Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Shepastor: "Renewal for a New Year: Excerpts from Seven Habits of Highly Effective People"

"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it flows the issues of life." Proverbs 4:23, KJV

Several years ago, Stephen R. Covey wrote, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey stresses that balance is critical for effectiveness. Statistics show that many leaders (secular and religious)live lives that are horribly out of balance. We struggle to manage the demands of our occupation. For some, bad theology causes them to take their responsibilities to the extreme. Like Moses, before heeding the wise words of his father-in-law, Jethro, we try to handle it all (read Exodus chapter 18). We become, "Jacks and Janns" of many trades and masters of none! An important aspect of "guarding our hearts" is balance. Today Shepastor highlights Covey's concepts of "Balance and Synergy in Renewal." Let us consider these wise words as we begin 2014...

... It means exercising all four dimensions of our nature, regularly and consistently in wise and balanced ways.

Balance in Renewal

The self-renewal process must include balanced renewal in all four dimensions of our nature: the physical, the spiritual, the mental, and the social emotional. Although renewal in each dimension is important, it only becomes optimally effective as we deal with all four dimensions in a wise and balanced way. To neglect any one area negatively impacts the rest.

Synergy in Renewal

Balanced renewal is optimally synergetic. The things you do to sharpen the saw in any one dimension have positive impact in other dimensions because they are so highly interrelated. Your physical health affects your mental health; your spiritual strength affects your social/emotional strength. As you improve in one dimension, you increase your ability in other dimensions as well.

As you renew your physical dimension, you reinforce your personal vision, the paradigm of your own self-awareness and free will, of proactivity, of knowing that you are free to act instead of being acted upon, to choose your own response to any stimulus. This is probably the greatest benefit of physical exercise. Each daily private victory makes a deposit in your personal intrinsic security account.

As you renew your spiritual dimension, you reinforce your personal leadership. You increase your ability to live out of your imagination and conscience instead of only your memory, to deeply understand your innermost paradigms and values, to create within yourself a center of correct principles…

The rich private life you create in spiritual renewal makes tremendous deposits in your personal security account.

(Excerpts from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey, pages 288-289, 301-303)

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Until next Wednesday,

In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris

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