The Pride of Life

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

1 John 2:15-17

Crickets. That’s what everyone heard after the latest idea from the founder. While the board had been—well—on board with previous ideas, this one seemed to fall a bit outside the nonprofit’s mission. And yet, there was that one time previously when it seemed odd and then it worked. So the unanimous votes of yeas became the chorus of approval to move forward.

The idea…it worked. The nonprofit grew, became more influential in the community, and helped thousands. And the founder not only proved faith to move mountains but became a desired speaker and decisionmaker for significant movements in the community. You could even say the founder’s name was synonymous with the nonprofit. So, what’s the problem?

“The pride of life,” John writes, is something to avoid. Pride can be sneaky. It seems like such a great thing to have pride in one’s life. Especially for a founder, to produce their own name recognition and tie all they do back to the nonprofit. That can be a good thing. The issue, as we see in 1 John, is when the pride of life becomes the focal point rather than the will of God and the pride of life is illuminating through the nonprofit.

It’s a phenomenon called Founder’s Syndrome when the leader seems to be taking the organization to the next level but gets wrapped up in the love of the organization. They care passionately, and don’t see that there’s a cliff in front of them because they are experiencing such great impact. They are unwilling to let others lead or have an opinion. And soon external audiences start to see the organization as the leader and vice versa.

What becomes dangerous about this situation is when it’s time for the founder to move on, and everyone knows the organization will die soon thereafter. Founder’s syndrome may creep in slowly, when someone isn’t confident to raise a hand, when the founder has to the only one to communicate internally or externally, when there’s no decision made without checking in with the founder. It’s their vision, after all. And…we rationalize.

In 1 John, we find that the love of the world and all it brings can be the downfall. Keeping God’s will in the center—the original vision of the organization—helps to keep the organization healthy, and its founder(s) out of loving the attention, the organization, or themselves more than the organization. When a founder who can’t take a vacation because projects will crumble, the protection of a reputation can break up an organization which wanted to do the will of God in the first place.

If you’re organization does not have founder’s syndrome, that’s great! I know of several great organizations that continued after the founder(s) retired, even within the last 10 years. Most of the time, it’s because they had a succession plan in place that allowed for the growth of future leaders and a laser-focus on the mission. Continue to avoid the pride of life, stay the course, and keep the focus on the will of God.

What organizations do you know that successfully navigated around founder’s syndrome? Share it on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

Pre-order Hopelessly Hopeful During Separation, a 28-day devotional for people who are separated from their spouse because of marital struggles, before September 28, 2021. A pre-order helps make the book more visible on September 28. Thanks!!

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

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

P.S. Save the date on September 28, 2021 at 7 pm PT for a zoom book launch party! More details to come in the upcoming weeks.

Wake Up

Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

Revelation 3:2-3

“Yes, we’ll do that, someday.” Someday can be such a terrible word. It can sometimes reveal a need for things to be perfect before being launched. “Someday” can also be a tagging out; getting out of the game. It can show a lack of energy and motivation for the mission.

It happens to the best of us. That lag during the lull when maintaining isn’t fun. The honeymoon phase of a new project, program, or nonprofit has worn off. It comes time to face the challenges that were unforeseen, to work out the kinks, and keep pushing forward even though the finish line isn’t quite in view yet.

While I most recently wrote about the imperative for nonprofit leaders to get good sleep each night (Prioritizing Sleep), this verse talks about when people get sleepy about achieving a mission. When you notice that your team needs to wake up, take heed of this verse:

  • Strengthen what remains. Review what has worked well thus far, and put your shoulder behind that, pushing that forward and leaving the weaknesses behind.
  • Find your unfinished deeds. What roadblock made you cast aside a task or project? Is now the time to pick that back up so that you can reach your mission?
  • Remember. It’s keeping the focus on why you started this thing that will help you complete it. Stay committed
  • Repent. Perhaps it hasn’t gone quite as you expected and predicted. Is there a time to just say, “I’m sorry I can’t get us there?” Perhaps that is the moment when a new partner will bring their fresh perspective to the challenge.
  • Wake up. While good, this thing won’t last. Don’t get caught being content in the mire.

