Leaders and Wholehearted Living
One of the highlights of my job is the wonderful privilege of people telling me their stories. I love listening. I find it a great honor and a joy that I get access to the hearts of people through their stories. I get to lead people on a journey, to make sense of their life experiences, encouraging them and giving them hope for their future.
I am reminded of the words once spoken by the prophet Jeremiah. He said,
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. ~Jer. 29:11-13
God desires good things for our lives. He created us to be fully alive; to experience wholehearted living. In order to live wholehearted lives means we are willing to enter into the hidden places of our hearts. To live wholeheartedly means we have the courage to step into the areas of our lives that may be cut off, wounded or need some care. Living wholeheartedly takes courage.
- It takes courage to be vulnerable.
- It takes courage to tell the truth.
- It takes courage to look at the wounded places of our hearts.
- It takes courage to process & move beyond things that keep us from becoming all that we can be.
People can have a challenging time living wholeheartedly for many reasons. Here are some of the main ones:
- Denial: Pretending that nothing is wrong, suppressing wounds and pain.
- Pride: Ignoring deep pain believing that they can handle it on their own.
- Fear: Feels too frightening to journey to the difficult and painful places.
- Secret sin: Shackled by the shame and the idea of being found out.
- Stuck: They don’t know what to do or that they have a choice to come out of hiding.
- Limits influence.
- Unable to access the full range and depth of emotion that God has created us to experience.
- An emotional deficit or problem in one area can lead to unhealthy compensation in another area (i.e., if a person is not dealing with the wound, they may mask the pain with an addiction).
- Hiding out may mean creating a “false” self.
- Limits ability to relationally connect.
- Can affect significant relationships (i.e., spouse, children, friends).
- Can affect job and/or leadership performance.