By Liam Glover
[4 min read]
I like the idea of investments that reap rewards. Over the years, some of my investments have returned great rewards (a few years back an Australian based IPO doubled in value in the first few minutes of trade) and others have spectacularly failed (another investment went from $2/share to 4c/share over a couple of years).
Other investments have returned (and are returning) incredible, eternal rewards. The deliberate investment Rachel (my wife) and I made into our boys from a young age continues to return incredible rewards as they have matured into men of character in various aspects of life and leadership.
The whole investment reward concept is what I like to call a “Genesis principle.” That is to say, regardless of who you are or what faith position informs your life, these truths apply to the experience of all humanity. Another phrase that could be used is “the sowing reaping principle.” That is, if you plant seeds now, in a season to come you will reap a harvest reflective of the seed that is sown.
As leaders we are constantly thinking about the future – missional outcomes, financial outcomes, relationship outcomes. And for those outcomes to be achieved we need to invest (or plant seeds) now, and then continue to tend those investments (or seeds) for them to flourish maximally.
So as the life of work and ministry slows a little over the Christmas / New Year period, what will you choose to invest into to reap a harvest throughout 2023? Here are a few ideas…
New Spiritual Rhythm
I’m guessing you’ve been practising spiritual rhythms which enrich your connection to the vine. Perhaps there is a new rhythm to add to your spiritual practices. Could you read scripture ecstatically? Engage in Scripture reflection through Lectio Divina? Understand the fullness of God’s provision through sacrifice? Maybe experience God’s revelation through Terra Divina?
I’m not suggesting you read a book backwards, upside down or in a different language. What I am suggesting though is reading something that’s different from your usual. If you usually read fiction, perhaps a historical piece. If you usually read blogs, try reading something longer. If you usually read something around a particular topic (eg. leadership) why not read an autobiography.
Say “No” before you say “Yes”
It’s so easy to be enamoured with the idea of taking on something new. However, the ‘8th day” does not exist, and it is not possible to add more activity to our life without things starting to crumble around us. Remove an activity from your life before adding a new priority into your world.
Initiate the daily routine of encouraging someone. Whether it is for something that you have experienced or something that you have observed, a word of encouragement might be exactly what’s required for the one who is the beneficiary of your encouraging words. Right words, right timing!
Curiosity for Understanding
Be interested in those around you. Ask questions to understand more. Discover what stirs others to laugh, cry, cheer or shy away. With over 8 billion people to get to know, you could understand more about a new person every day of the rest of your life and still be merely scratching the surface.
Seek Commonality, Not points of Difference
When connecting with people, look for and celebrate those times where your ideas, preference and or priorities align, as opposed to looking for places of conflict and difference. Enjoy those times when we recognise that those with whom we connect are created in the image of the Creator, bearing the image of God. We are more like our neighbours than we might want to initially recognise.
Seeding an investment by adopting one or more of the above practices (or something else, of course) in the next few months may reap a reward that enables you to inhabit the future with momentum and fresh perspective, as you partner with God.