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Where do we go from here?

We wrapped up The Unconventional Wisdom of Jesus mini-series last week. It's always hard to figure out where to go when you wrap up something long-term like that mini-series. I spent some time pondering the right next step and realized that the answer was in the dilemma. Rather than keeping you guessing, let's dig into it!

What do you do when you spend months or years working towards some big goal and it doesn't pan out? How do you move forward from that? Months or years gone without anything to show for it. It's easy to throw up your hands and give up, to let depression sink in or to simply quit pushing towards your other goals.

We've all had something that didn't pan out for us despite our best efforts. Have you ever worked for years at a job to earn a promotion only to be told that you'll never get it? It's a punch in the gut for sure! You begin to spend a lot of time questioning why you invested so much time for nothing. That gets you questioning the time and effort that you're putting into your other goals. It totally messes with your confidence. Why not just quit now and be done with it?

The harsh reality is that we don't always win, and we don't always get what we want. Putting in lots of time on a goal only to not achieve it is a reality sometimes. It's also a reality that you're not a failure when that happens. It happens to the most successful people in world, only their mistakes probably have more zeros at the end. With that perspective, welcome to the club!!

What separates the successful people from the failures is what we do after we don't achieve our goals. Successful people learn from their mistakes, adjust course and keep going. They actually try to fail fast so they can learn faster. They also always have other goals waiting in line to be achieved. Failure is simply one step closer to their ultimate success, as they learned one more thing NOT to do when going after the next goal.

People who are "failures" habitually just quit after a big failure. They tuck their tails between their legs and run. They see the failure as the end of the road and internalize that failure. It becomes a part of them and dramatically affects their lives for quite some time. They don't take the time to find the lesson in their failure and, as a result, never see it as a steppingstone to some bigger achievement. It's simply too final in their mind to see it that way!

As you can see, it's all about mindset. Your mindset can work for you, or it can work against you. Mindset can also help you to see opportunity in change or drive you to be resistant to change. Not achieving a goal that you expected to achieve is definitely one example of a change. However, change is all around us in many different forms. For example, technological change is occurring at a faster rate now than ever before. Does your current mindset let you look for opportunity in technology advancement or do you resist it because the old ways work better??

Even if you're someone who looks for opportunity in change, it can still be a scary proposition. Probably the most fear-provoking technological development in recent times is the advancement of artificial intelligence, or AI for short. Mention AI and many react like AI will bring about doomsday. It'll eliminate just about all jobs and eventually take over the world.

That's fear talking. We tend to exaggerate those things that we fear and don't understand. It's important to educate yourself on those changes, technological or otherwise, which generate tremendous fear for you. Then you can move forward and truly embrace the opportunity, be an early adopter and gain the competitive advantage!

As such, I think I'll dedicate the next few weeks to exploring AI a little more. Particularly, the application of AI to back-office automation in the corporate setting. Let's see if we can help shine a spotlight on what's causing the fear and help you look past that to begin exploring the opportunities. Like it or not, AI is here to stay. Let's see if we can get you to embrace it and maybe even profit from it!!

Have you recently hit a dead end on a major goal and are looking for where to go from here? Perhaps you love being the early adopter and need some experts to help you capitalize on a big opportunity? Check out FailingCompany.com to find the help that you need. Go sign up for an account or log in to your existing account and start working with someone today.

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Unconventional Wisdom From Jesus Part 18

Welcome to the final installment of The Unconventional Wisdom of Jesus mini-series. It's hard to believe this started eighteen weeks ago!! Last week we dove into the descent of the Holy Spirit. That has to be the end of it, right? What else could possibly be covered?

Well, we don't want to forget about the assumption of Mother Mary into Heaven. After the descent of the Holy Spirit, Jesus brought Mother Mary to Heaven with him. Immediately after that there was the coronation of Mother Mary as the Queen of Heaven. This one is easy to gloss over, but very important none-the-less.

Jesus is once again showing us how important it is to pull those that supported you up as you move up. He did this when the Holy Spirit descended onto the disciples, essentially promoting them to take over his work. He's now doing it again with his mother. Basically, he's showing us to leave no one behind.

Have you ever had a boss get promoted only for them to forget about you. Maybe your performance was a key reason that they got the promotion in the first place? How'd that make you feel? I bet you felt abandoned and probably didn't go out of your way to help them anymore!

Now, have you ever had a boss get promoted and then he or she immediately promoted you? It's an amazing feeling, isn't it. You probably felt like they really had your back! That's what Jesus was doing. He knew how important it was to take care of those that supported him, and he wanted to show them personally!!

Jesus is also showing us to never forget about our family. He could have abandoned Mother Mary when he was an adult. Technically, he was the son of God and probably didn't "need" her anymore, but he never did so. He loved her and she was with him till his death. She meant so much to him that he brought her with him after his death!!

It's really easy to get consumed in growing a new business. It's easy to put in insane hours and shut out your family, thinking that you can spend time with them after you've made it. Your family loves you and that's the most important thing. Never sacrifice your family for success. The economy can change and wash all that success down the drain, but your family will still be there for you. Treat them well and let them know how much they mean to you.

It's also good to let your family share in your success with you. True, they didn't put in the long hours and stressful work to make your dream become a reality, but they sacrificed something much greater for you. They sacrificed their time with you. They can never get that back, so reward them generously. Jesus made Mary the Queen of Heaven. Now that's a generous reward! Surely, you can come up with a worthy way to reward your own family for their sacrifice!

So, what do you think? Do you think you should reward your family for your success? Or do you think you should get to keep all that success to yourself because you "earned it." It's your success and your money, so it's also your decision. Before you make that decision, I'd like to encourage you to do one simple thing.

I'd encourage you to put yourself in their shoes. If you barely saw someone you loved because they were working on their dreams, would you appreciate them rewarding you for your patience when they finally succeed? Or would you want them to just forget about you and go on to live the big life? I think you know the right answer.

Well, we're drawing to a close now. I wasn't sure where this mini-series would really go or how long it would last. If you're still with me, then I hope you found this to be a valuable journey and that you learned a few things along the way. Thanks for sticking with me on this crazy experiment! Where should we go from here??

Are you struggling on your own journey and need a little help? Maybe you've been incredibly successful and need some help transitioning to the next big thing? Check out FailingCompany.com to find the help that you need. Go sign up for an account or log in to your existing account and start working with someone today.

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Unconventional Wisdom From Jesus Part 17

It's week seventeen and we're now in the home stretch of The Unconventional Wisdom of Jesus mini-series. Last week we explored how Jesus was resurrected, spent 40 more days on Earth continuing his ministry before ascending to Heaven. He's in Heaven now, so isn't that the end of the story? Close, but there's still a couple of loose ends to tie up first.

What happened after Jesus ascended into Heaven? If you guessed the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, you'd be right. On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles from Heaven. They were then filled with the Holy Spirit, enabling them to teach like Jesus and perform Miracles like Jesus. They went from being afraid to being fearless.

Essentially, Jesus was handing over the reins to the Apostles for them to establish the Christian Church and carry on his work. Jesus knew that he couldn't just leave the Apostles to carry out his work without empowering them, so he did just that with the Holy Spirit. The goal was a seamless transition for his ministry so he could stay in Heaven.

