The Christian living site of Pastor Jim Piper, Jr.

My Passion

February 24, 2013 :: Jim Piper, Jr.

It's a snowy Sunday morning in Colorado. The type of day and weather that encourages me to reflect. As humans, we have passion. To some this is news but to most I am stating the obvious. Our Creator intentional designed us with passion. Though it can vary in levels of intensity and flavor, we are gifted with this essence.

I'll be 53 next month and I continue to learn about myself and others. I am somewhat surprised how the passion of understanding continues to come to the surface. I find myself examining why people do the things they do. Why do I do the things I do? What is the cause? What is the motive? What is subconscious and what is deliberate? What is reaction and what is premeditated?

Many years ago, I crafted my life purpose statement. It included two key words: "Inspiring Faith." Those two words have served me well but the time has come for a more precise phrase. In some ways I will miss Inspiring Faith and in other ways it will always be part of who I am.

I have learned that faith is one of seven elements of character. With that in mind, it informs my true purpose and passion in life which is to Shape Character. Shaping Character in the lives of leaders and organizations is my life passion. Obviously, it cannot be done without faith. A passion to shape character starts with me. My character needs continual development. As I allow a supernatural transformation to be at work in me, my life will become increasingly focused on mentoring, friendship, teamwork, and community.

Transactional leadership is a necessity. Things need to get done. But the true test of any transaction is the motive behind it. If the DNA of a leader, a relationship, an organization is rooted in godliness, it will be transformational. What is that exactly? My short definition: "To see, understand, and value the good in a person or organization while allowing the supernatural affects of authentic relating sharpen and shape character toward godliness." 

It's no secret for those who know me. I hate injustice. I hate injustice because I have experienced it during the normal process of childhood. I don't hate injustice because I am the pillar of character the world should study. For whatever reason I cannot accept injustice toward a person, a people, an animal, or even non-living things. I can't stand it when one person or group lords it over another. 

I chuckle a bit when I try to understand why I have this chip on my shoulder. Have I experienced anything as tragic as the Jewish people during Hitler's delusion? No. Have I been falsely accused sentenced to prison? No. What deep wounds are embedded in me that cultivates this passion for justice? 

One does not have to experience the worst to feel it. With some experiences, God gives us the ability to empathize with others who have gone through much worse. It would be easy to misunderstand me at this point thinking I want to seek justice for every wrong been done to me or others. This would be completely incorrect. I am thankful that God's justice toward me and my sin has been satisfied by the sacrificial life and death of Jesus Christ. As a result, I am called to extend forgiveness to those who have offended me. 

Seeking justice for wrong doing is not what I am living for. What I seek is for leaders to act justly. The core belief motivating my passion to Shape Character in the lives of leaders and organizations is that if leaders acted justly fewer would seek justice. 

In other words, there are two sides to justice: seeking justice for wrong doing or providing it by living justly. The more leaders and organizations act justly, the less people will have a need to seek it.

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