Well-Rounded People Have No Point

well rounded 3As a child, I frequently heard people talking about being well balanced. It seemed when an individual fixated on one thing, others looked down on that type of behavior. People talked about being a “well-rounded person” as if that was the goal.

In order to be well-rounded and balanced, we needed to find out what our weaknesses were and work on them. People wanted us to be involved in different types of activities so we could grow up well balanced. It was exhausting.

As I got older, I noticed there were some things I enjoyed and did well. There were other things I did not enjoy and did very poorly. I had little to no interest in improving some of those activities that I did not enjoy. However, if I wanted to be well-rounded I needed to “try harder” at those activities of which I performed poorly.

well rounded personAs I became an adult, I began to notice that many of the people who made the biggest difference in the world were not “well-balanced”, they were intensely-focused. They did not try to do everything equally well, they did just a few things extremely well. They were people who followed their dreams, talents, and strengths in a way that not only served them but served the world as a whole.

Have you ever found it interesting that the higher up you go in education the more narrow your subject matter? Why is that? The higher the quality of education the more intensely focused it becomes.

Please do not misunderstand me, I am not saying we should ignore those areas where we are not very strong. However, most of our time and energy should be invested in becoming even better in those areas where we are already better than most other people. It is not about being balanced. It is about being intensely focused. I encourage people to invest about 20% of their time and energy into improving their weaknesses (maintenance) and about 80% of their time and energy into improving their strengths (mastery).

John Maxwell uses this illustration; imagine a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest. Maxwell says if we try really, really hard we might be able to raise our number about 2 points. If we are a 2 in something and we work really, really, hard to improve we might

einstein

get up to a 4. Fours are average. However, if we are a 7 at something and we work really, really hard we could possibly bring it up to a 9. And people pay big money for nines.

Albert Einstein, someone who changed the world by being intensely focused and not “well-rounded”, put it this way, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Why? Why would a well-functioning fish think it is stupid?  Because it was not made to climb trees. There are some things you are made for and some things you are not. “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that” (Galatians 6:4, The Message).

Here is the fact of the matter: well-rounded people have no point! Forget about being well-rounded and instead get intensely-focused on what God created you to do. Well-rounded people may be good people. I am not putting them down. They are contributors to their communities. They live stable lives. But intensely focused people…They change the world!


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to ignite their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

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What a Cold Bath Taught Me About Failure (Video)

About a year after my wife and I got married, we decided it was time to buy a house…


Do you need help on knowing where to start?  I offer one complimentary discovery call if you’d like some help figuring out how God has specially gifted you.


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

Check Tommy’s availability or leave a note:

Keep Your Eyes on Jesus

Stan McDanielMy college professor had a catch phrase he would use whenever the discussion seemed to get to a point of no resolution. A controversial conversation would be taking place and out of the blue Dr. Stan McDaniel would say, “Keep your eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith.” I think Dr. McDaniel or Stan as most of us knew him, reflected a pretty good philosophy with that statement.

Of course, that line comes straight out of the Bible; Hebrews 12:2, Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author, and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (NIV). What a way to look at the world by looking to Jesus. The Voice version of the Bible says “Now stay focused on Jesus.” In the midst of everything going on in the world and everything going on in our personal lives let us simply “Keep our eyes on Jesus.”

Not only is Jesus the “author and perfecter of our faith,” he is the one and only perfect example of how to live, think, feel, and believe. If we keep our focus on Jesus, we know we are moving in the right direction.

eyesonjesus

When we get bombarded with social and political issues, when we find ourselves in the midst of a theological and doctrinal debate with others and even inside our own minds, when we are so distraught with the burdens of this life, let us keep our eyes on Jesus. When I am in the right state of mind, my focus is not on whether I am right and you are wrong. My focus is not on my financial situation.  My focus is not on the state of my country. My focus is on Jesus. All of these other issues only matter to me to the extent they are related to my focus being on Jesus.

