Tom Landry, the late head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, was once quoted as saying something like this:
"I have a job to do that is not very complicated, but it is often difficult: to get a group of men to do what they don't want to do so they can achieve the one thing they have wanted all their lives."
Coach Landry, in that seemingly contradictory statement, described what discipline is all about . . . doing what we don't want to do so we can accomplish what we've always wanted.
So much of what results in a fulfilled life is really the product of a contradiction. Those who wish to be the best leaders must demonstrate true servanthood. Those who ultimately are given the oversight of vast regions and broad responsibilities have initially proven themselves faithful in the little things. The most effective form of retaliation is an absence of retaliation . . . leaving all vengeance to God. In doing so, to quote the Scriptures, we "heap burning coals upon the head" of an adversary, which is nothing more than overcoming evil with good—another contradictory truth.
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The way to show yourself wise is not so much by speech but by silence.
The way to stop a loud argument is by a soft-spoken word. The most powerful rebuke is not a loud, negative blast, but a quiet, positive model.
The secret of helping others mature is not more rules and stricter laws but greater trust.
Those who are most respected for their knowledge and the skill of drawing others into it are not those who have all the right answers but rather those who ask the right questions.
Those who give generously have much more than those who hoard.
One lovely flower, personally picked from the garden by tiny hands, can mean much more than two dozen long-stemmed roses ordered from the florist.
A handwritten note of love and affection lingers longer in one's memory than a $3.50 embossed card from Hallmark.
Forgiveness is the key to handling our enemies, not revenge.
A brief, warm, tender embrace with very few words says more to the grieving than an evening's visit full of sympathy talk and long prayers.
Funny, isn't it? God often delivers His best gifts to us through the back door of our lives. In unexpected ways . . . with surprises inside the wrappings. Somewhat like the therapy He used when Elijah was so low, so terribly disillusioned. How did the Lord minister to him? We'll talk about that in Part Two.
God often delivers His best gifts to us through the back door of our lives.