Catalyst: The Mirror Effect

22 05 2008

READING: James 1 (5 times)

LEARNING: Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the fairest one of all. Mirrors reflect our true image and what we are reproducing in the lives of around us. This chapter was challenging for me, because I feel like I have been in a bit of a funk over the last few years. The things that I are at the core of who I am (passion for Jesus, leadership development, taking risks for Christ and using your life for Christ) have somehow taken a back seat in my life.

Instead of moving forward in faith, my mind was consumed with insecurity. Instead of moving quickly for God, I would be more cautious and slow. Instead of having fun, I became uptight and unsure. It felt like I had become someone else who is not me. The hardest part for me, if I can be completely honest, was the fruit (or lack there of in the lives of people around me). The sad part is I didn’t really notice it until about a year ago. When we made one of our values, “It’s never too late to be who you might have been,” I didn’t thing that it would apply so personally to me, but it’s true for me. Christ has been so good…the last six months has felt like a reawakening of myself and my journey with Christ. God is really good!

What what did you learn about yourself and what your producing by “The Mirror Effect”?




8 responses

22 05 2008

The Mirror Effect was a tough chapter to read and so was James, chapter 1. I felt like I was being attacked by so many godly “zingers”. It was like “Ouch, that’s me”. “Ouch, I do that”. “Ouch, I don’t do that!”. When I thought about the people I tend to mirror, as much as I know I try to emulate Jesus, other people I thought of were my mother (scary), my husband, and maybe even sometimes my neighbors. Some of those things can be positive, but the ones that I thought of were not. We seem to take on the traits of the people we hang with. I guess that is why it is so important to have our time with Jesus.

I love how since we are studying “mirroring” this week, that James 1:22-23 actually talks about it! Don’t just read the word! Do it! Be an example! This is very challenging to me in ministry and as a mother. As a mom, I see my kids emulate negative behaviors that I have. “Ouch”. As a leader, I see in my mind the qualities I would like my team members reflect, but I know I don’t always reflect them myself. Plus, I don’t think I talk about it enough with my team. That’s my challenge.

23 05 2008

The Mirror Effect was a troubling article for me, especially the question asked at Leadership Conferences: What virtues do you wish your people possessed? We all emulate those that we have raised in status, which it be professionally, spiritually or family. In my life, I place two people high in status; my father and a close friend.

My father worked in a factory, where although he did not earn a large salary, he earn my respect as an individual how loved his family and God. He worked hard at work and home to provide the comfortable living that we enjoyed. He gave me self-value and self-respect.

My friend had a wonderful career in business. He had high standards for himself and his family, and I want to be just like him. He was also caring with his family. We become close friends, and we continue to remain today. He gave me the ability to set goals and work toward those goals.

Today, I am the product of these two individuals. As I look at my leadership in my family and professionally, I see myself, both good and bad in others. This is scary, since I have influence their character, their life style and how they relate toward others. I would hope that I have provided more of a positive impact than negative.

I am also reminded of a quote that I found years ago that continues to resonate in my head and also drives me not to have this come from me. “A fish rots from the head”. Translating this, a bad leader destroys the organization, not the other way around. Think about it.

30 05 2008

In college I was a very busy ministry leader. I found myself always busy doing things for God but not spending much time with God. As a result I became totally stressed out and remember dreading going to ministry meetings and not having much fun at all. On top of that I was struggling with a major sin.
Looking back I can see that my actions affected my ministry. Now don’t get me wrong it wasn’t all bad, but how much more of an impact could I have had on campus if I would have made spending time with the Lord a priority and learned how to be full of God’s joy. I know I would have had a more positive effect on those following me.

Today, I have learned from that experience. I am more joyful and try not to take on too much.

The thing that convicted me about the mirror is that as a leader I need to be setting an example whether I’m around those that follow me or not. I need to be setting an example through spending daily time with God. And when I’m somewhere where none of my “followers” are, am I still going to act like I would if they were there. I think how we act when other aren’t around effects how we lead others. So that is what I need to meditate on this week.

