Start March 12 to December 12

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ezekiel, Chapter 18, Verse 14-17
14 But, in turn, if he (a sinful man) begets a son who sees all the sins his father commits, yet fears and does not imitate him— 15 a son who does not eat on the mountains, or raise his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, or defile a neighbor’s wife; 16 who does not oppress anyone, or exact a pledge, or commit robbery; who gives his food to the hungry and clothes the naked; 17 who refrains from evildoing, accepts no interest or usury, but keeps my ordinances and walks in my statutes—this one shall not die for the sins of his father. He shall surely live!

It is easy and common for us to blame our character defects on our parents.  However, when God adopts a person through the blood and work of the Holy Spirit a new person arises and begins doing works of mercy and justice of His or Her heavenly father.

This is the beauty of Lent it gives us time to discern our spiritual leadership.  John Maxwell[1] recommends increasing your leadership discernment by:

·        Examining your past successes.  What has enabled you?
·        Assessing each person based on their particular situation. Are you stereotyping? Are your treating people as things and not people? Are you treating others as you wish to be treated?
·        Listening to your heart and your head-do the right thing.
·        Learning from wise leaders. Study and read the lives of other leaders.

I recommend we do a book study through this blog to better ourselves in our character development. Many years ago I was interested in doing a book study on a book entitled Character is Destiny[2] with my business students.  As luck would have it I retired from teaching before I could develop the idea. 

The premise of the book is based on 32 stories of great leaders who are examples of 32 traits important to character. My plan is simple: to read, discuss and study in a set pattern. 

Inline image 1First, we would start with a foundation of love and study the story of Mother Theresa. Second step is to develop a core of strength and examine the self-control of Washington or the resilience of Lincoln. Third step is to establish a firm purpose looking into the citizenship of Pat Tillman or the idealism of Sojourner Truth. Fourth step is to work on having an understanding heart and we would examine the forgiveness of Nelson Mandela or the compassion of Maximilian Kolbe. Fifth step is to cultivate a creative mind by delving into the discernment of Leonardo da Vinci or the curiosity of Charles Darwin. The sixth level of character brings us to establish right judgment; here we will look at the fairness of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. or humility of General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Lastly, we would study what are the precepts of true honor and admire the respect of Gandhi or the honesty of Thomas More.

Weekly I will publish comments on each chapter on which you the reader can comment.

Today is the second day of the Novena to St. Joseph

[1] The Maxwell Leadership Bible
[2] McCain, John and Salter, Mark. (2005) Character is destiny. Random House, New York.