Whatever God has put before you, maintain a level of curiosity, interest, energy, and commitment to the calling. Go forth with gusto. And, perhaps, someday, you’ll sleep better too, knowing you’ve done your best.

Which option do you take when you are feeling sleepy about reaching your mission? Share it on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

Pre-order Hopelessly Hopeful During Separation, a 28-day devotional for people who are separated from their spouse because of marital struggles, before September 28, 2021. A pre-order helps make the book more visible on September 28. Thanks!!

Photo by Laurisa Deacon on Unsplash

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

How to Get Excited About Your Work Again

The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Matthew 8:25-27

Do you remember the first time you were driving and said something like, “That kid’s not old enough to drive”? On the other hand, do you remember what it was like to be that first-time driver (who might have heard many people honking at them)? Those moments later in life show growth, maturity, and probably just plain agitation at a younger generation. What fascinates me is what takes us from the first moment of excitement that becomes the drag of duty. What makes the inspirational become drudgery? What causes us to forsake our first love?

I have a theory that we tend have circular movement. There are seasons, rotations, and “sweet spots” we come back to again and again.

All good things–all things that matter–are circular. For example, I found a notebook from when I was about 12 years old. I hadn’t looked at it forever, so I forgot what it was. It ended up being a summary or a lesson of Bible passages that I was reading daily. I used to (and still) read the Bible all the way through, sometimes in a year, one passage at a time. For me, it’s the habit that counts.

And that habit has come back around in a full circle.

In addition, what I found so fascinating about the notebook is that it’s exactly what I do in these blogs. Read a passage, reflect on it, and then write about it. Writing, or journaling, helps to evaluate experience, and John Maxwell states that evaluated experience is more valuable than just experience. Writing also helps keep the lesson more ingrained and therefore more lived out than if I just heard or read it and did nothing about it (see James 1:23).

A page from a notebook of Bible lessons from circa 1995

The older I get, and the more I reflect, the more I see myself living out what I was as a child. Yet, I’m not always thrilled about finding a pen and writing what I’m learning. It’s not always what gets me going in the morning. What I forget are the excitement and inspiration. I’ve been hardened by the years of expectations, of “been there, done that,” and of judging others who are just beginning.

Do you remember that initial spark of something grand? It’s like when the disciples saw Jesus calm the waves. They were like, “Did you see that? This guy is legit!” And they didn’t even see the big miracles yet—the ones that would blow their minds. I suppose the disciples had their moments of “ho-hums,” especially after Jesus was no longer on the planet. That’s why there’s so much encouragement in the New Testament; Because initial sparks can die down and keeping the flame alive takes work. Sometimes a wintery season of stillness is okay if the spring blooming is on the way.

If you are feeling like you’re in the drag of duty and going through the motions, try some of these possibilities:

  • Write down what sparked it all. What did you feel then, and what have you learned since then?
  • Review what you had journaled during those first days of excitement or talk to someone who had been core to the beginning.
  • Give yourself grace if you are in a season of growth or pausing. What is that thing that you are looking forward to, and how can you take one step toward that today?
  • Let Jesus know how you are feeling and ask for a bit of direction.
  • Remember the days when you couldn’t wait to get out of bed to tackle the day. You’ll remember how Jesus had just calmed the sea, but it took your breath away.
  • Discover the habits that came from those beginning moments, how you’ve come to depend on Jesus for the minor miracles while you seek out the major miracles.

If you are a nonprofit leader, or volunteer, or a community member (I think that covers us all!), there will be moments of boredom. But, with Jesus, you will find the motivation to keep going just like in the early days.