30 05 2008
Jodi Kade

I know the point of reading this wasn’t to feel guilty, but I kept feeling much like Kathy…”Ouch.” I immediately thought of my children, and it’s plan to see exactly where they’re mirroring me. Why is it that I don’t see them mirroring my good qualities? It’s like every bad habit I have, they mirror…UGH! So my challenge begins at home. I want to lead my family by example. I want them to see Christ, and not some frustrated nag, who has no patients…lol.
This was really good learning for me, and I hope that as I begin to lead more at Epic, I will be able to set a Christ-like example. It’s challenging to think that if I want the people that mirror me to be strong followers of Christ, and possess great leadership qualities, I must first begin to set that example for them.
Bottom line, this chapter made me feel really inadequate.

2 06 2008
Tim Kade

Jodi, Kathy, Amy,
One thing about the mirror is it gets us to pause and look at ourselves. Are we becoming the person that God wants us to be? Looking can cause us to feel inadequate, negative about our growth and lack of instilling Christ in those around us. We can feel so messed up that we don’t know where to start and so we change nothing. But Jesus is standing there looking in the mirror with you…and His voice says “You are chosen!” I find it’s best to pick one area and ask Christ, “Give me a plan to help grow and change in this area.”

Larry – Your “A fish rots from the head” has got me really thinking. I like it.

10 06 2008

For me, the mirror effect is one of the most frustrating parts of leadership. I recall in my own experiences as a leader hoping that those I was leading would take after me in all of the good things, but improve on the bad things. I would lead by example, but also be very vocal about my own struggles so they could learn from them and correct them in their own lives. But this would almost always fail. I led a Bible Study at CMU of about 10 guys. If there was one thing that I could say we almost all had in common, it was struggling to spend time with God. We would talk about it all the time, but I was never able to correct it in my own life. They would see my priorities, and live by them. We were all committed to making most of the events we put on. We would share our faith regularly, attend social and outreach events together, attend Bible study regularly, but few of us figured out how to spend regular time with God. There were a few exceptions to this rule, but for the most part we all shared those struggles. It was so frustrating to me because I knew it was a struggle of mine and hoped that the next generation of leaders would be able to correct it. I think a lot of this comes from the fact that I didn’t feel comfortable really holding them accountable to spending time with God since I myself couldn’t get it straight. As a result, the ministry struggled. We were too busy planning events and trying to tell people about Christ that we didn’t take the time ourselves to spend with Him and seek His direction for our movement.

My own challenge for myself remains the same week after week. I need to commit to spending time with God daily. Obviously I haven’t been doing well (this post is only 2 weeks late), but again I need to start trying.

10 06 2008
Tim Kade

First…. don’t compare yourself with the super bible scholar types who see Bible reading as a form of recreation and pray for 2 hours straight. I’ve never been like that. Comparison is never good. Some people incredible at Bible reading but are stuck when it comes taking initiative spiritually in their workplace, taking a faith risk or even sharing their faith. Don’t compare. It’s deadly.

Second…try to block out 10 minutes with Jesus each day. Read one chapter and talk to Him about your day. Keep in mind…It’s not about reading the Bible to read the Bible; it’s about spending time with Jesus.

Third…live by grace. Jesus is crazy about you Tim.

13 06 2008

The Mirror effect was a difficult read. It’s easy to “reflect” on your strengths and positive attributes, but that can play with your ego. “Reflecting” on your faults and weakness can shake up your insecurities. (who am I kidding?) Knowing that my reflection is reflected, means I have to CONSTANTLY redirect and turn it all over to God. Focusing on Him, allowing Him to lead through me is the only possible answer. Easier said than done. It’s tough to constantly redirect and focus on God’s will for me. It means I have to give up control and admitt to what an undisciplined mess I am. Along with reading and hearing His word preached and “focused” prayer, I know that I need my support system to hold me accountable. The mirror can only help if we are willing to look into it, and accept what you see.

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