Jesus is teaching us how important the transition of power is in a company. When a CEO leaves, he or she transitions their power and authority to the new incoming CEO. Without the power and authority, the new CEO can't be effective as a leader. You need both the title and the power to be in a top leadership position.

Were you ever given responsibilities way above your pay grade but no title or real power to make things happen? How effective were you at your job? you probably honed your negotiating skills very quickly, because without power, you must negotiate to make anything happen.

Likewise, Jesus is telling us how important it is to reward those who were there for us and supported us as we rose to power. He didn't go find some total stranger to take over his work. He rewarded the Apostles, who were there for him. They gave up their jobs and family to follow him. They mostly did what they were told and walked with him as he grew in power and popularity. As such, it was only natural to bless them with the Holy Spirit and promote them to keep the work going.

Have you ever worked really hard for a company and, when they had the opportunity to promote you, they hired someone from the outside to take over the bigger position? How did you feel? Probably like you'd been used and taken for granted. I'm sure you didn't feel respected!

Now think about a time when you really supported your boss and he or she got promoted. They in turn promoted you to take over their old position. I bet you felt a really appreciated and probably worked even harder for your boss in the future!

Hiring someone from the outside with a degree from a big-name school and impressive resume isn't always the right way to go. You need to look to your team to see how you can reward them first for their hard work. Acknowledging that their performance helped you to get your promotion is a sigh of a good leader. Rewarding their performance with a promotion is the sign of a great leader! Think about that next time you have a position to fill!

Lastly, Jesus is showing us that we all have an expiration date in our current positions. Jesus was the top man here on Earth. He had all the power and the full backing of Heaven. He could have taken over the world and lived like a king forever. However, he knew that his time on Earth was supposed to be limited. As such, he did everything possible to make his transition as smooth as possible for the next generation.

Have you ever worked a job that you thought you'd be in for a long time only to be let go? It probably came as a shock to you, didn't it. What really happened is that you got too comfortable in your job. You took it for granted and, when you least expected it, had the rug pulled out from under you. Jesus is subtly showing us to never get too comfortable in a job because you will eventually leave it and you don't always know when that'll be.

What do you think? Is it a good idea to have a smooth transition of power and to reward those who were loyal to you? Or do you subscribe to the "every man for himself school of thought"? Should you be ready to move positions at any time or should you settle into your job and plant roots? Ultimately, it's your choice. Just remember that choosing wisely may help you more down the road and choosing poorly may result in lots of bad karma down that same road.

Have you started a business and need some help passing the torch to your new leadership team so you can focus on something else? Did you think you'd alway have your business to make money only to wake up one day and realize your industry has gone the way of Blockbuster? Check out FailingCompany.com to find the help that you need. Go sign up for an account or log in to your existing account and start working with someone today.

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Unconventional Wisdom From Jesus Part 16

The Unconventional Wisdom of Jesus mini-series is rapidly drawing to a close as we enter into week sixteen. We explored the crucifixion last week. Such a horrific event, yet there were still lessons to be learned. So, how do we wrap this series up?

Next up is the resurrection. After 3 days of death from being crucified, Jesus was resurrected from the dead. His resurrection was first discovered by Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome when they found the stone rolled back from his tomb and the tomb was empty. They ran and told the other disciples, who investigated the tomb themselves. All they found were the rolled up burial linens. They obviously thought someone had stolen Jesus's body.

Shortly after, Jesus appeared to his disciples. He had to even prove to them that he was not a spirit by asking them if a spirit would have flesh and bones, showing them his wounds. He then went on to be seen by a group of 500 people to further prove that he was truly risen. Jesus remained on earth for 40 days after his resurrection, teaching and ministering to his disciples. He also performed many miracles during the forty days before his ascension into Heaven.

Have you ever heard the simple rule of giving a speech? It basically says, "1. tell them what you're going to tell them, 2. tell them, and 3. tell them what you told them." It's a simple way of leading the audience through the speech to ensure that they know what to expect, understand the message and get the takeaway.

I think Jesus was using this method with his disciples. He preached to his disciples and foretold his crucifixion and resurrection. He was then crucified just as he said. Finally, he was resurrected and reappeared to them to reinforce what he told them before he was crucified. It was a very methodical approach when you examine it 2000 years later!!

We should be using this same approach when we lead people. Not just in speeches, but in everything that we do. Our team members aren't mind readers and often don't understand what we're trying to accomplish. Don't leave them guessing. Take the time to spell it out for them just like Jesus did by telling them what the vision is, helping them to lay out the plan to execute the vision and then following up once you succeed to reinforce what you just accomplished as a team.

Another major life lesson that Jesus teaches us during the resurrection is forgiveness. His disciples basically abandoned him during his passion. He could have just written them off and spent his time back on Earth with others, but he chose not to do that. He came back to them and continued to teach them until he ascended into Heaven for good. Jesus knew that they were just scared for their lives and didn't handle the situation well, so he gave them a second chance. Because he did so, they went on to spread Christianity and change the world!

Have you had employees who made poor choices and disappointed you? Did you fire them immediately or did you give them a second chance? Hopefully, unless it was illegal or dangerous, you gave them a second chance. We're all human and we all make mistakes. Give your employees the grace that Jesus gave his disciples. Employees know when they mess up. Giving someone a second chance may just turn that person into your most dedicated worker.

Finally, I think Jesus is teaching us to keep pushing forward and not get complacent. He suffered his crucifixion, died for our sins and was resurrected. Basically, he saved the world. Did he lay around all day and rest and drink wine? No, he continued teaching and ministering to his disciples. He used his time very effectively to ensure that his team had the necessary knowledge to carry on the spread of Christianity when he wasn't around.

What do you do when you achieve your big goal? Do you relax and bask in the glory of success, or do you keep pushing forward? It's probably like climbing Mt. Everest. If you hit the first basecamp and decided to stay there for a week celebrating, you'd probably never make it to the top of the mountain. You'd sacrifice your ultimate goal of climbing to the peak for the small milestone goal of hitting the basecamp. It's ok to take a short time to celebrate your achievements. That's healthy. However, don't get too comfortable. Get back to pushing hard or you'll get passed up.

Do you think this is valuable advice? Do you think Jesus's actions helped create success with the spread of Christianity after his ascension into Heaven? Or do you think it would have happened either way and Jesus should have just enjoyed his time with his friends and family? Maybe it's excessive, but how many businesses have lasted 2,000 years? I tend to believe he did things perfectly!

Did you realize that you haven't been clear enough with your team and, as a result, haven't seen the results that you want? Maybe you hit some big goals, took your foot off the gas for too long and now have some ground to make up? Check out FailingCompany.com to find the help that you need. Go sign up for an account or log in to your existing account and start working with someone today.

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Unconventional Wisdom From Jesus Part 15

Well, we've hit week fifteen of the Unconventional Wisdom of Jesus mini-series. We followed along with Jesus as he carried his cross last week. What a dreadful feeling that must have been for Jesus. We also learned a few lessons along the way. Where does the carrying of the cross end?