So, thank you, Dr. Stan McDaniel, for helping me keep my focus where it needs to be in the midst of all the distractions. Thank you for giving me a go to verse in the midst of confusion. Thank you for influencing me to be influenced by Jesus!

As we go through the process of discovering our purpose, setting goals, and answering God’s call on our life, as we read and grow to become the best version of what God created us to be, as we climb to our God-given potential let us remember this:

“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God” (Hebrews 12:2, The Message).


Do you need help on knowing where to start?  I offer one complimentary discovery call if you’d like some help figuring out how God has specially gifted you.


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

Check Tommy’s availability or leave a note:

Who Has Influenced Your Life? Whose Life Are You influencing?

popeye4I have had many people support and believe in me over the years that have greatly influenced who I am. My dad was a huge influence in my desire to read and learn as well as the developing the gumption to not always take the easy way (Sometimes I think he wished he had not taught that last lesson so well). My mom greatly influenced me in my demeanor. I am not easily ruffled and much of that comes from my mom.

Jack Bunch was my minister when I was a little kid. I created havoc Sunday mornings after church because I would come down the aisle of the church to shake Jack Bunch’s hand.  Then I would circle back around through the crowd and come back out and shake his hand again. I would repeat this to an annoying degree every Sunday.

funny crowd

One day Jack Bunch gently grabbed me by the shoulders and said, “Why don’t you simply stand beside me and shake everybody else’s hand as they walk out of the church building?” If he had given me a million dollars, it would not have meant more to me than that act! For several Sundays, I would stand right beside Jack Bunch and shake people’s hands as they walked out of the church building. Maybe that is where the seed was planted that I would one day become a minister.

EddieA few years later, Eddie Hammond was our minister and he was always supportive of my singing and songwriting. When most adults thought it was funny that a kid was writing songs, Eddie Hammond actually encouraged me. Influences like that have a huge impact. Even today, music is still a big part of my life.

Monty Cooper

A few years later, Monty Cooper was our minister and he helped me write my first sermon when I was fifteen years old. He sat down with me and walked me through some simple steps to developing a sermon. I wrote a 20-minute sermon and it took me all of 5 minutes to preach it. But it would my first of many sermons I would write and deliver.

Don ThieA few years later, Don Thie was our minister and Don took a special interest in me, especially after he found out I was planning on going to Bible college to prepare for ministry. He included me in ministry opportunities in the church. We would practice music together and lead worship together from time to time. He allowed me to preach often on Sunday nights. He even took me on a road trip to visit some Bible colleges so I could make a more educated decision about where I wanted to go.

Dave MaltzanWhile I was in college, Dave Maltzan became the minister of my home church. Dave always helped me along in ministry. I had a weekend ministry in the same town at this time and Dave was a mentor to me. The first time I watched someone die in the hospital, Dave Maltzan was there and helped me through it.

These are just some of the influences in my life. I hope I am an influence in other people’s lives the way they have been in mine. Much of who I am is because of their influence and I am thankful. Thank you, Mom, Dad, Jack Bunch, Eddie Hammond, Monty Cooper, Don Thie, Dave Maltzan, and many others who have been a significant, godly influence in my life. Who knows where I would be without you.

Who has influenced your life? Whose life are you influencing?


Do you need help on knowing where to start?  I offer one complimentary discovery call if you’d like some help figuring out how God has specially gifted you.


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

Check Tommy’s availability or leave a note:

Climbing to Our God-Given Potential Together

_MG_0038lowresWOW! Last week I completed 100 blogs over the course of 100 business days. I love traveling this path to my God-given potential and I love sharing this journey with others. Over the past 100 blogs, I have shared with you stories and lessons I have learned over 25 plus years of climbing to my God-given potential.

I am investing the rest of my life sharing my experiences and lessons through speaking, writing, and coaching. For those of you who have joined me on this journey, I hope I get to see more and more of you as we take this journey together. I know this journey may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but for some of you, this is exactly what you want out of life.

