In his 2008 book, Axiom, Bill Hybels encourages pastors and all leaders to formulate some of their convictions and guiding ideas into axioms- personal proverbs that can be recalled at a moment's notice. I've had a few months to reflect on my own thoughts and some of the language that I tend to use when carrying out my duties, so here are my own axioms.
1. If you're the one pulling the trigger, be sure you like where the gun is pointing. Most of us are put in a position at some time or another where we must make a key decision that will affect others. When this happens, we often find multiple voices in our ears trying to persuade us which choice to make. Though it is always important to listen to those around us, we must not yield the responsibility of our decision to satisfy the demands of others. Simply put, if you're the one who makes the decision, then be sure that you make the decision that is comfortable to you.
2. Challenges are opportunities for greatness. It's easy for people to get down and discouraged when things start to get hard. They see struggle and the possibility of failure around every corner. In reality, it is when we face challenges that the possibility of great success first appears. If there is no challenge, then there's nothing great about success; if it's easy, then who cares?
3. It's about people. In virtually any given situation, people get priority over anything (other than God!). When this starts to slip or get fuzzy, problems are soon to follow.
4. Isn't this fun? When I'm involved in doing God's work, especially within a group of friends, I'm often struck by how much I enjoy it. I love that we get the privilege of doing stuff that matters. I love getting hear stories of how God is at work all around us, blessing our activities and efforts well beyond our understanding. When I get tired, or when I've been through an intense time where God has done amazing things, I like to remind myself and those nearby, "Hey, isn't this fun?"
5. Sharpen the blade. Everything, from programs to systems to strategies, needs to be improved from time to time. For this reason, we must all regularly engage in re-examining and retooling components of life around us. We don't live in a static world; we must never assume that once we create a strategy that we will never again need to solve that particular problem. Even the best blades need to be sharpened occasionally.
So, what are some axioms you've developed? Let me kindly request that everyone who reads this post submit at least one, and then I'll post a further summary and comment at the end of the week.