If leading, get out front
March 28, 2007
How easy it is for us to slip behind the larger vision, pressing others to join, all the while keeping our powder dry.
My argument goes this way: "I'm spending my energy in getting the idea going: that's my contribution."
And in matters of giving I slip into this rationalization: "I live on a modest salary and because I get less than I might receive elsewhere, the difference is my gift."
One day in meeting with Henry, a friend and coach, he asked bluntly, "Brian, what are you giving to the campaign?" His reference was the very large capital campaign—for us—of $58 million.
To many from whom I've asked to give major gifts, I've said, "If we don't think in terms larger than we've ever thought before, we simply won't achieve this goal."
So when Henry asked, I told him of our commitment—the largest we have ever made. His abrupt question was, "Is that a relatively easy gift or is it real sacrifice?"
Here the Spirit bumped hard against my rationalization. In the end, Lily and I pushed ourselves beyond what was seemingly feasible. I knew that unless the sacrifice was a stretching of our faith, how could I ask others to do the same.
Father, owner of the cattle scattered across the hills of this country, may the risk of faith we ask others to exercise not be lost on us. For we know the joy of obedience is found in pushing ourselves in faith beyond what we can do ourselves. In love and faith, Amen.
Don't expect others to take greater risks or make greater sacrifices than you have.