Road blocks or opportunities?

You are the greatest barrier to your own transformation.  I was sitting in a classroom at my seminary with 20+ other pastors hearing these words.  All of us in the room had heard this before, but as I reflected on these words, I wondered: how would I life differently if this was so?

This question forced me to think differently.  I have lived in a leadership environment where so much focus is on others.  Book after book tells leaders how to shape culture, restructure programs, and so much more.  Coaching staff, volunteers and personnel so often focuses on skill building, and other structural adjustments.  And yet, if each one of us is the greatest barrier to our own transformation, all this is just surface work.  We are scratching the surface.  We can grow our skills leading meetings, but if we lack emotional maturity those skills will only take us so far.

But I also have learned to reflect on this question differently.  In the past this questions would cause me to be defensive, reactive, even filled with shame or fear.  And yet, I am learning to hear hope and possibility in this question.  What if God has more for my life, and I have the opportunity to do the hard work and become the man God has created me to be?  This is such an empowering and yet challenging way to think about this.

You are the greatest barrier to your transformation.  As I continue to read, reflect, and pray this summer, I am convicted at how often I focus my work externally, especially blame.  I focus elsewhere, because, well it’s easier.  And yet, so much of what I am reading, hearing and reflecting on this summer reinforces this again: you are the greatest barrier to your own transformation.  And so I am trying on new habits and practices, spending time in solitude, and wondering what God may have in store.

I wonder how you would live differently if this were so in your life?  What if you are the greatest barrier to your transformation.