RSVP stands for the four steps I have been using to help my spirit align with God’s purposes for my life:
- Rejoice: Meditate on yesterday’s emotional highs and lows until you find a way to rejoice in them
- Shalom: Repeat until you can rest in God’s peace. Over time your “set point” of how much peace you expect will increase.
- Vision: From that place of Peace, ask God what to focus on today. As part of this, I like to read a short devotional, look up relevant Bible verses, and God for a single “theme” word for the day to prime my thinking.
- Praise: Finish by affirming God’s sovereignty over everything that is going to happen, and thanking Him for showing up.
Leadership is a perilous venture, for the very attributes that make leaders great also carry the seeds of our downfall.
But surprisingly, there is a very simple cure — albeit a very unpleasant one…
In my previous post, on mastering the three dragons of manhood, I discussed the ideal masculine character as harnessing the:
- Red Dragon of Anger
- Green Dragon of Fear
- Gold Dragon of Desire
In this post, I want to explore using anger to go fast, fear to go straight, and desire to go high.
I often feel I owe my success more to my “vices” than to my “virtues.”
What is a virtue? What is a vice?
- Goofing Off
- Subversive Activity
- Delusions of Grandeur
Society — especially school, but the church is arguably worse — tells us these are crimes to be stamped out.
They’re half-right. I call them the vicious virtues. When misdirected, they can easily destroy both self and society.
But if you can master them — and through them master yourself — you can fix the world.
How do we create an alternative form of learning that embraces creative chaos and harnesses the vicious virtues, rather than fighting them?
In Which Our Desire For God’s Name Inspires Us to Submit To His Discipline
In Part A of this class we began by studying the theological foundations of Christianity, with a focus on what it means to be baptized into the “name” of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In Part B we explored what it looks like to appropriate that “name” — God’s character — through the pursuit of wisdom, as contrasted with the simple, mockers, and fools. For Part C, our final module, we will be focusing on Skills for Servant Leaders — the spiritual disciplines necessary to cultivate those virtues in our lives without falling into pride or will-worship.
Our primary text will be Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard Foster, which you are encouraged to supplement with one of the other books listed below. In addition, you are encouraged to actively practice the disciplines as we work through these studies, using tools like the memory verse (below).
However, it is essential to remember that the disciplines are only effective if they are not ends in themselves, but means to our greatest desire, which is Christ Himself…
Memory Verse: “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” — Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV)
In Which We Abide Fruitfully Instead of Vegetating Slothfully
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” — Matthew 5:6
Sloth may seem like an archaic sin in our busy modern world, but our frenzied activity is itself a sign of sloth, which can be defined as a lack of vigor in pursuing God’s name — His character and purposes. In fact, the self-centered pursuit of our own “name” — especially under the guise of religion — is actually the worst kind of sloth! (cf. Matthew 23)
The antidote is to empty ourselves of worldly pursuits so that we become truly hungry for faith, hope, and love. Only when we abandon slothfully seeking our own comfort — which merely results in restlessness — can we experience the divine dynamism and peace that comes from abiding in Him…
Peter Kreeft: Back to Virtue
- 11. Hungering for Righteousness vs. Satisfied with Sloth
- Dick Hockett: Foundations of Wisdom
- 3.5 (Trustworthy) Example: Proverbs about the Tongue