2 Graduation Ceremonies I Will Skip

(This post goes along with Leadership Level 1, Personal Success.)

As the seasons give way to Spring in a few weeks, many of us will receive graduation invitations in the mail. Some of these tend to be true invitations, asking us to be at the ceremonies listed, while some are simply hints for money and gifts. It’s also possible that someone reading this will be walking the graduation platform in person. But while these ceremonies are always exciting, I’ve decided that I will never accept the invitations for two distinct ceremonies. Further, I will never attend these two graduation proceedings, for myself or for anyone I care about. Do I have your attention yet? I hope so, and I hope you’ll follow my lead. You see, if I’m doing leadership right, I will never graduate from God, and I will never graduate from serving other people.

As a leader, I should never try to graduate from total dependency on God. No matter how many scriptures I memorize, no matter how many personal challenges I overcome, the goal is not to graduate from needing God. In fact, it doesn’t take long for a leader’s life and effectiveness to become completely sidelined once God is no longer needed. So, no matter how strong the temptation and no matter how appealing the thought, I simply cannot part ways with God and his leading of my leadership. That would be a recipe for disaster, both personally and in my leading of other people.

Another ceremony I will never attend is graduation from serving others. The goal isn't to get so good at serving that I don't have to do it anymore. In our superficial culture it’s easy to assume that success brings with it an easier lifestyle. Sometimes that happens, and once certain dues are paid and lessons are learned, I may not have to do some of the same things I started out doing in the beginning. But our role model is Jesus, and he modeled serving others right up to the very end of his earthly ministry. If he didn’t give up on helping other people, then why should we? Please don’t take any of this as judgmental or condemning. We all need reminders now and then, myself included! And today I’m reminding you and myself that in order to be effective in leadership from here until our time on earth is done, we need to keep God first, and we need to continue to serve others as he leads us.

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
–Hebrews 12:2 (NLT)