Daily Prayer :: Water

Encouragement for a lifelong journey of faith

Category: Real Power (page 1 of 2)

June 16 – Power by Purpose

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

Read Matthew 20:20-28

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

More Thoughts for Meditation

Stage Five – Power by Purpose

“Stage Five is unlike all of the preceding stages. Its uniqueness likes in the strength of the inner person relative to the strength of the organizational hold on that person. The guide for behavior in Fives is their inner voice. They trust it more than they trust the rules. Stage Five people are different internally and externally now. They are more congruent because they no longer have to live two separate lives as Stage Fours do….

“Fives have a life ‘calling’ that extends beyond them. This has resulted from a deep, inner churning; a long, slow, or painful evolution in which the old rules have dropped away temporarily and old allegiances, ideas, and people have been reevaluated. These people have encountered themselves head on. They have hit the wall. They have engaged intimately with their Higher Power. They are letting go. They have glimpsed wisdom. And they are finding their inner truth, a life calling, and a moral imperative that goes beyond them. …

“Stage Five people are courageous. They have faced, and continue to face, their fears so they can act in spite of fear. They take risks, tell the truth to the organization, seek compassion, and love mercy. They do this despite the consequences. To be at home at Stage Five means giving away power and leading from behind, as a servant of the group. It is letting go of the written or organizational rules and living with a sense of inner compassion and order. It is learning to strive for others or more often for principles. Above all it is not ego oriented. That is way Stage Fives are called the irregulars in organizations. This is the reason they are so easily misunderstood. No one knows what their agenda is because they don’t have an agenda….

“Stage Five people believe that power multiplies infinitely. The more power you can give away, the better. Power is like love: You can’t have it truly until you give it away or let it go, and the more of it you give unselfishly, the more it multiplies. Fives know that love or power given away comes back full circle but not in the same form in which it was given. They do not attempt to gain or accumulate power because they find the other forms in which it reappears, like caring, appreciation, and friendship, more rewarding.”

Real Power, Janet Hagberg, pp145-146

Suggestions for Action

Can we release our ego involvement without intimacy with God?

If you find it possible – find a calm place – close your eyes – present something that is troubling you to God. Still your mind, listen for God’s reaction. God might draw near in your imagination – you might receive a mental image of God caring for you, or leading you, or being present with you.

If you can’t practice this now:

  1. Can you make a date to do this later? Maybe you need a calendar appointment to meet with God.
  2. Practice the graciousness God feels for you in your approach to your schedule. Appreciate God’s care for you amidst your business.

Pray – God, help me face the range of my fears, and develop my inner voice. Allow me to release myself from the “rules” I imagine bind me – and enjoy intimacy with you. As you have given me your love and your authority, help me receive them, and help me pass them on.

 

June 15 – The Wall

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

Read 2 Samuel 12:1-25

David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”

Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!”

More Thoughts for Meditation

The Wall – a stopping place between stages Four and Five

“There are things to overcome in moving from each of the stages to the next stage but the Wall is the place where the accumulation of things we have hidden from the world, or thought we had hidden, come out to haunt us. At the Wall we cannot move forward without embracing our own personal shadow behavior, behavior that we don’t want to look at but can’t seem to avoid any more. The Wall is the place where our shadow becomes clear and we make a decision whether or not we will deal with it.

“In the Wall we face our controlling ego. We think we are still in charge of our lives and the Wall simply invites us – compels us – to let go. At the Wall we have a choice. We can move forward into the Wall and embrace it or we can go back to a more comfortable place. People live very satisfying lives even if they never go through the Wall. But going through it and learning the wisdom is has to teach us is life-changing. However I would not describe the Wall as inviting. It looks frightening at best, to look at all the things we have swept under the rug for so long. Many of us come to the Wall over and over again and keep feeling the discomfort of its presence in our lives. The decision to move into the Wall requires courage, for in the Wall we face our darkest selves, our shadows.

