mortals, it’s incomprehensible. After all, I prefer to picture a gentle, loving, heavenly father Who scoops me up into His arms with a warm embrace and gently whispers in my ear, ‘I love You.’ 

Instead, God is instructing and teaching a student who is in the rarest of rare classes of spiritual elite. This is God’s highest level of Navy Seal and special forces training. God doesn’t just do what he did with Job to anyone, (thank God). He has certain lessons that are only given to the extreme rare ones that can endure them and become stronger. Job is such a one. 

Perhaps you’ve heard of savants or savant syndrome. This is characterized as a condition in which someone with mental disabilities demonstrates certain abilities far in excess of average. Job was a spiritual savant. I don’t know that he had spiritual disabilities, per se, but he was far above average in his dedication to God.  

There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil, 1.1. 

Let’s Chat 

Job was so unique and outstanding in his character and actions, that he was the subject of roundtable chats between God and Satan. In one of their conversations, God offered up Job as an example to Satan. The Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil. 1.8 

The Devil takes the bait. Satan then accuses Job before God and challenges God with the notion that Job is an empty suit; he is a prominent person among men and angels, but Satan accuses him of lacking in substance, fortitude, and depth. Is Job a spiritual empty suit? He looks spiritual, smells spiritual and acts spiritual. But is he really??? I mean, really?  

Is Job truly spiritual when we cut him open and pierce him as far as the division of his soul and spirit? Penetrating as deep as his joints and marrow? Even down to the depths of the very thoughts and intentions of his heart? The place where we hide the deepest thoughts and secrets of our hearts, down below the conscious into our sub-conscious intentions? 

Satan wants a piece of Job. Why? The failure of Job would be a major trophy for the Devil. Perhaps it would help with his recruiting efforts. He’d love to say ‘I told you so’ to God. So, God accepts the challenge and Job enters into a period of unprecedented pain and suffering. Job endures like few would endure, but eventually, he questions God. With a touch of arrogance and dash of pride, Job calls God to court. Eventually, Job gets what he asks for.  

Yikes, this is going to be ACKWARD. 

Father, We observed a glimpse of You today that we rarely see. You were irritated and You were sarcastic. Lord, on this side of heaven, we sometimes don’t get why You do what You do; and why there is so much pain. Sometimes our pain is the consequences of our sin and sometimes it is for our discipline and sometimes for our growth. In all cases, by faith we believe that You are always perfect in all Your ways. In that truth, we submit to You always as our refuge in time of need. Amen!