What do you do to get excited about work again? Share it on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

Pre-order Hopelessly Hopeful During Separation, a 28-day devotional for people who are separated from their spouse because of marital struggles, before September 28, 2021. A pre-order helps make the book more visible on September 28. Thanks!!

Photos by Mollie Bond

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

Prioritizing Sleep

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.

1 Peter 1:13

“Sleep is for the weak” I’d say all the time in college. Somehow I thought I could handle taking more credits than the “average” student. I could work more odd jobs than the “average” student. I could even have more networking opportunities than the “average” student. I worked hard to get ahead, and my pride grew with it.

Then, I got older. My need to achieve overcame my common sense and I cut as much sleep as I could so that I could squeeze one more good thing into my life. I still had the same habits and the same motivations—being better than “average.”

I also noticed another trend. The first prayer of the morning was, “Jesus, get me through the day, I’m so tired.” And I also noticed that each journal entry started with, “I’m tired. Grant me energy.” I drank more coffee, worked out harder, but didn’t pay attention to my sleep. My health suffered despite the exercise and upstanding (dare I say, “better than average”) diet.

I read Arianna Huffington’s “The Sleep Revolution” and it taught me about the serious issues a lack of sleep causes. It’s not just that you feel tired, it’s that you aren’t at your best. You aren’t alert and can’t relax on the couch of hope and grace. Striving, pushing, trying to be better than average; It can literally kill you if you’re not sleeping well.

For me, I read this verse and get caught on the words “alert and fully sober.” Fully alert to me means getting enough rest and sleep. It took me years to get to a place of health so that I can have a mind that is fully alert. Teetering on the edge of burnout, in 2013 I was involved in 9 different organizations, mostly on their leadership teams. I cut that back to 4 organizations. I had 20 goals to pursue (from not drinking caffeine to publishing a book). I cut those down to 5 goals. (I’ve heard that it’s best to have 3-5 goals, with 3 being on the better end of the spectrum.) I read a lot about simplification. I didn’t use Sundays as chore day, but instead made it relationship day or a chance to enjoy some good books.

Today, I’m learning even more about sleep. I’ve learned about the HRV (heart rate variability), which is not the total beats your heart takes per minute, but the consistency of the pauses between beats. The higher the HRV, the higher your energy level. What I’ve found so fascinating is that there’s no quick hack to up your HRV. What has changed my score is literally how I treat myself the previous day. And, catch this, it’s the whole day—not just the 30 minutes before I go to bed. If I am kind to myself and live in a place of hope and grace, I find that my HRV (and therefore my energy) is high the next day because I get good rest. If I find that I live in a place of stress and striving, my HRV is low during the night and I’m a wreck the next day—not at all fully alert or sober minded.

In my book (coming out Sept. 28), I talk about the importance of the basics of life. Sleep is one of those basics. Nonprofit leaders, are you setting the example for others by paying attention to the basics of your own life? How is your sleep?

What do you do to help you fall asleep? Share it on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

Pre-order Hopelessly Hopeful During Separation, a 28-day devotional for people who are separated from their spouse because of marital struggles, before September 28, 2021. A pre-order helps make the book more visible on September 28. Thanks!!

Photo by Egor Vikhrev on Unsplash

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

Monkeys, Ants, and Gratitude

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil….always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:15-16, 20

My aunt is not really my aunt. She is the sister of the woman my uncle married, which makes us completely unrelated. Still, I call her aunt, and she is a mentor to me. She introduced me to the concept of the monkeys in an article from Harvard Business Review.

It’s easy and sometimes even desirable to be wanted, needed, and even honored to be asked to do something at work. “Leave it with me.” These four words can feel so good when you say them, but as Mike Clayton says in this video, it adds one more monkey to your desk. Someone asks for your advice and instead you do it for them. This adds one more task (monkey) before the important priorities you may have wanted to work on and complete.