That's right, Jesus ended up at Golgotha, The Place of the Skull. More specifically, this is the site of Jesus's crucifixion. The journey to the cross ends today. Let's see what we can learn from the crucifixion.

Once Jesus made it to Golgotha, he was affixed to his cross. He wasn't tied to the cross. He was nailed through his hands and feet, or more likely his wrists and ankles. he was then left to suffocate on the cross between two other criminals. Hanging there in agony, struggling to breath and thirsty, Jesus was taunted and ridiculed by many, including one of the criminals also being crucified.

Jesus suffered all the way to his death. He suffered physical pain, the loss of his disciples who abandoned him and the emotional pain of those in the crowd taunting him. Why would he do that? The simple answer is that he had to fulfill his mission on Earth.

Jesus is telling us that we must be willing to pay the ultimate price to achieve our goals. You have to want your goals more than being able to breath. Jesus demonstrated that as he hung there and suffocated to fulfill his mission on Earth. He's showing us just how committed you must be to succeed. Are you that committed?

Most people don't succeed because they don't want their goals bad enough. Throw enough challenges at them and they'll go find something else to do. Make things physically and/or emotionally painful and people start dropping like flies. Jesus is trying to tell us to be prepared to really go the distance.

To use a football reference, you don't quit at the 1-yard line. You fight the opposing team's defense with all your might to cross into the end zone for that touchdown! You don't just talk the talk. You absolutely must walk the walk.

Jesus is also reminding us again that achieving your mission may be incredibly lonely. Jesus only had a few real friends and followers there while he was dying. Even they didn't offer him anything to drink when he was so thirsty. The majority of the rest of the crowd was there to taunt him and see him die. What a lonely feeling it must have been to be surrounded by people who don't believe in you!

Are you prepared to be that lonely when you accomplish your goals? Lots of people can't handle that and will give up on their goals to keep their friends and family happy. Far fewer are willing to die for their goals. I don't mean physically passing away like Jesus, but rather dying to their old self. They'll choose comfort of their familiar self instead.

What's this about dying to yourself? I think Jesus is trying to show us that we must in fact die to our old self in order to be reborn as the person that we need to become to achieve our goals. You must become the person that you would be after you achieve your goal BEFORE your actually achieve them. Jesus had to die in his Human form to become his spiritual self in order to be resurrected in three days. We too must die to our old selves in order to become the person we need to be when we succeed.

You can't become physically fit and continue to lay around on the couch eating junk food and binge watching tv. You must become the person who is physically fit and then our body will follow. Likewise, you can't build a successful business while continuing to run your business as a small part-time hobby. You must become someone who runs a very successful business, and the success will follow!

What do you think? Are you ready to go the distance for your goals? Are you ready to deal with the loneliness? Can you allow your current self to die off so that you can be reborn into the person who has already achieved your goals? Jesus did just that for us and I believe he is showing us that we too can do the same!

Have you been holding back and not fully committing to do whatever is necessary to achieve your goals? Perhaps you're ready become the person who's already achieved your goals? Check out FailingCompany.com to find the help that you need. Go sign up for an account or log in to your existing account and start working with someone today.

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Unconventional Wisdom From Jesus Part 14

Let's launch into week fourteen of the Unconventional Wisdom of Jesus mini-series. We tackled the scourging of Jesus last week. That was a horrific event and a painful lesson for us. What's next in Jesus's journey to the cross? If you read last week's post, then you probably know already.

If you guessed the carrying of the cross, then you'd be correct. Jesus was forced to carry his own cross to his crucifixion. He'd already been brutally scourged, so he was suffering from terrible wounds and lots of blood loss. Regardless of the gaping wounds and being covered in blood, Jesus pushed forward!

He obviously didn't make the full trip under his own power. Roman soldiers feared he'd die before making it, so they pulled Simon of Cyrene from the crowd to help Jesus carry the cross the rest of the way to Golgotha. Why didn't his disciples help him? Simple, most of them fled and were no longer with him. The only apostle to stay the course was John, who stayed with Jesus until the end.

All the lessons that we learned from last week apply to the carrying of the cross as well. Jesus also shows us that you must endure what's designed to break you and keep going if you want to achieve what others only dream about. Stopping because your uncomfortable, or in agony in Jesus's case, is simply not an option. You don't stop until your mission is complete and your goals are achieved.

To do the impossible, you must be so mentally strong that you can keep going from the pure mental drive to win. Every fiber of your being may be screaming to just quit. To go do something else. Most people actually do quit. Rather, you have to be so driven that you can numb yourself to your pain and keep going until you cross that finish line. When you do, there will be only a few people around to congratulate you, as most simply can't keep up with you. There's always plenty of room at the top, so try not to get lonely!

Jesus is also telling us that we should expect most to abandon us on our journey. Most aren't cut from the same cloth as us and simply can't make the journey with us. His disciples abandoned him and left him to carry his cross with only a few of his close friends and followers to make the entire journey with him. The rest of the people in the crowds were there to mock him, harass him or simply watch him like it was a spectator sport. Essentially, their goal was to make life as hard as possible for Jesus so he'd quit!

We too must be strong enough to continue on alone. We'll lose family, close friend and business associates on the way. We can't stop just because people start falling out of our lives. It's our journey, not theirs. We can't fault them for dropping out along the way. We just have to know that they did the best they could to support us for as long as possible. Keep going and don't be afraid to walk alone.

Lastly, I think Jesus was showing us that it's ok to accept help along the way. He planned to carry his own cross to his own crucifixion. However, his body was already on the verge of death. He could have possibly refused Simon's help when the Roman soldiers pulled him from the crowd. He knew, however, that he needed the help to complete his journey and that was the most important thing to him. To do that, he had to let Simon bear the weight of the cross for him.

Have you ever been head strong and determined to do something on your own only to get halfway through and realize that you're in over your head. What did you do? Did you quit or ask for help? It's important to keep your goal top of mind and not get so hung up on how you achieve it. Wouldn't you rather achieve your goal by accepting a little help along the way rather than go it alone and fail?

Have those closest to you bailed on your journey and you now find yourself in need of a new team? Perhaps you've refused some much-needed help along the way and now need to do some damage control? Check out FailingCompany.com to find the help that you need. Go sign up for an account or log in to your existing account and start working with someone today.

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Unconventional Wisdom From Jesus Part 13

Thirteen weeks of the Unconventional Wisdom of Jesus mini-series...who would have thought? Last week we wrapped up Jesus and his disciples being in the garden with the arrest of Jesus. Peter slicing the ear off of one of the soon-to-be captors certainly gave us some great material for lessons. Do you remember what's next in the timeline?

That's right, Jesus was taken back and presented to Pontius Pilate. Pontius Pilate couldn't find any serious crime with Jesus, so he had him scourged and tried to release him. The crowd had no part of that and insisted that he be crucified. This starts the journey to the cross for Jesus. We'll focus on the scourging this week.

Most people know that a scourging is a whipping. That in-and-of-itself sounds horrible. However, many don't know that the leather whip, called a flagellum or flagrum, contained weighted lead balls or pieces of bone. It was designed to lacerate the skin. It would cut through the muscle to expose bone and internal organs. This typically occurred for 39 lashes.

