A Worth it Year – Worth it Days from a Worth it Heart

Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken

When our three sons were growing up I loved our home.  My wife created a beautiful atmosphere for all of us, and I valued every minute I could get with our family.  Of course we all had to go our own way most days, but I liked it best when we were together sharing life.  It’s still like that and more so with three daughters-in-law and eight grandchildren, even though we’re scatted across the US.

Somewhere along the line as our sons grew older, I started asking myself a question almost every day as I pulled into my garage.  “Was it worth it to leave home today?”   I had two great callings, one as a pastor and one as a professor, so my answer was mostly yes, although, rarely, there were occasional days when I wasn’t so sure.  I knew one thing, though:  a worth it year grew out of a collection of worth it days.  A year that mattered, a year that made it worthwhile to leave those who meant the most to me, consisted of a whole lot of worth it days.  But gradually I realized something else:  to have worth it days you must have a worth it heart.

Then, after a while, I began to understand I could not have a worth it heart if I had anger in my heart or if my heart was driven by fear or when my heart was rebelling toward those over me or when I resented the fact that I didn’t have the recognition I longed for.  I know I had a critical heart at times and a complaining heart and—well, a lot of other things in my not so worth it heart.  And when you don’t have a worth it heart, you can’t have worth it days.  And that means that you have a fewer days to have a worth it year.  And the next thing you know, the years are passing, and you’re on your way to a not worth it life.

Think of that.  A leader chooses to squander the opportunity to transform lives and live a worth it life.

This is why when I look back I realize that none of my complaining conversations, none of my tense and angry thoughts, none of my frustrations growing out of my misplaced ambition, none of the times I spent comparing myself with others—and always winning while always losing—were worth it.  They changed nothing.  The people I was upset about did what they were going to do anyway.  None of the days when these attitudes dominated my heart were worth it days.  I’m grateful there was more to me than these feelings, so I did have worth it years, but what I realize now is that I need a worth it heart to have worth it days so I can live a worth it year.

So how do we gain a worth it heart?  I will answer this question next time.  For now just remember it takes worth it days to have a worth it year, but worth it days only arise out of a worth it heart.

From "A Worth it Year:  Worth it Days from a Worth it Heart" @ Broken Leadership Blog is about changing the leadership conversation from what we are doing with our hands to what God is doing through our hearts.


Bill Lawrence is the President of Leader Formation International, Senior Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Ministries and Adjunct Professor of DMin Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary where he served full-time for twenty-four years (1981-2005). During this time he also was the Executive Director of the Center for Christian Leadership for twelve years.