Last Tuesday was a major event in my life: my Dad of 97 years went to heaven. We cared for him in our home for over six years after my mother died. He was married for 63 years and in the ministry for 66 years. This blog is about “generational leadership,” the passing of lessons from fathers to children.
Here goes my best shot at five things I got from him:
1. "Keep it simple, hang loose, and travel light"
- "Dad analyzed everything not by how complicated it was but how simple it was. Any child can pull every toy out of the closet. It takes an organized mind to take out one at a time and return it before you take out another one.
- In your schedule, build in margins. In your finances, keep it simple. In stressful times, don’t take yourself so seriously. In your environment, keep it uncluttered. It all results in “R-E-S-T.” That’s how you live to be 97!
2. "People are not your enemy"
- Leaders tend to personify their problems into another person. They put a “bulls-eye” on their favorite nemesis. Paul said, “We wrestle NOT against flesh and blood.” People are not your enemy, they are manipulated by Satan, THE enemy himself.
- Love people, resist the devil. When you get down on the level of those Satan is using, you lose your spiritual focus. There are people who it seems it is their “calling in life” to cause you trouble: a boss, a neighbor, a co-worker. Rebuke the enemy off of them and keep loving them the way God loves them. “Overcome evil with good".
3. "Never lose your joy"
- “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Laugh frequently and loudly! The Bible says that God “sits in the heavens and laughs.”
- A sullen, depressed, discouraged mentality will expel favor, friends and freedom. People are attracted to those who see fun and humor in everything. Your marriage and your circumstances will change even when you find a way to laugh when your flight is cancelled!
4. "Honor every person"
- Every person is made in the image of God. When we honor them, we look past the person to their Creator.
- Regardless of age, color, culture, or financial status you must give them a front row seat. Don’t look at people based on what you think they can do for you. Focus and “lean in” on every word others speak, regardless of who else enters the room at that time! Honor heals all relationships.
5. "Don’t take yourself too seriously"
- None of us are a big deal. If people think you are perfect, they just haven’t met your wife! We are all just “human beans.”
- Give all glory to God. Deflect the accolades of man. Take the back row. Do the job no one else wants to do. Associate with the lowly. Avoid titles of superiority.
That’s a few “Daddy-isms” for starters. Put them into practice and your whole life outlook will change.
Below are 2 videos sharing more details on the life of my daddy and the impact he made worldwide.