This we are engaging with Janet Hagberg’s book Real Power. Hagberg’s model might interest you as a way to interpret the world; it might offer a tool to interpret your own development or your interactions with others. Listen to the Spirit as she loves you even as you are today. For context/introduction see the entry for June 10.

Today’s Bible Reading

This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.

1 Corinthians 4:1-5

More Thoughts for Meditation

Stage Four: Power by Reflection

“Stage Four people have influence in organizations, not because of their position power but because of their reputation for sound judgment, fairness, and a listening ear. These qualities have developed as a result of their own inner struggles and reflection on their values and purpose. They are coming to know themselves in a new way, a more intimate way. And they can be more honest because they have less to lose. Their security comes from within. The important focus with them is what is going on inside. …

“The entrance to Stage Four frequently involves a painful confusing experience and only gradually do Fours move on to the strengths that show publicly. The entry is masked with confusion, grief, and ambiguousness. Fours have no answers to their pressing questions of meaning and purpose and they have to learn to live with the questions.

“Stage Fours have influence, and that is the definition of power at this stage. People respect their advice, come to them for counsel, want their recommendations, and invite them to plan with them, no matter what level they happen to occupy in the organization. They give people straight answers, are more caring, are better listeners, and do not use their position in the organization as a lever.

“The ability to admit to human limitations and to be able to let go of the need to be in control is one of the major factors that distinguish Stage Fours from previous stages emotionally. The impulse to be in control, to take charge, is still strong, and Fours constantly struggle with it. Running things has always been their practice, and it has worked well most of the time. But now they are learning from a slow inner process that life and work are not really controllable ultimately, and they are beginning to feel there is a different way to be.”

“Stage Four is the first stage that can be labeled as true leadership as opposed to traditional position power leadership. … In order to determine which people show the characteristics of true leadership we must ask leaders who they are promoting: themselves, others, themselves at the expense of others, both themselves and others? In this context, although some people lead others at each stage, a truly non-self promoting leadership does not begin until Stage Four. Fours have survived the integrity crisis and have emerged as more whole, honest, principled, reflective, and secure people. Stage Threes are good at being in charge or up in front, but their leadership is constructed around their own skills, their position, outcomes – and ultimately their own egos. In contrast, Fours think as much about other people as they do themselves, therefore taking a broader approach to the issues and to leadership.”

Real Power, Janet Hagberg, pp93-109

Suggestions for Action

In today’s scripture, Paul writes –

  • My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent.
  • It is the Lord who judges me.
  • Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes.
  • He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness …
  • and will expose the motives of the heart.

Paul is reminding us that the truest judgment is yet to come.

What is the Lord whispering to you today? Is there an insight into your motivations and “leadership” that you need to hear? Or do you need to assume the attitude of Paul – with a clear conscience, even if you are not innocent, because the Lord’s appointed time has not yet come?

Pray by meditating on the scripture. Read it slowly and see what the Spirit brings up.