We don't know for sure that Jesus received the full 39 lashes, but it's highly likely. Pontius Pilate intended that to be his punishment and then to release him, so 39 lashes is a safe bet. Can you imagine surviving something as horrific as that? This is a true testament to Jesus' strength and power.

Most people are left in a bloody heap on the ground or drug off somewhere else after a scourging. Jesus was forced to stand before the Roman soldiers as they mocked him. They placed a purple or scarlet robe on him, put a crown made of thorns on his head and a staff in his hand. They said "Hail, King of the Jews", spat on him and hit him on his head with the staff.

Most people would likely give up after such excruciating pain and mockery. Jesus didn't. He faced it head on and, as we'll see next week, went on to carry his own cross part of the way to his own crucifixion. How many of you would be physically & mentally strong enough to do that? If I'm being honest with myself, I couldn't.

What lesson is Jesus teaching us? I believe he's teaching us to be mentally strong. The body can endure much more that we think, but our mind must be strong enough to endure. Most of us are mentally weak and our mind gives out when we start to feel serious pain. However, if we can harness the immense power of our minds, we can persevere far longer than most. That's what separates those with "superhuman" abilities from the rest of us.

Luckily, we can build our mental capacity just as we can build physical strength in our bodies. There are lots of experts on the subject, so I won't go into detail here. Go find an expert that resonates with you and begin practicing their techniques. The key is to incorporate some sort of mental exercise into your daily routine. Over time, things that used to stress you out or make you feel overwhelmed will become much less impactful to you. You'll be able to take on bigger and longer challenges. This gives you the edge to keep going long after others quit.

Jesus, by not folding under the horrific pressure, was sending a message to his persecutors. He was saying "You can't break me!" They tried their best, but Jesus remained resolute. They could only break him if Jesus himself decided to give up. That's a powerful message to send to someone who's trying to destroy you!

I think about David Goggins when I think about what Jesus went through. David, if you don't know is a retired Navy seal, triathlete and ultramarathoner. He's often called the toughest man alive and is a modern-day example of someone with "superhuman" abilities. David seems to laugh in the face of pain and suffering. He thrives on adversity and will simply yell out "You can't hurt me!!" I believe that's also the message that Jesus was sending. He took all of the pain and suffering and humiliation that they could throw at him and, by his actions, showed his persecutors that they couldn't hurt him.

We too have to be tough enough to send a message to the world that it won't hurt us. We need to deal with whatever is thrown at us and keep pushing forward. This is required to achieve our goals, as success is rarely dropped into our laps. To the victor goes the spoils, so we must laugh in the face of those trying to hold us down. We must do everything in our power to be the victor! Only then can we say that we earned success!

Lastly, I think Jesus was telling us to not care about what others think about us. The entire crowd wanted to crucify Jesus and the soldiers mocked him after he was beaten nearly to death. Yet, he was unmoved by their opinions. He knew who he was and that was all he needed to keep moving forward with his mission. We must do the same. Words can hurt if we let them, but we can just as easily ignore them and stay focused on our goals. Ignore the haters and keep working!

Are you recovering from some adversity that nearly took you out and need some help rebuilding? Perhaps the world is telling you to quit, and you want to prove everyone wrong? Check out FailingCompany.com to find the help that you need. Go sign up for an account or log in to your existing account and start working with someone today.

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Unconventional Wisdom From Jesus Part 12

Well, we've now hit 12 weeks of the Unconventional Wisdom of Jesus mini-series. Last week we followed along as Jesus and some of his disciples took a little stroll to a garden. We learned a lot about true determination and courage from that story. What shall we cover this week?

We're going to stay in the Garden at Gethsemane again this week. Do you remember what happened when Jesus was done praying? He was met by his betrayer, Judas, a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons and were there to arrest Jesus.

Like last week, Jesus could have snuck away. Instead, he confronted them and asked who they were looking for and then confirmed to them that he was in fact Jesus. In the process, Peter drew his sword and cut off the ear of one of the men. What did Jesus do? He told Peter to put away his sword and then performed his last miracle before his crucifixion by healing the man's ear.

Why would Jesus heal the man's ear? They were there to take him away and kill them. You'd think he'd be ready to fight his way out of there. However, like I said last week, Jesus knew what his mission was and was prepared to do whatever it takes to fulfill it. So, why not just leave the ear?

First, I believe Jesus was protecting Peter. He was watching out for someone close to him who made a mistake. Had he not healed the ear, Peter would have surely been hauled off and locked up or worse. Jesus had bigger plans for Peter, so he had to intervene.

We, as leaders, must also intervene for our employees on occasion. They may make a big mistake that will lead them into big trouble. We need them to help run the business, so we intervene and help them fix the problem. It's just what good leaders do for their top employees!

Jesus also wanted them to know that they weren't really winning. By healing the man's ear, Jesus clearly demonstrated that he had the power of God at his fingertips. If he wanted to, he could have wiped out all the men standing before him. Instead, he chose to go peacefully with them.

Basically, Jesus was playing mind games with them. By him healing the ear, they knew that the only way they were getting him back to Pontius Pilate was if he chose to go on his own. They weren't exercising any real power over him. That would certainly put the fear of God in them and throw them off their guard for quite a while.

Have you ever played mind games with a competitor or coworker? Did you let them think they were pulling one over on you and then, when they least expected it, pull the rug out from under them? They were probably shocked and confused, weren't they? This gives you a decisive advantage, as you have the freedom to execute you plan while they are distracted trying to figure out what just happened. I don't condone this on a regular basis, but sometimes you just need to show them that they're playing checkers while you're playing chess!

The last lesson, very closely related to the second, is that Jesus was sending a message. Think about it like his version of the "mess around and find out" saying that's so popular. The real saying starts with an "F" and is more vulgar, but I'm keeping this post clean. Basically, healing the ear of someone who was there to arrest him was a shot across the bow. He was saying that, if you go forward with this, you're walking into a situation in which there is no good outcome for you. He didn't mean here on Earth, but in HIS world in the afterlife where he was King!

Sometimes you have to send a message to your competitors or that nasty coworker. They need to know that, if they keep pushing you, they'll end up regretting it. Sometimes that's all it takes to get them to change behavior. It's sort of like confronting the school bully. Often times, they turn and go find someone weaker to pick on and just leave you alone.

Do you need help sending a clear message to an nasty competitor? Did you fall victim to a competitor's deceitful tactics and need some help recovering? Check out FailingCompany.com to find the help that you need. Go sign up for an account or log in to your existing account and start working with someone today.

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Unconventional Wisdom From Jesus Part 11

Welcome to week eleven of the Unconventional Wisdom of Jesus mini-series. Last week we examined the Last Supper, otherwise known as the Institution of the Holy Eucharist. It was more than just a meal with friends. It was more like a transition meeting with Jesus and his disciples. What happens after the last supper? Well, Jesus and the apostles took a little stroll to a garden.

A stroll to a garden sounds pleasant! What was this garden? Most of us know it as the Garden at Gethsemane. You may also know it as the Agony of Jesus in the Garden. Doesn't sound as pleasant now, does it? What happened to make it so agonizing? Let's dig a little deeper.