_MG_0023cropOver the past 100 blogs, I have shared about:

Overcoming failure

Relationships

Priority management

Our spiritual walk

Goals

Dreaming

Believing

Achieving

Enthusiasm

And a number of other subjects. However, they all have one thing in common – climbing to our God-given potential. It is my heart’s desire to have as many people as possible join me on this journey.

007I will continue to write blogs, but probably not five a week like I have done over the past few months. The main subject in all of them will be how we can better climb to our God-given potential. Thank you for reading as you travel with me.

What are some areas I could cover that would help you in your climb to your God-given potential? Perhaps someone else is needing similar information as they take their journey. What are some success stories you would like to share?

I want to learn from you as much as you learn from me. Remember, we are on this journey together, let’s help each other along the way. Here we go!

Do you need help on knowing where to start?  I offer one complimentary discovery call if you’d like some help figuring out how God has specially gifted you.


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

Check Tommy’s availability or leave a note:

Fourth Roadblock: Irresponsibility; Blockbuster: Commitment to a Vision

How often do we see people that we would consider extremely smart and/or talented and yet they seem to do nothing with their lives? How many times do we think, “Wow, if that person would just put their mind to it they could do great things”? How many times do you think somebody else says the same thing about you?

It is easy for us to look at others and talk about what they could do to make this world a better place. We may think, “If I had their ability I would…” But what are you doing with the ability you do have?

abilityThere is something all of us can do better than most other people. What you can do better than most people may be different from what I can do better than most people, but we all have something. The question is not whether we have the ability, the question is whether we will respond to that ability?

The fourth roadblock to us climbing to our God-given potential is irresponsibility. Look at the word responsibility… It is our “response” to our “ability”. We all have at least one ability we do better than most other people. Will we respond to that ability?

To not respond to our ability is irresponsible. It irresponsible not to use what God has given us for his glory. The world needs all of us to use the abilities God has given us. God did not give us those abilities to hide, but to serve him and serve other people.

Where would the world be if Alexander Grahm Bell decided not to use his abilities? Where would we be if Steve Jobs had not taken what Alexander Grahm Bell created and made something even better? Where would we be if Bill Gates had not used his abilities? Where would we be if Billy Grahm had not used his abilities? The list could go on and on. God has given you some specific abilities. My encouragement is to discover them and use them.

Follow your dreams

So, what is the blockbuster to the roadblock of irresponsibility? Commitment to a vision! Discover how God is wanting to use you and your abilities to change the world and then pour yourself into whatever that may be. If you do not follow God’s purpose for your life, something very important may not happen.

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (KJV). Having a commitment to a God-given vision is life giving. We will never climb to our God-given potential without a commitment to a vision.

Helen Keller stated it so well when she was asked if there was anything worse than being blind. Her response, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” If someone had a legitimate reason to not respond to their ability, it was Helen Keller. However, she responded to the ability she did have and helped to change the world.

Will you step up and respond to your ability? Will you take responsibility for your own life in a way that will make a difference in the lives of those around you? Bust through that roadblock of irresponsibility by committing to a God-given vision and who knows, you just might help to change the world.

Need help on knowing where to start?  I offer one complimentary discovery call if you’d like some help figuring out how God has specially gifted you.


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

Check Tommy’s availability or leave a note:

Third Roadblock : Fear; Blockbuster: Faith

I have been helping dreamers, believers, and achievers climb to their God-given potential for almost 25 years and the most frequently mentioned roadblock with people I have worked with is…fear. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of losing friends, fear of what others may think, fear of stepping out of their comfort zone, the list goes on and on. Fear is the number one roadblock I have seen for those not climbing to their God-given potential. People are often paralyzed by fear.

Several years ago I heard this acronym for fear:

fear

False

Evidence

Appearing

Real

Most of the fear that keeps people from moving forward is based on speculation at best and complete falsehoods at worst. True story: Several years ago, a man hijacked a plane. He had a box with a bar of soap in it and he told the pilot he had a bomb and to turn the plane around and go to Cuba. The pilot turned the plane around and he went to Cuba.