If you don’t have monkeys on your desk, you may have ants. Actually, it’s referred to as the “aunt trap” at Manager Tools. It means one of your boss’s peer ask you to do something but forgets to inform your boss. Usually, the project pulls you away from the priorities your boss set for you. Sometimes it’s referred to the uncle trap, but it’s not just something men do—we all tend to do push monkeys around as we get into progressively difficult and expanding roles.

Whether you have an aunt problem or your aunt introduces you to the monkey problem, there are plenty of people who used those four words “leave it with me” and lived unwisely.

I didn’t see why I shouldn’t say “leave it with me” for years. I used to think that making the most of every opportunity meant doing it all. I wanted to prove I was a valuable hire, that I could do whatever was handed to me, and that I could do it all right now right away. It’s taken a few burnouts, stray monkeys, and some ants crawling around my desk to learn that I’m not to do it all—I’m to live wisely. I’ve learned that the most wisest way to live may mean saying no so I can focus on what God has asked me to do.

What I love so much about this passage is that the paragraph ends with thankfulness. It’s hard to skirt around monkeys with gratitude. It’s much easier to be thankful for teammates, for growth, and for opportunities that make sense with the role and calling God has given me the privilege to live out. Living wisely makes me genuinely grateful, not fake grateful. And, it removes monkeys, too.

If you have an aunt problem or some monkeys on your desk, Mike Clayton recommends four next steps:

  1. Identify with the person the problem (the what)
  2. Identify with the person the owner (the who)
  3. Identify with the person the next steps and the authority to act (the how)
  4. Identify with the person a time to check in (the what if)

Do you have a way you deal with monkeys or ants? Share it on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

Pre-order Hopelessly Hopeful During Separation, a 28-day devotional for people who are separated from their spouse because of marital struggles, before September 28, 2021. A pre-order helps make the book more visible on September 28. Thanks!!

Photo by Norbert Levajsics on Unsplash

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

Donor Fatigue and The Comparison Trap

When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”

Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

John 21:21-23

The speaker asked in a training session, “When was the last time a donor said, ‘I can’t donate because I’m tired of giving? Oftentimes, when we hear of donor fatigue, it’s other nonprofits providing an excuse. To avoid joining this groupthink, don’t compare your donors to other nonprofit donors…get to know them for who they are and invest in them in the way they would appreciate.”

It was a shift for me to think about donor fatigue and the comparison trap. Donor fatigue is defined by the Oxford Languages as “a lessening of public willingness to respond generously to charitable appeals, resulting from the frequency of such appeals.” As one always learning more about the nonprofit sector, I devour a few blogs and articles a week, listen to podcasts and webinars, and talk to other nonprofit leaders. And yet, I know that I do those things more than the simple notion of talking to the people in the nonprofit I serve—our clients, staff, and donors. Have I assumed that our donors are fatigued about hearing successes or engaging with our stories of need, or have I compared donors who love my nonprofit to the donors of nonprofits around me?

Jesus knew about the comparison trap. He knew that people would base their experience of Himself on what others had experienced—not what was going on between that person and Himself. After He rose, never to die again, Jesus gave Peter a sneak peek into the future. And those around Peter and Jesus immediately started guessing and comparing. Jesus squashed that thinking quickly by saying, “What I’ve shared is between the two of us, and there’s no need to compare your situation to that of Peter. Keep focused on what I’ve asked you to do, and don’t worry about those around you.

Can you think of a recent situation where you fell into the comparison trap? Was it about donor fatigue or a program success or even the next steps you should take? Listen to Jesus. What is He saying?

If you have remembered a situation where you were caught in a comparison trap and escaped, like this post and then share your encouragement on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

Pre-order Hopelessly Hopeful During Separation, a 28-day devotional for people who are separated from their spouse because of marital struggles, before September 28, 2021. A pre-order helps make the book more visible on September 28. Thanks!!

Photo by Kseniia Samoylenko on Unsplash

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

What are Your Habits?

Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him…but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.

John 7:44; 8:1-2

Email, meetings, donor calls. Or maybe, clients, reports, timecard. Or perhaps, payroll, complaint, handbook. Our days fill with what our roles require. However, we have the power to choose and end each day with a routine that allows for consistency. And, as John Maxwell says, “Consistency compounds.” What you do on a daily basis grows into easier tasks, stronger projects, and more strategic living and working. Habits are the key to consistency.

Habits provide comfort and stability, and habits can also pave the way for growth. Those things that you mark daily or tick off in routine can advance your mission if you have intentional habits. To start building your habits, try these steps:

  1. Review all your projects. I mean all your projects. David Allen has a great system in Getting Things Done, and perhaps one more project you want to add is to read his book (or listen to the audiobook as you collect your “open loops!”)
  2. Categorize: Doing, Done, Delegate, Defer.
  3. Out of the doing, what are things only you can do? What will most likely advance the mission?
  4. What are the three things that must be done daily—consistently—to create forward motion? Those are your habits.
  5. Create an ideal week. Literally make a week calendar of what you would do if the world was your oyster and you could do whatever it took to advance the mission. (See a link for my favorite template here.) Make sure your “doing” is on the calendar, as well as your habits.

It’s been said that to know a person’s passions and priorities you only need to look at a bank statement and a calendar. It seems to me that Jesus’ calendar included death threats, prayer, and teaching.

Jesus had done some miraculous work. There were threats on his life, but he went to the Mount of Olives. There are other occasions where Jesus goes to the Mount. Perhaps it was a place of retreat, a habit of prayer and peace. I imagine that Jesus got away so that he could engage in the work again. The habit formed a multiplying effect. In other words, the habit of getting away made way for productivity.

What are those habits that help you engage in the work? What is your sanctuary? When do you go? Share your three “musts” that you do each day on Facebook. @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

Make it a habit to invest in yourself and become more productive! Attend a free one-hour webinar, Organize Your Organization on Thursday, June 3 at 5:30 pm Pacific Time. This webinar is to help you set up your organization, and also a few tips on how to organize your own work. Register here.

Photo by Jason Hogan 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.

What To Do With Problems

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

If you work in the nonprofit sector, then you know of problems. Problems in getting clients the support they need, problems with internal systems, problems with budgets and paperwork. Personnel problems, software problems, facility problems. It’s a lot of problems that may overwhelm a person! So, how do you overcome all these problems?

I read recently in John Maxwell’s Everyone Communicates Few Connect that there will always be problems. The goal is not to live void of problems, but have better problems. A better problem is one that means you are on track to reaching your mission. For example, your current software program isn’t flexible in the way that your growing nonprofit needs it to be, and so now you have the problem of finding a different software solution. Or, you had an event that brought in so much money that your team is maxed out on entering in donations, calling donors, and storing the new banners. Those are better problems to have than the alternative—an event that didn’t bring in donations and donors, or no need for new marketing materials.

There’s even better advice to share on better problems. Jesus says to have peace. You will have troubles. It’s a reminder I need too; Next to this verse, I wrote my name to remind myself that I am not immune from problems.

So, the next time you run into a problem (and you will), consider first if this is a better problem. And then, take heart and ask Jesus for the peace that has overcome the world.

Prayer: Jesus, problems aren’t fun, but I know You didn’t promise a problem-free life. Help me when I run into problems and give me a creative spirit when I have better problems. Thank You for supplying me with peace in those situations.

Will you choose peace today? If so, give a like to this post on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

Photo by Colton Duke 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.

To Begin a Nonprofit, Be Trustworthy

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So, if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?

Luke 16:10-12

We ran into each other in the hall at work. She was an extraordinary student I got to know through her part-time job with my department. Her story of trial and triumph was inspirational—foster care to serving in Africa—and she truly had a passion to help people who had experienced what she had. So, as we walked the halls, she asked, “What tips do you have for a new nonprofit?”

