Find Your Why

Jon Burgess


6And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ.7'Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people.'8That is why I am boldly asking a favor of you. I could demand it in the name of Christ because it is the right thing for you to do. Philemon 1:6-8


The Apostle Paul is calling Philemon back to his "why". Why he was in the ministry in the first place. He had a falling out with Onesimus and Paul restored him. Now it was time to allow Onesimus to come back home and be fully restored. Notice how Paul puts it to Philemon- "That is why I am boldly asking a favor of you." The "why" is found in the previous verses. Why should Philemon be kind to someone who hurt him in the past? Because Jesus was generous and kind to him. So Paul points out the "what" of ministry: put into action the generosity of our faith through teaching (understand) and gathering (experience). Paul points out the "how" of ministry: the values of joy and comfort that refreshes hearts. Bringing Philemon to the 'why', the bullseye of his ministry- to show kindness to all those who come to Christ. Paul says he could have demanded this from his position as an apostle, but purpose is a much more positive and effective persuader then pressure.


In his book, "Start With Why", Simon Sinek points out, "Leading is not the same as being the leader. Being the leader means you hold the highest rank, either by earning it, good fortune or navigating internal politics. Leading, however, means that others willingly follow you—not because they have to, not because they are paid to, but because they want to." What the Apostle Paul did with Philemon is what any leader must learn how to do especially when asking those with us to do something they are resistant to. Help them find their why. Whether it's your home, your office, your ministry team or your softball league the best way to lead them forward is reminding them of why they are doing this in the first place. Life is busy and relationships are tricky and no one has any extra time. This is why we inevitably gravitate toward focusing on "what" we need to do and "how" we need to do it. Instead of leading from the front we end up pushing our team from behind to "get things done". Sinek says it this way,“There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it. Just as Paul was influencing Philemon through the inspiration of his calling rather than the manipulation of his position. When our teams have lost heart, when they are "going through the motions", when we are tempted to twist their arms to accomplish a balanced bottom line, it's time to return to the heart of the matter. Why are we doing this in the first place?


Your kindness leads us to repentance. You are all about restoration and redeeming bad situations. Thank You for Your generous kindness towards me. Help me to remember this lesson today. Help me to keep the "why" clear here at New Hope but also for my own heart. When I start getting lost in the weeds of worry, throwing my weight around to get things done, or bypassing the very people You have called me to serve, bring me back to this lesson today- I am kind with others because You have been kind to me.

Devotions for July 03

Isaiah 6,7
2 Chronicles 26,27

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