Once at the garden, Jesus went off to pray while he told most of his apostles to stay back and stand watch. He walked a little farther with Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel extreme sorrow and distress. Jesus then said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me.”

Jesus walked a little farther on his own and then fell prostrate in prayer, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.” It is said that he was in such agony and prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground.

All of this happened right before Jesus was betrayed and arrested, which ultimately led to his crucifixion. Jesus knew what was coming when he was in the garden praying. So, was he scared of death? Is that why he was asking for the father to let his cup pass from him? And why was he in so much pain and praying so hard that his sweat was like drops of blood?

We'll never have the exact answer since none of us were there. Regardless, I believe that Jesus was accepting his fate. He was human, so like all of us he was asking for a miracle to avoid the horror that he knew was to come. However, he was completely and totally prepared to follow through with his mission even though it meant certain death.

Some may see this prayer in the garden as weakness, where Jesus was begging for a "get out of jail free" card. I don't see it that way at all. I draw a strong parallel between Jesus in that Garden sweating drops of "blood" and the brave soldiers on D-Day in WWII waiting to storm the beaches of Normandy. They were in landing craft off the shore ready to run into virtual hell. They too prayed for a miracle but were prepared to do what was asked of them.

These men saw the horror ahead of them, heard the gun fire, bullets whizzing over their heads and artillery shells exploding all around them. Yet, they didn't turn the boat around and run away. They accepted their fate. They may have even cried or vomited from nerves, but when that front door opened, they were ready to run into a wall of fire. We call these men heroes.

Jesus was the same as these heroes. He wanted a miracle but didn't run away. He could have avoided everything by sneaking out of the city, but he chose to stay. He was preparing himself for his fate and he faced it head on. Jesus demonstrated true resolve and absolute dedication to his mission, regardless of the cost.

How many of us have started working on some great idea, but when things got a little tough, we quit. Maybe it required too much of our own money, or people judged us harshly or it interfered with some other hobby? We didn't believe in our mission enough to demonstrate true resolve and follow through, no matter what!

Now think about something big that you accomplished. Were there big challenges and obstacles to overcome? You pushed through them, right? There were probably nights where you sat quietly in a room contemplating quitting. Begging for some miracle to help turn things around, just like Jesus. Also, just like Jesus, you accepted your fate and knew you had to push through the suffering and pain to accomplish your mission. You were resolute and unwavering in your goals!

Jesus teaches us that we must face our challenges and fears head on. There is no back door, no other way around the obstacle, no knight in shining armor to come save us. If we want to complete our mission, then we must get up off the ground and walk in the direction of the fire coming directly at us.

I think Jesus is also teaching us that we shouldn't face tough times alone. He didn't go to the garden all alone. He took his apostles. He even took a few people with him as he walked off to pray. They couldn't do anything to save him. Heck, they couldn't even stay awake. However, as long as they were there, Jesus wasn't alone.

We get strength when we're surrounded by our most trusted friends and family. Just knowing they're there can be the difference between us getting back up and moving forward or staying down and tapping out. They may not physically do anything that will help us, but they are there.

We all need those closest to us when we're going through very trying times. Sadly, we often try to push them away since it's our problem, not theirs. We need to break this habit and embrace the support that we so desperately need go get through the challenge. It might just mean the difference between success and failure!

What do you think? Was Jesus just scared or was he preparing to face the biggest obstacle of his mission here on Earth? Should we surround ourselves with those closest to us when facing challenging times or keep them at arm's length to protect them? Is their support uplifting or just a distraction? You have to make these choice for yourself. I hope you choose wisely!

Are you facing some huge obstacle and need some folks with you along the way? Perhaps you walked directly into the line of fire and survived, but need some help rebuilding? Check out FailingCompany.com to find the help that you need. Go sign up for an account or log in to your existing account and start working with someone today.

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Unconventional Wisdom From Jesus Part 10

Amazingly, we've hit week ten of the Unconventional Wisdom of Jesus mini-series. Last week we followed Jesus through the desert. We were taught the value or regularly testing ourselves. There are lot more miracles and acts that we could continue to evaluate, but I imagine that the key lessons would be very similar to what we've already learned. It's now time for fast forward a bit in the timeline of Jesus' life.

So, what's on the agenda for today? How about the Last Supper, otherwise known as the Institution of the Holy Eucharist. We've all probably seen Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting of the last supper. You may have even read the stories in the bible. If so, you've learned about how Jesus transformed the bread and wine into his body and blood. You've also probably learned how the event was a foreshadowing of his coming crucifixion. Is that all to the story or are there other lessons to apply to our lives now?

Hopefully, by week nine you know that I have some additional lessons to share with you. Let's start with the fact that Jesus shared the last supper with his closest disciples. He wanted to spend quality time with them and impart valuable wisdom upon them prior to his leaving this earth. He knew what was coming and wanted to make sure they were as prepared as they could be for the coming events. He also wanted them to know that'd he'd always be with them through the bread they eat and the wine they drink.

I think of the last supper as a mini board or management team meeting of a major company. A critical business meeting if you will. The top leaders of the company need to meet o connect with each other and to ensure that everyone understands where the company is directionally headed. Maybe each leader doesn't see the full picture, or vision, very clearly yet but they must have an idea of the direction in which the company is headed. Similarly, the disciples may not have fully understood the details of what was to come with Jesus' crucifixion, but they certainly understood the significance of the last supper and that they were nearing the end of their time with Jesus on Earth.

What happens when the top leader of a company knows that the company is headed for troubled waters or towards some significant change? Typically, a board or management team meeting is called to discuss what lies ahead. This gives all the key leaders the opportunity to hear about the upcoming change, ask questions and plan for what's to come for their particular line of business or functional area. I believe that's what Jesus was doing with his disciples, who were like his own management team.

A good leader would never keep his or her top leadership team in the dark. Nor would they call a company-wide meeting and announce some big upcoming change to everyone at once without discussion with the top leadership team first. Even if the details can't be shared due to confidentiality reasons, such as the owner selling a privately held company, he or she will let his leaders know everything that can legally be shared. It's just good practice and the right thing to do for those who have been by your side through the ups and downs.

Similarly, if a top leader is leaving the company or retiring, he or she usually pulls the leaders together for a last celebration together. It's like the changing of the guard. Celebrating the time with the outgoing leader and setting the remaining leaders up for successful change when the new top leader takes over. It's a way to say thank you for the team's commitment and dedication and to help ease the natural anxiety of the change to come.

Jesus was doing this with his disciples. They were celebrating their time together that was quickly drawing to a close. Though Jesus may not have given a farewell speech, his actions during that meal did all the talking. They clearly demonstrated his trust, appreciation and understanding for those who followed him so faithfully during his ministry on earth.

Lastly, let's examine the eucharist and holy wine itself. Jesus explains to the disciples that bread and wine that have been transubstantiated are truly the body and blood of Christ. By eating the body and blood of Christ, they will be receiving Jesus and will have life. Basically, Jesus is telling them that, though he may not always be there with them physically, he will always be with them in spirit. That's very comforting for some.

