At a conference several years ago I was given a thought-provoking challenge, to identify the people on the board of directors of my life: whose voices do I listen to? Whose counsel do I follow? Whose values do I respond to?
The speaker pointed out that some people ought to be kicked off our board—like parents, if their voices of shame and criticism still control and restrict us. So should voices of much of the media, especially TV. And we can replace them with wiser, more godly voices who can offer us direction and perspective. There was a discussion of categories of potential board members. They don’t have to be alive, and we don’t have to personally know them, either.
The Lord Jesus, of course, needs to be the #1 board member. If we’re married, our spouse should be on our board. The Apostle Paul is a good board member. Peter and James are good too, as is Solomon. So are some of the church fathers and Christian writers like C.S. Lewis. Or a pastor, and not necessarily our own. (I have a friend in a distant city who has adopted my pastor as hers, and listens to every audio recording my church puts online.) Mentors are great board members, and so are wise and trusted friends.
A few weeks ago, John Townsend, one of the co-authors of the Boundaries series, was at my church. I love what he writes and listen to him on the radio show “New Life Live” whenever possible. I had a chance to talk to him briefly, so I told him about my board of directors. “John,” I said, “Several years ago I installed you as a permanent member of my board. Other people have come and gone, but you’re always there. I really appreciate your wisdom and godly perspective, and you have equipped me to respond to various life challenges. Just wanted you to know how you’ve blessed me even though we’ve never met.”
(To my delighted surprise, he lit up and asked if he could hug me!)
Who’s on your board? Who can you kick off to the glory of God? (Hint: magazines that make you unhappy with how God made you as you compare yourself to the celebrities and models inside, certain internet sites, particular TV shows. . .)
Who can you put on your board? Let’s hear it.
This blog post originally appeared at blogs.bible.org/engage/sue_bohlin/your_board_of_directors
in July 2009.