VOICES OF THE GRACE MOB :: GOOD TO GRACE (PART 3)
Posted by: Mohan (a member of THE GRACE MOB)
I remember being in the eighth grade and announcing one day that I was becoming a vegetarian. My dad, who actually is a vegetarian, was intrigued, given my soft spot for the honorable General Tso. My excuse had something to do with rodeos and orphans, but of course the real reason was a girl I liked at school. A vegetarian girl. Big surprise, right? Turns out I ended up only making it a day and a half, which, even for me, is pretty bad.
Over the last two weeks, we’ve looked at criteria for a good Hedgehog Concept, which is a term from Jim Collins’ book Good to Great. In a nutshell, a hedgehog concept is a single unifying strategy to take you from good to great. In our case, we’re interested in living lives of exceptional, miraculous, tangible grace – the sort Jesus models to us, and empowers us to dispense.
The first two criteria for a good hedgehog concept were: if you want to be great, and not just good, you must pursue something that…
Today, we'll cover the third and final criterion for a good hedgehog concept:
If you want to be great, and not just good, you must pursue something that you have a passion for.
We need to be careful here, because the word "passion" is thrown around a lot these days. We frequently equate skill with passion, saying someone has "a passion for the game" or "a passion for his music," but anyone who's ever been forced to learn piano by their parents will tell you that skill and passion aren't the same thing. Remember this: skill does not equal passion.
Likewise, temporary interest does not equal passion. I tried to become a vegetarian because I liked a girl, but I had no real passion for it, so I caved at the first chicken nugget that crossed my path.
So what does passion look like? Passion keeps you going even when you're losing money and everyone tells you to quit. Passion keeps you going at 3AM for the fourth night in a row. Passion keeps you going when it seems like no one in the world appreciates you. Passion keeps you going when you're sick as a dog and can barely leave the house.
In other words, passion keeps you going when the flesh tells you to stop. Real passion, in the sense we're talking about, comes from God, and it trumps the flesh every time. And if you want to live a life of great grace, the activities you engage in to dispense grace need to be powered by that kind of passion.
So where do you stand with passion? Ask yourself the following questions, and pray before you answer. Take your time. Be honest.
1. What are my abilities, hobbies, talents, etc? Yup, this one again. You can never wear it out.
2. Why do I do what I do? For each of the items from #1, ask yourself why you do it? Are you good at it? Did someone just assign it to you along the way? Was it a passing fancy that you never gave up?
3. What would I continue doing no matter what? Looking at the "passion keeps you going" list above, ask yourself for each activity/hobby/talent, "Could I keep doing this even in those hard situations?"
4. What am I doing that I don't have a true passion for? Maybe you train a replacement, maybe you phase your role out, whatever. But if you want to dispense great grace, you should find a way to stop doing these things.
And there you have it. If you've done the assessments from all three posts, my hope is that you have a good sense of what needs to continue, what needs to grow, and what needs to stop in your life. My goal has been to give you a strategy for getting to the point of great grace, with concrete steps to take along the way.
So, let us know what you think, and fill us in on what happens!