Most top leaders of a company do something similar when they leave a company. They usually don't just leave and never look back. Rather, they offer their contact info so they can answer questions or help guide the leadership team that's left behind. It's also not uncommon for outgoing leaders to offer to continue to stay on in a consulting capacity to help guide the transition as the new top leader gets up to speed. It's about ensuring that no one feels left behind or left to figure things out on their own.

To wrap this one up and put a bow on it, the last supper was much more than a meal together. It was a strategic transition planning meeting to ensure a smooth transition as the top leader, Jesus, moves on to his final destination. The goal was to ensure continuity of all the good works started by Jesus, by ensuring that his disciples were ready to pick up the torch! You, and every other good leader you know, should be doing the same when the time comes to transition out of your role!

Are you starting to think about a transition plan with your company and feel a little overwhelmed? Perhaps you haven't done the best job showing your team some major change that's on the horizon? Check out FailingCompany.com to find the help that you need. Go sign up for an account or log in to your existing account and start working with someone today.

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Unconventional Wisdom From Jesus Part 9

We're now past the two-month mark of the Unconventional Wisdom of Jesus mini-series. Last week we tackled the tricky story of the transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain. It was definitely one of the tougher stories to break down into applicable lessons for our lives today. Where to now? I'd like to jump back in time a bit to hit on something that I feel inspired to cover. Let's do a little desert wandering.

Desert wandering? Yes, Jesus was called by the Spirit and spent 40 days fasting alone in the desert. While there, he lived among the beasts, was ministered to by angels and was tempted three times by Satan. Ultimately the Devil left him until a later time. I'll leave any biblical interpretation for someone else, so let's see if we can find two or three non-biblical lessons that may be learned from this story.

First and foremost, I believe Jesus is teaching us that we must test ourselves. We grow much faster when we are challenged than when things are smooth, and we are complacent. By intentionally focusing on growth, we will be better prepared when life throws us curve balls, which are inevitable. Basically, if life is a little too smooth, then we it's time to change things up a bit.

There will always be trying times that come up and challenge us, but Jesus isn't teaching us to only test ourselves during those times. He didn't find himself unexpectedly stranded in the desert, but rather he voluntarily went out into the desert. He voluntarily tested himself because he knew that was how to grow strong and be prepared when the unexpected happens.

How often do you intentionally test yourself? This may come in many different forms and doesn't require spending over a month alone in the desert. It could be learning a new skill, taking on a bigger project than usual, taking an adventure in the wilderness, running a marathon, or any other event that pushes you out of your comfort zone. If you haven't done so in a while, I'd suggest planning something today!

What happens once we complete some challenge that seemed nearly impossible before we started? We realized that we are capable of much more than we originally thought. That's Jesus's second, but related, message. You don't test yourself just for fun. That's the best way to discover what you can really accomplish in life. Most of will find that we're operating at a mere fraction of our true capabilities. How exciting is that?

Jesus was still human, so it's possible that he didn't know with absolutely certainty that he could live among the wild beasts or resist the Devil in the desert. However, once he succeeded, he knew for sure that he was capable of doing it. He's now more capable to handle a similar situation that's thrust upon him unexpectedly. We must do the same to succeed in life and business.

For a modern example, look no further than the US military as a perfect role model for regularly testing yourself! They don't just sit around thinking they are ready for a major conflict or all-out war. What do they do? They train and test their capabilities by running real life simulations and war games. Military personnel are pushed to their limits throughout the year, and they quickly hone their skills. As a result, they can transition easily into real action and execute smoothly.

Are you not sure if you can handle that huge customer account if it falls in your lap? Test yourself today. Set up some similar situation to test yourself and your team. If you succeed in the test, then you'll be better prepared for the real thing. You'll quickly be surprised at how much you can do!

I'd say the third lesson that we can learn is self-reliance. Jesus didn't go into the desert with his entourage or a team of survival experts. He went alone and was self-reliant. We too must become self-reliant.

We'd all like to think that, when that big challenge unexpectedly pops up, our team will be there to back us up. In truth, we have no idea what the challenge will be or when it will occur. We must be ready to face it alone, at least initially. We're the leaders and shouldn't run to our teams to ask them what to do. We must be ready to take charge, give direction and execute as if it's just another day at the office.

The best way to develop that type of self-reliance is to regularly test ourselves, continuously leveling up our skills and growing ever more confident in what we can face head on. It works for the military, and it also works for professional athletes. It can work just as well in your business, but only if do it. If you only talk about it but never test yourself, then you can't be disappointed if you fail when that big opportunity presents itself. It'll naturally gravitate to your competitor who did take the time to test him or herself and ensure they were ready to execute. Remember, the harder you work, the luckier you'll get! Don't be left behind!

Did testing yourself pay off and you now need some experts for that huge new account you landed? Perhaps you haven't been testing yourself and your business is stuck in the desert? Check out FailingCompany.com to find the help that you need. Go sign up for an account or log in to your existing account and start working with someone today.

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Unconventional Wisdom From Jesus Part 8

Here we are at week eight of the Unconventional Wisdom of Jesus mini-series. We tackled a little controversy last week as we examined how Jesus dealt with the woman who was caught in the act of adultery. Where should we go from here? How about a more challenging story?

A story that I always find challenging is the story of Jesus' transfiguration on the mountain. It's not often talked about in my church and always seems to leave people with lots of questions. Was it a real event or simply a made-up story to convey a point? What really was the point of the event? Did Jesus really become dazzling white? Were Moses and Elijah really there with Jesus on the mountain? Lots of things that we could debate for ages to come, but none of us will know the real answers while we're living on this planet.

Instead of trying to answer questions that we can't definitively answer, let's review the story and see if there are some more concrete lessons that we can apply to our lives and businesses today. The story takes place when Jesus along with Peter, James and John the brother of James went up on a high mountain by themselves. Jesus was transfigured before them, which we know meant that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. At the same time, Moses and Elijah appeared before them, talking with Jesus. During the transfiguration, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

Now you know the story of the transfiguration. Obviously, a big message is that God is confirming that Jesus is the son of God. What else is Jesus telling us? I think he is showing us how important it is to ensure that those closest to us know our vision, or where we're headed. We need to make sure that those in charge of running parts of our businesses understand where we're going as well as we do. They need to understand the vision so clearly that they can see it, just like Jesus gave Peter, James and John a clear glimpse of what's coming for him.

In business, we must all rally around the vision of the company. Otherwise, each team will march in their own direction and the company will fail. It's the job of the top leader, in this case Jesus, to do what's necessary to share that vision. It's an easy thing to skip over. We either assume that everyone fully gets it or we simply get too busy to even think about it, but it must be a top priority. People aren't mind readers and even the most straight forward things can take on different meanings since we all interpret things through our own filters and biases.

Related to ensuring that everyone sees the vision, Jesus is teaching us to help others to truly believe in the vision. His disciples didn't fully believe that he must suffer at the hands of man and be crucified. They wanted him to just continue living amongst them and performing miracles. Jesus used his transfiguration, along with the vision of Moses and Elijah, as a way to help his disciples believe in what must come to pass. He made it so real for them that they couldn't help but to accept Jesus' fate.

