Finish What You Started PART 3

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 

1 John 3:21-23

Have you ever felt compelled to do something because in your gut you knew it was the right thing? If that thing came from a motivation of love, I believe you are on the right track! (More about being motivated by love in Part 1.)

A handful of sentences has stuck with me the past few months. The gist of it was: “Don’t do things right. Instead, do the right thing. It will take you from running around in circles to forward motion” (Manager Tools, see also this article). It seems to me that’s what today’s verse is pointing out. If our hearts are motivated by love to do the right thing, we won’t be stuck in a Pharisee-mindset of doing things right. Don’t work and love out of obligation, but instead be motivated by love to do the right thing.

In the nonprofit sector, it’s easy to get wrapped up in following the rules laid out by others. Funders, regulators, and even volunteers will have a lot of opinions on what you should do and when. Usually, it’s wise to consider the idea, but pursuing good ideas cut off the possibilities of finishing great ideas.

Last week, I shared with you how I’m learning a lot about finishing from Jon Acuff’s book, Finish. Today, it’s the same song, second verse. I’ve been able to apply some of Acuff’s pointers and combined that with some great pointers from Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, by David Allen. If you’re learning how to do the right thing, prioritization often comes as a first step. Here’s the steps I pulled from David Allen’s book that made a difference for me:

  • Write it all down. Literally write everything on your mind on paper (or digitally).
  • Organize those items into a system that you can take advantage of when you have spare moments.
  • In the end, “done beats perfect” (also a quote of @ShilaMorris from the John Maxwell Team).

As @DavidAllen says, “Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they started.” Finish what God has asked you to do. Your heart will not condemn you. And if you feel your heart condemning you, then take the bold step to ask for a bold outcome for what you are working on in order to finish it.

What are you finishing this week? Share it on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

If what you are finishing is identifying your leadership style, join me for a free webinar this Thursday, April 1 at 5:30 pm PT. Together, we’ll Identify Your Leader Language. Register here.

Photo by Adam Winger on Unsplash

© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.

Note: I did not receive any compensation for this blog post. Some of the links above are “affiliate links.” If you use this link, I receive a small affiliate commission. I recommend books, products, or services that I have enjoyed using and believe you will benefit from as well. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

How to Serve a Nonprofit Well

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Luke 18:9-14

Arloa Sutter in The Invisible: What the Church Can Do to Find and Serve the Least of These taught me the value of knowing the people you serve. And it’s not just understanding them as people and individuals—it’s knowing by experience.

Sometimes new nonprofits flop because the staff, volunteers, and sometimes even the board maintain distance from the people who need them the most. Living in the neighborhood, immersing yourself in that community’s struggles, and being part of the solution is a powerful position to change the world in the life of a person.

I’m not the one to talk. I’ve served on boards in another state, far from the work being done. I’ve tried to help nonprofits that only wanted my dollar bills, not my time or talent. Sometimes an organization wants my help because I’d bring a “fresh perspective” and some outside-the-group-think thinking. Yet, I knew that there was a part of me that just didn’t quite get it. I couldn’t connect with the clients, so my time and talent were not as useful to the organization.

The passage above can provide insight into the need for humility, grace, and God’s acceptance of all people no matter their list of sins. Re-reading it with an eye for motivation means that I have to read it knowing that I can be the Pharisee because of my motivation. It’s the internal intention that shows itself in humility and grace, or the lack thereof.

No matter your role or location, check your motivation. Do you serve for the luxury of being associated with an organization? Or do you have a passion for the work they do? Do you know clients, or just about the clients?

I’m not saying that everyone should quit their jobs, move, and become a client of a nonprofit. What I am encouraging is a reflection to make sure that you are not like the first man in the story that Jesus tells us. It takes humility, he says, to serve well.

Look at your motivations today. Are you the Pharisee or the tax collector? Share your thoughts on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash

© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.

Note: I did not receive any compensation for this blog post. Some of the links above are “affiliate links.” If you use this link, I receive a small affiliate commission. I recommend books, products, or services that I have enjoyed using and believe you will benefit from as well. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.