To which I answered, “Who are you currently helping?” The slightly awkward pause told me that this particular student didn’t help anyone…yet. She hadn’t asked what her community needed…yet. She hadn’t been among those she wanted to help…yet. She had a passion and an experience, but not the trust factor with clients, donors, or volunteers to be in a place to start the nonprofit.

Did she have the passion? Yes. Did she have the capabilities? Yes, to a fault. You see, this student had already started 3 other nonprofits before which had permanently closed. The conversation reminded me of a mentor who once told me there are those who start things, and those who maintain things. You need both in life.

Starting a nonprofit is fun. It is also hard work. No one starts in greatness, with a stable influx of clients, flush with cash, and every programmatic element running smoothly to help millions of people in the first year. And, if it does happen, there’s often a sharp incline downward because the experience needed to handle crises hasn’t formed yet. Rather than celebrating centuries of service, they celebrate completion when the nonprofit closes its doors.

Jesus teaches us that to be trustworthy with big things (like big vision and big plans), prove yourself trustworthy with the small things. If you are involved with a big nonprofit, this means taking care of the little things, like paperwork, donors who don’t give large donations, and responding to the many requests for the many needs. It may seem insignificant, but it is a step toward trustworthiness. As Dr. John C. Maxwell states, “Consistency compounds.” These consistent actions over time will prove yourself capable to handle the bigger issues and challenges larger nonprofits face.

On the other hand, if you are a smaller nonprofit, get good first (Paul Martinelli). Develop your people, processes, and policies to be timeless resources. Prove yourself trustworthy with all the small details. And, while you’re not looking, you’ll grow into that world-renown nonprofit helping millions.

And if you are a student looking to impact people who have experienced a past similar to yours, use that. There’s no need to get a 501c3 to extend a hand or provide a listening ear. You don’t need millions of dollars to connect with another and ask how you can help. A systematic program doesn’t need to be followed by the one you are helping. Go, make a difference in your community one person at a time. And then ask, “What tips do you have for a new nonprofit?”

What will you do to help another person today? Share your story on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

Photo by Tim Marshall 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 Find Treasure

He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.

Isaiah 33:6

What’s your favorite movie? I am a huge fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean. I remember quoting lines with a friend who loved the movie just as much when it first came out. We talked about the ship called the Pearl that was the treasure in the movie everyone wanted. My friend bought a car and named it the Pearl. The purple sheen overlaid a white car, so the name fit.

People will do a lot of things for treasure. Some of that activity is not so good: stealing, lying, cheating. In the nonprofit sector, employees will change entire programs and the way people receive services to receive dollars from a particular donor.

Other activities that earn treasure are good: building character, learning patience, growing. The individual activities that make individuals better ripples into the sector. When people in the nonprofit sector become better, everyone gets better: clients, staff, volunteers, and board members. As John Maxwell says, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” Consider your circles of influence and how when you earn “treasure” how they will also benefit.

Seeking treasure begins on the individual level. But what is that individual to do first? To find that pearl of value, Isaiah says to fear God. Of course, this isn’t the quaking-in-your-pirate-boots fear, a scaredy-black-cat fear. This is respecting God for who He is and what He does in and through you.

Perhaps the better way of saying it is that God:

  • Is a strong place to stand, a sure foundation.
  • Is the wisest and deepest, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge.
  • Will show you the treasure map if you are willing to follow His path.

In fact, it could be said that finding God is finding the ultimate treasure. And if that’s the case, then the search for treasure is the search for God. Even in a car named Pearl.

How are you finding God as the treasure today?

After seeking God as the Treasure, find your success principles in a free webinar called 7 Proven Success Principles. You’ll learn how to set goals based on your beliefs and core values on Thursday, May 6 at 5:30 pm Pacific Time. Register here.

Photo by Marin Tulard on Unsplash

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