Likewise, our closest leaders may fully understand our vision, but may not believe in it at all. How motivated will they be to stay by our sides and help us bring the vision to life if they don't believe in it themselves? We must help them to believe in the vision so that they are fully invested in it themselves. IT must be as real to them as the transfiguration was to the disciples. It's key to keeping the company moving lock step toward the end goal.

I think the last lesson is that you must be selective with whom you fully reveal your vision. Jesus didn't take all of his disciples up on the mountain to reveal his true nature. He took just a few men. Perhaps it was because they needed the most help in believing. Maybe they were his most trusted disciples at the time. It could have even been that he wanted them to go share what they learned with the other disciples. Whatever the reason, Jesus was very selective with whom he revealed his true self.

We have to remember that not everyone working with us or for us will fully buy into our vision. It's our job to be discerning and to surround ourselves with those who believe in us and what we want to achieve. Those are the people that we need to focus on to ensure that they fully understand and believe in our vision as much as we do. These will be our right-hand men and woman and will be charged with spreading the vision throughout the ranks of the business.

Well, I warned you that this one was tough. What do you think about these lessons? Do they totally make sense, or do you think they are as challenging as understanding the transfiguration itself? Whatever you believe, it's up to you to put into practice and test what you learn. Who knows, the results may just make you a believer!

Struggling to help your trusted leaders understand and believe in your company's vision? Did you get so busy with executing that you forgot to spend the time ensuring everyone knew where they were headed? Check out FailingCompany.com to find the help that you need. Go sign up for an account or log in to your existing account and start working with someone today.

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Unconventional Wisdom From Jesus Part 7

Well, we've hit week seven of the Unconventional Wisdom of Jesus mini-series. Let's keep up the momentum. Last week we covered Jesus cleansing the temple. We saw a more aggressive and nearly violent side of him. The lessons we learned were quite unique. Where do we go from here?

I thought we'd examine a more forgiving and understanding side of Jesus this week. Life's all about balance, right? Have you heard of the story of the men who caught a woman in the act of adultery and brought her to Jesus? Let's take a look at it now.

Jesus was teaching in the temple when a group of teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman to him who had been caught in the act of adultery. They said that, according to the Law of Moses, she was to be stoned. In reality, they were trying to trap Jesus by getting him to say something that they could use against him.

Did Jesus tell them to get the stones? Did he say something incriminating and cause the group to react? Nope, he just calmly started writing in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer from him, so he stood up and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” He then stooped down again and wrote in the dust some more. A very odd way to respond to such a crime in those days.

How did the men react? Did they get outraged at Jesus for not condemning the women? No, they quietly slipped away one-by-one until it was just Jesus and the woman. He asked her where her accusers went and then said, "Didn't even one of them condemn you?" When she answered "No" he then said, "Neither do I. Go and sin no more."

This story clearly demonstrates Jesus' willingness to forgive sinners. It also shows how he believed that a sinner shouldn't judge another sinner. I think there was another message that he was trying to convey. A more pointed message to those men.

I think Jesus was sending a message to them to mind their own business. If they were more focused on their own lives and trying to be the best version of themselves, they wouldn't have cared what that lady was doing. He was telling them to put their heads down and get to work on themselves and to stop worrying about what others are doing.

I'm sure we can all relate to this. Either we've had times in our own lives where we focus too much on what others are doing and ignore what we need to be doing, or we know someone who has done that. What good comes of it? We get angry at them and get so distracted that we don't get our own stuff done. Usually, we are the ones paying the price. If we'd just kept our heads down and focused on our own stuff, we'd have been a lot better off!!

In a sense, I also think Jesus was telling the men to put their money where their mouth is. He never told them NOT to stone the woman. Rather, he said that the one without sin thrown the first stone. I think Jesus was saying something like, "hey if you're right, then do something about it. Don't just stand there and talk. Get to work!" I'm obviously being a bit extreme here, but it makes sense. Obviously, Jesus didn't want them to stone her, but he wanted to call their bluff. He did so in a very effective way.

I'm sure we all know people who are always running to us complaining about something someone else did or going off about what they plan to do. Funny, how they never do anything but complain. They never confront the person that they are complaining about or quit or whatever they threaten to do. They just want to complain and play victim.

Maybe it would do us all some good to gently call their bluff to help break the cycle. In Jesus' case, I bet those same people didn't feel too compelled to bring someone else to him to complain about their sin. They were put in their place and knew it. Perhaps it's appropriate to do the same to those in our lives that are distracting us with their pettiness?

This one was admittedly a bit controversial but enlightening at the same time. There will always be people trying to trick us somehow to use it against us. Likewise, there will always be people who want to suck up our time by complaining about everyone else. We can fall victim to it, or we can choose to do as Jesus did and turn the situation back on them. I choose Jesus' method. How about you?

Have you gotten distracted by people complaining to you non-stop and now need help catching up? Did you fall victim to someone's trap and now have to do some damage control? Check out FailingCompany.com to find the help that you need. Go sign up for an account or log in to your existing account and start working with someone today.

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Unconventional Wisdom From Jesus Part 6

Say hello to week six of the Unconventional Wisdom of Jesus mini-series. We learned some key lessons from Jesus at the wedding at Cana last week. That was a pretty insightful event when you break it down. We're now into the ministry years and there is no shortage of events to pick from here. As such, I'll probably bounce around a bit.

This week we examine the act of Jesus cleansing the temple. When examined more closely, most experts believe that Jesus cleansed the temple at least twice. Once earlier in his ministry and once closer to his crucifixion. I think we can learn some life lessons without debating whether it was one event or two, so let's get into it.

The cleansing of the temple that always comes to mind for me is when Jesus went to the temple an found people selling oxen, sheep, and doves. He also found the moneychangers. What did kind, humble Jesus do when he saw them doing business inside this holy place? Did he kindly ask them to leave? Did he forgive them for their sins? Was he the stereotypical "Nice" guy? Nope!

He made a whip out of cords and drove those selling sheep and oxen out of the temple. He then spilled the coins of the moneychangers and overturned their tables. Finaly, he told those selling doves to take them out of the temple and stope making his father’s house a marketplace. Does that sound like a "Nice" guy to you?

A lot of people struggle with this story. There's no way that little peaceful Jesus did this. That's so out of character for him when compared to the other stories of him in the bible. Should we really be surprised? Jesus was still human. Haven't we all gotten angry at one time or another?

There are a few lessons that we can examine from this event. The first is that it's your responsibility to stand up for what's right. The temple was Jesus' father's house. Jesus was defending his dad's house. He didn't go to the temple authorities and complain. He took action. If not him, then who?

We must be ready and willing to defend our own house and those of our family. What would you do if you came home, and discovered strangers in your living room using it as a marketplace? Would you shop around yourself? Kindly ask them to leave? Hopefully you'd do as Jesus did and run them out. Not only run them out but go make a whip and then use it to chase them out! You gotta love that!

Jesus didn't talk softly in the temple or walk around saying please and thank you. He went in there with a vengeance and stood strong. It was him against an entire group of people selling stuff. He wasn't about to get ran out of there and he certainly had no intention of backing down. He knew he was right, and his actions backed up that belief.

