Being highly regarded is a desire for all of us. The Bible speaks of high regard in two categories. First, in the eyes of men and second in the eyes of God. Interestingly, many Godly people who were esteemed in the eyes of God were esteemed in the eyes of men. Virtues such as courage, self-discipline, faithfulness, humility, integrity were in response to a life that had been changed by God. Daniel, David, Ruth, Paul were all highly regarded by others, even though there were some that opposed them. Ultimately, such individuals became heroes of the faith. Generations later we are seeking to learn more about God through His work in their lives. What about us? What virtues best represent Christ in us? What virtues will cause spouses, children, friends to ultimately say: They are the real deal? Asking questions such as: Does the fragrance of my life reflect the Gospel? Do people want to lean into what my life represents? Does my life make the Gospel “sticky” or is it just a religion that we say we believe? Sticky will look at Biblical virtues that are desperately needed in our culture today so that we might live on mission in the places to which God has called us.
Week 1: The Foundation of Honor
Honor is a foundation of America. We honor those who serve, who are on the frontlines. Teachers, mentors, trusted leaders. These individuals have impacted us…changed us and deserve honor. But what about us? Do we have lives that are honorable to Jesus? Or, are we dishonoring our Lord by behaving dishonorably? An updside down truth is that to be honored we must honors others. Spiritually it begins with us honoring our Lord and then allowing Him to honor us. In this upside down pursuit, somehow, we become honorable. The Gospel begins to be “sticky”.
Week 2: The Foundation of Integrity
Integrity is foundational for a “sticky” person. You lack integrity…you lack community. You lack integrity…you lack impact. You lack integrity and you are not trusted. As a follower of Jesus, if you lack integrity, the Gospel will not be seen as sticky but as a way to manipulate and control. A person w/o integrity is seen as someone that will leverage everything they do and say to get what they are after…honesty and character do not matter. As believers we are called to live in integrity. True followers of Jesus will fight and protect their integrity because they know that for people to be attracted to Jesus, the representation of Him in business and life will make or break a persons opinion of Christ.
Week 3: The Foundation of Faithfulness/Perseverance
Its easy to give up. Many times it doesn’t seem like God is working…this happens primarily because our perspective(s) are limited and progress isn’t obvious. We grow weary…we want to quit. Every great and sticky leader in the Bible dealt with the decision to persevere and be faithful when there did not seem to be much fruit. And yet, it seems that some of the most highly regarded people in our lives (and in the Bible) were people that persevered. Difference was made with the long play not the short cut. God calls us to persevere. Persevering people wind up being sticky people. Others want to emulate perseverance…As believers we know that God is faithful. How do we find the strength to not lose out faith?
Week 4: The Foundation of Gratitude
Gratitude is counter-cultural. We are taught to first complain then to say thanks. But to be truly thankful we must let go of things like grudges, judgements, jealousies. We must live in the freedom of Christ to really have gratitude. An attitude of gratitude makes us sticky people. A person with an attitude of gratitude will have a different perspective. One with hope and eyes to see the good, the provision and the protection of God. To live with an attitude of gratitude is to live in the light of the Gospel. A person with an attitude of gratitude will, in the long run be a person of high regard.