The evidence was false, but it appeared very real.

So, what is the blockbuster used to bust through the roadblock of fear? Faith! “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1, NIV). Faith will not eliminate fear, but it will give us the courage to move forward in spite of our fear. Everyone experiences fear. It is what we do in the midst of that fear that will be the determining factor in whether or not we reach our God-given potential.

Here is an acronym for faith:

faith1Fearless

Attitude

Inspiring

Troubled

Hearts

Having the faith and trust in God to move forward in the midst of our fears will also inspire others to do the same. As an introvert, I have had to overcome many internal fears in order to follow the plan and purpose God has for me. Faith has made the difference not only in me but also in those I have worked with over the years.

About five or six years ago, I used these acronyms as a Facebook post. Someone commented that the acronyms were cheesy, corny, and trite. Maybe they are, I don’t know. I do know they have helped me put both fear and faith in the right perspective and that has helped me climb to my God-given potential. So, if I need a little corn and cheese to please God then, by all means, bring on the corn and cheese!

I will say that several people came to my defense on that post. The one who made the comment did not put any additional comments. I have no hard feelings toward the one who made the comment. I am saying that what one person may roll their eyes at, another person may take and apply to their lives and it makes all the difference in the world.

I am a simple person and often times simple principles are what help me the most. So, if you feel these acronyms are too corny or cheesy to be helpful, then go ahead and roll your eyes, give a little smirk, and then find something that is helpful for you. Do whatever it takes to climb to your God-given potential.

However, if you are like me and these simple truths help get you closer to your God-given potential, then embrace them. The important thing is not that you like my blogs, videos, books, and teachings. The important thing is that you find the tools to help you climb to your God-given potential!


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

Check Tommy’s availability or leave a note:

 

First Roadblock: Denial; Blockbuster: Positive Self-Talk

I have shared with you before about how my mindset changed from a 6th-grade flunky to a 4.0 Masters student. I went from thinking I was an average student at best to a student that could excel. When my view of myself changed then so did my actions which changed my results.

roadblockbuster4This change in the way I saw myself has changed other areas of my life as well. I transformed from a shy kid to an adult that is able to stand up in front of crowds and enthusiastically encourage and challenge dreamers, believers, and achievers to dream more clearly, believe more confidently, and achieve greater results. I am helping people transform just like I did. It is amazing!

One of the roadblocks to us reaching our God-given potential is denial. A denial that we have what it takes to make the climb. Maybe it is because we have failed in the past or maybe we never thought of ourselves as someone who could achieve great results.

Consistent denial of our abilities and responsibilities will stop us in our tracks. We cannot climb to our God-given potential when we deny the fact that God has made us for greatness. Great performance cannot be achieved with an “I am not good enough” mentality. I know. I tried it.

roadblockbuster3

One of the best ways for me to bust through the roadblock of denial was changing my negative self-talk to positive self-talk. What we consistently say to ourselves impacts the way we see ourselves. I would encourage you to read Over the Top by Zig Ziglar, What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by Shad Helmstetter, or Self Talk, Soul Talk by Jennifer Rothschild. All three of those books will help you in changing your negative self-talk into positive self-talk.

Zig Ziglar says, “The most important opinion you have is the opinion you have of yourself.” Your opinion of yourself will determine what you do. The higher the opinion the higher the performance. If you start a race thinking you are going to lose then you do not stand a chance. If you start a race thinking you can win then you are much more likely to win and are absolutely going to do better than you would have. Our opinion of ourselves has a significant effect.

roadblockbuster5Even the Bible supports positive self-talk. In Joel 3:10 it says, “Let the weak say, ‘I am strong’” (NKJV). Wow! Seriously? If you are weak, say you are strong with intensity and enthusiasm! It will make a difference.

Bust through that roadblock of denial by changing your negative self-talk into positive self-talk. Start that transformation toady. What is one negative thing you have been saying to yourself and how can you change that to a positive phrase to say to yourself? Start that transformation now!