The way Jesus acted teaches us our second lesson, which is very closely related to the first. He teaches us to not be a pushover. Don't get walked on in life. Take a stand with for those beliefs that are so important to you.

There will always be people who will try to intimidate or otherwise take advantage of you. You can't expect others to come in and fight for you. Rather, you must choose to not be a victim in this life! If it's important to you, then let the world know and don't back down.

The final lesson from this event may be a little controversial. Jesus was a peaceful man. People tend to confuse peaceful men with weak men. In reality, it's often the toughest people who are the most peaceful. They know what they are capable of and content with not showing the world. They choose peace, not because it's their ONLY option but because it's their PREFERRED option. However, when necessary, they will rise to the occasion and shock the world. Jesus rose to the occasion and reminded everyone of who they were really dealing with, and it worked!

Jordan Peterson says that a good man is a very dangerous man who has it under voluntary control. He should be capable of violence but strong enough to live in peace. I think that sums up Jesus well and serves as a North Star for the rest of us. Some may it's extreme, but to me it's proxy for your competence in life. How would you rate yourself if you were honest?

Every once in a while, you have to show people who you really are. As I said before, I truly believe that's what Jesus was doing in the temple. He showed them firsthand that he is capable of great violence if needed but strong enough to choose to live in peace. Usually, as was the case with Jesus, once people are reminded of who you are, you are free to go back to living your peaceful life for a while. They got the message.

We all have this dilemma on occasion. We want to resolve things peacefully, but the circumstances just don't call for it. It probably won't be physical violence in our modern society, but you still have to show the world what you're made of. Perhaps it's having to utterly crush a competitor who was playing dirty. Maybe it's exposing that coworker who was taking credit for all your work to get promoted. Regardless of the example. you must be willing to go the distance.

In both examples above, they thought you were a pushover, and left you with no choice but to show them who they were dealing with. Sometimes you just have to show people your less peaceful side. This serves as encouragement for them to go find someone else to pick on. Done properly and if you're extremely capable, just a glimpse will do.

I'm certainly not advocating this type of behavior on a regular basis, but you should be capable of it if needed. To be capable, you must be extremely competent in your craft. You must be the best at what you do. Work silently every day to learn more and become better. Be positive and collaborative in your work and ready to take no prisoners when the situation calls for it! Live by the U.S. Coast Guard motto of Semper Paratus - Always Ready!

Have you let people walk all over you and, as a result, watched your business suffer? Perhaps it's time to show the world who you really are and need some help dominating your industry? Check out FailingCompany.com to find the help that you need. Go sign up for an account or log in to your existing account and start working with someone today.

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Unconventional Wisdom From Jesus Part 5

I can't believe we're already in week five of the Unconventional Wisdom of Jesus mini-series. We covered the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan last week. A sinless son of God had no need to be baptized, but he did so without hesitation. Go back and read last week's post if you want to know my thoughts on what we can learn from that act. So, what's up for this week?

Jesus and his disciples were invited to a wedding feast at Cana in Galilee. Mary, the mother of Jesus was there too. While there, they ran out of wine. Mary came to Jesus and said that they have no wine. Jesus didn't immediately do anything and actually asked her what that had to do with him. He said his time had not yet come. She then turned to the servers and told them to do whatever Jesus said.

Jesus could have walked away, but instead he told them to go fill the six stone jars full of water and proceeded to turn the water into wine. He then had the servers take some wine out and take it to the head waiter to taste. The head waiter didn't know where the high-quality wine came from, so he went and asked the bridegroom why he saved the best wine until now.

That was a quick synopsis of what happened. Sure, we can talk about how the act demonstrated Jesus' divinity, but I want to examine the situation from a different light. How can we apply the actions in this situation to our lives today? Let's get started!

Jesus first teaches us that it's ok to push back. He didn't just say "Yes" immediately. He first pushed back to express his feelings on the situation and gain some clarity. Pushing back didn't mean that he wouldn't help with Mary's request, but he was confident enough to speak up first. That's powerful!

How many times have you struggled to push back when someone asks you to do something? Us "nice" men and women end up doing stuff that we don't really want to do because we don't speak up and say "No." Maybe it's something that we actually see the value in and will help with, but it's still fair to push back, gain clarity and fully understand the situation. We have to BALANCE our time effectively to ensure that we do help others in need AND have enough time to focus on our own goals. So, remember, if it's ok for Jesus to push back on his own mother, then it's ok for us to push back on others when they ask us to do something for them.

The second lesson that comes to mind for me is that life isn't always about what we want. We can't be naive enough to believe that we can do exactly what we want to do day-after-day with no regard for others. It's about finding that balance that I mentioned during the first lesson. Jesus didn't want to get involved with the problem of them running out of wine. It wasn't his time to start performing miracles and he was just there to celebrate. However, Jesus also knew that life wasn't all about him. His mother couldn't fix the problem and turned to him for help. She believed in him. He had to at least consider helping her.

In this case, Jesus cared deeply for his mother. He knew that he had to do something to help her because he wanted to take care of her. He knew the importance of caring for those that care for and believe in us. He didn't just help those that he cared for if he felt like it or if it was convenient to do so. He helped when he knew he had to take action and do something.

Sometimes we have to take a very short break from working on our goals to help others in need. This will usually be in the form of helping friends or family but could be some other volunteer work that you feel called to do. We have to manage our time wisely, so we can't spend several hours every single day helping others. How do we find balance?

I suggest following Jesus' approach. He helped those close to him OR those strangers that had faith in him. If people didn't believe in him, such as in his own hometown, he didn't waste time trying to perform miracles. Don't waste your time helping those that don't care about you or believe in you. That frees up time to help others that do and still allows you to create that balance between helping others and focusing on your own goals.

The third lesson is very closely related to the second. If we have the ability to help, then we have the responsibility to help. Mary couldn't do anything about the wine being gone herself. However, Jesus could. Jesus knew that he had the ability to transform the water into wine, so he had the responsibility to do something.

If you're like me, then you struggle with deciding when to get involved. If the cause is something that we care deeply about or the person is someone who believes in or cares for us AND we have the ability to do something, then we should consider it. Add to the equation the other person's ability to do what needs to be done and you have a straightforward formula for decisions. If you have the ability and the other person doesn't then you should help.

I think the fourth and final lesson hits deep. What happened after Jesus turned water into wine and the head waiter approached to bridegroom about it? Did Jesus raise his hand and take credit? Did he say, "Why are you asking the bridegroom when you should be thanking me"? No, he kept quiet. He did what he needed to do and let the results speak for themselves.

Do you ever find yourself wanting to take credit of something great that you did? We all like praise and gratitude, so it's only natural to want to stand up and take credit to get the praise. However, if we're helping people for the right reasons, then we should feel content letting the results speak for themselves. Remember, it's about helping others and NOT about doing something for praise.

Another reason to keep quiet is discretion. Sometimes, we have to help others and they are already embarrassed to ask for help. What would happen to that person if you shouted from the rooftops that you helped them afterwards? You'd crush them. Instead, give them the respect that they deserve as just keep quiet. They may choose to tell others and that's ok. Just let them make the decision on who finds out rather than you making that decision for them.

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