Why Text of PaperIt seems I am asking that simple little question more and more these days? In fact several of my friends and I have been bantering around the concept of understanding “WHY” before embarking on the “What, When, or How”.

Getting a firm grip on what you believe, and why you believe it, defines your core values and is the starting point for determining your actions.

I recently watched a great TED discussion on the topic. Simon Sinek does a great job of helping us to understand the importance of “Why”. He asks a great question. “Why do you get out of bed in the morning? Why would anyone else care?” Sinek explains that people are drawn to why others do what they do long before they care how they do it or even what they do.

What do you think about that? Do you invest your time, money and passion on connecting with companies, churches, and people who demonstrate they have the same core values as you do?

People are drawn to why you do things even more than what you do or how you do it. Are you able to explain your business, your faith, or your passion from the position of “WHY”?

What do you believe? Why do you do what you do?

As I ask this of myself I have found the following answer:

I do what I do because I believe in Heaven. I believe Jesus was the Son of God, came to this world as a man, lived a life without sin and yet died on a cross for my sins. I believe he rose from death, ascended to heaven and, because I have placed my faith in him, that I will join him there.

This simple, but steadfast belief, changes everything. I realize that my time on this earth is short compared to the eternity I will spend in Heaven. I believe that what I might give up to invest in others is very small in comparison to Jesus dying on a cross for me. I don’t mind, in fact I love, helping others discover their joy in learning of God’s love for them as well.

Because I understand my “WHY” I have restructured my schedule. I go to my kids’ games and events; I choose to spend time with my wife, my friends and my neighbors. I have come to value relationships more than material things. I invest my time to help others and experience real joy in doing so.

When I finally learned that it is not about “me” I learned that I was created, on purpose, for a purpose. This whole idea is best summed up for me in the term “discipleship”.
Each of us is on an individual journey with regard to our relationship with the Lord. Some have yet to begin, and many are far down the path. However each of us is where we are and not the same place as anyone else. God created each of us as an individual, and our relationship with Him is specific and personal. What discipleship is all about is “learning to meet someone where they are on their journey and to help them take their next step.” This takes some time and a relationship must be developed and trust earned.

Jesus taught us a great process in how he led his disciples. He taught them specific things based on their maturity and understanding. He taught them progressively-he built one concept on another as his disciples grew in their understanding. Jesus used specific methods of teaching, like using examples, content, prayer and learning situations that were tailored to each individual. What is really cool is that by learning what Jesus did we can do many of the same things. If you would like to learn more about the method that Jesus taught and led check out Disciple Building-A Biblical Framework. (Free at our WDA Store) It is a great process that you can use at work, in your family, at church–anywhere you are interacting with people.

Learning your “WHY” is vital. What is your motivation? Look in the mirror and take a good look. Ask the big question, “Why do I do what I do?”

Once you get to the understanding of “why” use it as a means of communicating your business and personal mission. Before telling people what you are doing, or even how you are doing it make sure they understand why you are. I have a feeling you will see a greater connection between you and those you are trying to influence.

I would love to hear your perspective of “WHY”. Drop me a note and share your thoughts in the comments below or other ideas or resources you have discovered!


David ParfittDavid Parfitt serves as the Chief Executive Officer of WDA, and is active in Life Coaching and the Restorative Ministry. He leads groups at A Better Way Ministries, teaches Sunday School, and is a Deacon, at New Hope Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Georgia.

David is also the creator of WDA’s Leadership Forum, is a mentor, and works with young men and their fathers at Right of Passage retreats. David has a heart, and a vision, to see men grow in their faith, to become biblical husbands and fathers, and to live life with a robust passion for sharing the love of Jesus Christ!

ThreeThree men digging a ditch on a scorching summer afternoon were approached by a friend who asked, “What are you guys doing?” The first, already weary from exertion, responded impatiently, “What does it look like? We’re digging a hole!” The second, sensing that the question was not meant to be rhetorical, added, “We’re laying a foundation pad. It’s going to be filled with concrete.”

The third man, who had been whistling happily while he labored, laid his shovel aside, wiped his forehead, and began to describe in great detail how this particular hole was strategic for the placement of one of the massive flying buttresses that would support an entire wall of stained glass windows for a new cathedral. After describing in great detail the plans and procedures for completion of the structure, which was sure to take several years, he added, “If things go according to plan, on Christmas Eve five years from now my family and I will worship together at the altar where that rubbish pile is now located.”

All three men were working hard at the same task. But their attitudes varied markedly depending on their perspective. The man who maintained the most comprehensive perspective had the best attitude and the most energy. Having a proper perspective enables us to survey a situation and see not just what is happening, but the significance behind what is happening, and the capacity to develop strategies for what needs to happen next. In short Maturity Matters.

The root causes behind our current crisis are complex, but as Christians we must shoulder some of the responsibility. Though individual believers and some communities have found ways to grow and develop, on a large scale the Church has lost some of the capacity to be salt and light in the world. We have not, as the Scriptures command, made growth toward spiritual maturity a primary goal. Disciple building has broken down. When disciple building breaks down, cultures soon follow.

We are again at a pivot-point in history. Will this be our greatest catastrophe or our finest hour? It will depend upon our perspective of God and His Kingdom. Without such a vision, it might be easy to lose hope and become weary in this difficult hour. Are we merely “digging ditches” or are we building something wonderful “to the glory of God”?

What ways are do you see the church digging ditches?  Do you see places in scripture that call us to a bigger vision?

Just another thing on the list! I could not help but think this as I read the gentle promptings from my communication manager to prepare a yuletide blog.

For some reason I just knew as I listened to Christmas Carols while buying my Thanksgiving turkey that this year was going to end in a fury. Adding one more writing chore was just what I needed!

About that same time my daily reminder went off to let me know my friend Randy Gravitt’s blog for the day had been delivered. As I read through it I was drawn to his reminder:

“On this “First Day of Christmas,” take some time and identify what those few things are that need your attention and then seek to eliminate the distractions.”

These words both comforted and encouraged me. Randy, you know, you are right. Learning to not get “tangled up” in Christmas is just what I want this year.

More time with the kids and less time in the stores. Time away from work, not to plan more work for next year, but rather to count my blessings for this past year. I want to laugh and play and tell my brother that I can still throw a football further than he can.

So this little writing request is my first declaration of my decision to follow Randy’s advice. Rather that try to write something new and pithy I just want to say. “Yeah, what Randy said!” Check out Randy’s complete blog on the 12 days of Christmas at: http://i2ileadership.org/?p=2088

I am thankful that the Lord has blessed him to write what I feel in my heart. My hope for you, and for us all, this Christmas season is to understand that the Love of the Savior is all we need. More time with Him and His most wonderful creation, each other, is what Christmas is really all about.

Luke 2

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

Editors Note: if you want to hear the story read by Linus click below!

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