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

Check Tommy’s availability or leave a note:

 

 

How the Bible Says to Build Winning Relationships

1 Thessalonians 5:12-18, is one of the best passages I have ever read when it comes to building winning relationships.

Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (NIV).

Bible

Let us respect those who work hard among us, especially those who serve us as leaders. Leadership is not an easy task. Leaders will make mistakes. Be gentle with them.

We must do whatever we can to live at peace with everyone. We cannot control what others do. We can only control what we do in response.

We must be gentle and patient with those who seem to not “get it” or struggle along. As the stronger person, if that is the case, then we have more responsibility to create peace than they do. May we take the high road.

Always do what is good for others even if they are not doing the same for us. Someone has to set the standard. If we dumb down to their level of thinking and acting then we have allowed them to set our standard. Let us set our own higher standard.

Bring a sense of excitement, joy, and enthusiasm to every situation. In most cases, others will either join in or leave. They will typically only fight you for so long.

This passage is great wisdom for how to build winning relationships. Remember, everything is about relationships. If we can build winning relationships we will be winners in others areas of life as well.

Here is the same passage in another translation:

And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!

Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live (1 Thessalonian 5:12-18. The Message).


Follow to this blog to get motivation, encouragement, and accountability to help you reach your God-given potential!

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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

Check Tommy’s availability or leave a note:

 

One Ingredient All Healthy Relationships Must Have

sinHave you ever noticed that we like to classify sins? We typically classify sins into two categories: big ones and little ones.  “Little sins are the ones I do, big sins are the ones you do.”

It is important to note that the Bible makes no such distinction. Sins are like links in a chain, if any one, single link is broken, then the chain as a whole is broken. All sins are big sins.

The purpose of this blog is not to show the similarities between our sins and links in a chain. It is to point out that we should be as gentle with other’s faults as we are with our own. In other words, if we want to build winning relationships we must be more than willing to forgive.

Henri Nouwen says, “Forgiveness is love practiced among people who love poorly.” Let’s be honest, we all love poorly. Therefore, we all need forgiveness. Let’s be as gentle with other’s faults as we are our own.

Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you” (NIV). When we stop and reflect on the immeasurable amount of forgiveness God has poured out on us, how can we not, in turn, pour out forgiveness on those we come in contact with on a regular basis? We all do stupid stuff. We all need forgiveness. This forgiveness is key in building winning relationships. A healthy relationship does not exist without genuine forgiveness from both sides.

Look at what Jesus had to say about being judgmental and forgiveness: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Matthew 7:1-2, NIV). In other words, we are going to get back what we dish out. If we want other people to be gentle and forgiving of our faults, then we must be just as gentle and forgiving of their faults. This does not mean ignoring each other’s faults, but it means handling those faults in a non-judgmental, forgiving way.

sin4

Jesus goes on to say, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:3-5, NIV). We cannot adequately deal with our own sins if we classify our sins as smaller than the sins of others. We must honestly deal with our sins before we can adequately help somebody else deal with theirs.

Then Jesus says something I think most people completely misunderstand, “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces” (Matthew 7:6, NIV). Most people teach that Jesus is telling us here to not waste our time trying to lead people to him who are not willing to follow him. I do not believe that is what Jesus is teaching here at all.

sin5In the context of what Jesus had just said about not judging people and dealing with our own sins before we try to deal with the sins others, I believe Jesus is talking about not wasting our precious and valuable time and energy being a nit-picky Christian. A nit-picky Christian is someone who is always pointing out other people’s faults but never acknowledging their own. That’s right, they classify their own sins as little sins and other people’s (or at least the people they disagree with) as big sins.

If we want to build winning relationships with our co-workers, kids, and spouse we must be as gentle with their faults as we are our own. We all have faults and we all need forgiveness. The best relationships are NOT the ones with the fewest faults, they are the ones with the most forgiveness.


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

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