“So what happens in the wall? It is unique to each person but there are some general experiences people share. … It consists of letting go of your ego, giving up control, moving beyond your intellect, becoming intimate with a higher power, embracing your whole self with all its shadows, and facing your core with its darkness and light.”

“The Wall is a place of transformation. … The Wall is a place of tremendous loss and tremendous gain. It is exhilarating and it is painful. It is never easy. The Wall is the place where we face our inner selves, the truth of who we are, our shame, and ultimately our heart’s deepest desires. We embrace all of this and learn to accept it. … What brings us to the Wall? Loss of meaning, desire for more depth, death, depression, abuse, a call to wholeness, failure, loss of relationship, illness, or soul searching. … What helps us through the Wall? We need to face our fear and develop courage. It is helpful to experience the wall with the help of a trained professional who is not frightened by what you are experiencing.”

“The Wall brings us in contact with our shadows and then asks us not to rid ourselves of them. In fact, we are asked to embrace our shadows. That does not mean we act out all those despicable characteristics, but each time shadow behavior arises within us we ask what the behavior is trying to teach us, or we take the behavior as a signal to do something.”

Real Power, Janet Hagberg, pp125-131

Suggestions for Action

Janet Hagberg asks this question in the chapter – what one quality in you will be dangerous to other people if you are not fully conscious of it?

If we agree with her, we wouldn’t expect a realization of this to come overnight! Let the question stew – see if anything new comes from God.

If you can dedicate 15 minutes – take some time to diary on this.

If not – let God remind you of his care and protection for you among your limits.

June 14 – Power by Reflection

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.

June 13 – Power by Achievement

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

Whatever mission Saul sent him on, David was so successful that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the troops, and Saul’s officers as well.

1 Samuel 18:5

When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”

Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.

Luke 19:45-48

More Thoughts for Meditation

Stage Three – Power by Achievement

“Stage Three is the dynamo stage, the success stage. It is exciting, challenging, rewarding, competitive, and oriented to self-development. People at Stage Three are in the thick of things. They know how the organization works and they help make it work better. The threes are in charge. They have the feeling that “this is it!”…

“All Stage Three people have one thing in common. They like to achieve. Their forms of achievement vary. Some like to be experts or show their knowledge. Others like to set and achieve concrete goals. Others achieve through their products. We arrive at Stage Three by varying routes: degrees, competence, experience, self-confidence, being in the right place, having a sponsor, taking risks, or developing our egos.

“Along with the achievement of Stage Three comes the symbols of success. These vary widely, depending on the arena, but we all yearn for symbols and we all have a need to fulfill our yearning….

“The description of power at Stage Three is control. … Control suggests that one person has more of it than others, that the buck stops somewhere. Control suggests discipline and persistence. Control suggests well-thought-out responses and having strong defense mechanisms. Control suggest regulation and comparison against standards….

“Here are some specific ways to move to Stage Four:

  • Become an observer and detach yourself from ego involvement.
  • Perform a ritual that will help you move out of Stage Three. … One example might be to give away or give up a symbol that has been especially important to you but is not something that you want to cultivate any longer.
  • Start a long-range plan for life change. If you are serious about moving beyond Stage Three and you don’t want to wait for a crisis to happen naturally, commit yourself to a long-term process…
  • Learn from a life crisis. Allow for vulnerability and other feelings that arise.
  • Learn how to be alone with yourself. Go on a long day trip by yourself and see whether you fill it with activities or have some quiet moments to think about larger issues. Learn to sit quietly and listen to your thoughts without having to get anxious.

Real Power, Janet Hagberg, pp53-86

Suggestions for Action

Listening to the Lord may hard – especially if we are in “the dynamo stage” and have filled our schedule. Can you ponder these questions along with the Spirit –

What are your gifts? What kinds of things come easily for you? What are your skills?

Do you see yourself in Stage Three? Are you comfortable here or do you want a change?

Do you see others here? What should you do for them?

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