I’ve learned from reading Dr. Crawford Loritt’s book titled, Leadership As An Identity, that there are 4 jewels of God’s leadership development school that He uses to develop leaders in His kingdom. Because a person learns 95 percent of what they teach, I am excited to teach you these 4 jewels of leadership development in this post. The dictionary defines a jewel as, “a precious possession”; however, most people would not naturally consider these 4 aspects of God’s leadership development school as precious possessions. But they are because each one helps to build the character of Christ in us as leaders in His kingdom.

Jewel #1: Personal Suffering

The first precious jewel of God’s leadership development school is called PERSONAL SUFFERING. Yes, God uses suffering in our lives to help us become more like Jesus and to develop radical obedience in our lives. To know Christ is to also know His suffering. To share in the glory of Christ, we must also share in the suffering of Christ where our wills are crucified to His will in every circumstance that we face in life. In Hebrews 5:8, the Bible says that even though Jesus was the Son of God, He learned obedience by the things He suffered and guess what. God’s people learn obedience the same way. The apostle Paul says it this way in Philippians 3:10, “that I may know Christ and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering.” We must not despise the seasons of suffering in our lives because those seasons bring us into deeper fellowship with our Lord and Savior and make us more effective for His use in the kingdom of God.

Jewel #2: Personal Struggle

The second precious jewel of God’s leadership development school is called PERSONAL STRUGGLE. While personal struggle may seem to be closely related to personal suffering, it is a very different precious jewel of God’s leadership development school. While personal suffering helps us learn radical obedience to God, personal struggle helps us learn radical dependence upon God. Personal suffering occurs during periods of time that are seasonal in our lives; whereas, personal struggle occurs in our lives on a daily basis which requires our total dependence upon God’s grace every day to overcome the struggle. The Bible says that the people of God are overcomers which means that they must have something to overcome. The personal struggles that we face on a daily basis serve as reminders that we can only overcome the struggles by the power of God’s grace in our lives and our radical dependence upon Him. In 2 Corinthians 12:8, the apostle Paul asked God three times to take away a personal struggle and God told Him that His grace was sufficient for him in the struggle. Our personal daily struggles keep us radically dependent upon God and humble in our weakness before Him.

Jewel #3: Personal Failure

The third precious jewel of God’s leadership development school is PERSONAL FAILURE. When I think about personal failure, I like what John Maxwell teaches about it – “personal failure is not final and it’s not fatal.” In fact, a healthy way to think about personal failure is the way Henry Ford would approach personal failure – “as an opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” God uses personal failure as a precious jewel in His leadership development school because everyone fails in life. The truth is that we all fail in life and must learn from our failures if we have any hope of being effective in God’s purpose for our life. Every great hero of faith in the Bible experienced personal failure. To name a few: Noah drank too much alcohol one night, Moses murdered a man in cold blood, and David committed adultery with his neighbor. There is no one who has ever lived on earth except Jesus, the Son of God, whose life is not marked by personal failure. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We all fall short which is why everyone, without exception, needs Jesus as Lord and Savior of their life. And even after salvation, we will all still fall short in life at times through personal failure. However, in Christ, our personal failure is never a tombstone for us with God. If we respond correctly to our personal failures, our personal failures can rather be a stepping stone into greater communion with God because His love for us never fails even though we do. The Bible states in Proverbs 24:16, “The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.” Failure can never keep down a person who truly loves God and has faith in Christ because the Bible says in Philippians 4:13 that “we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.” Without question, “all things” includes the overcoming of our personal failures in life.

Jewel #4: Success Through Hard Work

The fourth and final precious jewel of God’s leadership development school is SUCCESS THROUGH HARD WORK. I’ve heard it said that the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. I agree 100 percent with this statement. There is no success in life without the hard work that accompanies accomplishment of any kind. The same is true in the kingdom of God. In Colossians 3:23-24, the apostle Paul says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” God honors hard work done with passion because the quality of our work brings honor to the Lord when we are called by His name and do our work as worship unto Him.

To God’s glory, have a blessed “Make It Happen” day!

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