I believe that the fountain of right and wrong, both in the area of decision and action, is motivation. Motivation has in it a root word, motive. And the word has come to have a largely negative connotation. But we all have motives. They rest quietly behind every decision and action we make. The question is not whether I have a motive for what I do, but rather, is the motive for what I do born out of self-centeredness and selfishness or is it born out of love and a desire to do what is right? I would go on to ask if the motive of my heart is feelings/emotions-based or principles based?
I have found that I cannot trust my feelings or emotions. As a leader my decisions and actions must be principle based. This is why it is so important to have God as the “true north” of my thoughts and decision-making process. He alone knows the beginning from the end and consequently has the perspective to know what is best in any and every situation. I must trust that His will is always best. Plus, when I consider that He is the original absolute and does not change, and that from my experience and the experiences of countless God-worshipers, He is clearly good, I can safely rest in knowing the He does all things well, every time.
God’s will, seems to me, to be the great reset button that I can push when making a decision or taking an action. An awareness and submission to ‘God’s will’, causes me to examine and then redefine my motivation and, consequently, my performance when offered the opportunity to lead. Seeking God’s will and the desire to submit to it is a huge key to effective leadership, especially when the word servant is attached. Finding and doing God’s will leads me to the discovery of God’s ways, and His ways when acted upon will release God’s means and provision. I have found that Effectiveness and success are always the result.
Furthermore, when I focus on the will of God as my motivation for decision and action it causes me to act to please Him and not my personal agenda, or in a way that makes me happy. His will as my focus keeps my agenda neutralized and from getting in the way of God’s purpose.
Paul, in 1st Timothy chapter one, eludes to the fact when he says in verse 12, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.” Paul did not see his labor as a leader in the Christian movement to be a result of his personal desires, dreams or vision, but as a result of the will of God. Other instances he makes this statement in more straightforward ways, for example, in Colossians, Paul opens the epistle by saying, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God…” Paul saw himself as a servant of Christ nothing more nothing less, nothing else. In his mind he was so beholding to his master that at times he called himself a slave, being led from city to city in chains. Yet, he could be very straightforward and corrective and at times led those who followed him with a strong opinion and firm resolve without apology. But, his motivation was always God’s will first and final.
God’s will is the counter balance to me pursuing goals through my plan, my way for my reasons. When I have found His will and submit to His will I get His results every time.