Nelson Mandela: Internal Factors

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Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4

“In judging our progress as individuals, we tend to concentrate on external factors such as one’s social position, influence, and popularity, wealth, and standard of education…but internal factors may be even more crucial in assessing one’s development as a human being: humility, purity, generosity, absence of vanity, readiness to serve your fellow men.”

Nelson Mandela in a letter to Winnie Madikizela Mandela in 1977. Special thanks to Andrew Russell, a daily reader and my mate from Melbourne, Australia, for today’s quote.

Are you concentrating on internal or external factors?

I am building the GTP team and just spent a week working collaboratively with two colleagues. In a conversation with one of them just two days ago, I said, don’t worry about focusing on your performance, results, or outcomes. She looked at me quizzically, and then she realized where I was going with the comment.

I urged her to focus on attuning her heart to God so that He’d work on the internal factors in her life making her into a fruitful conduit of blessing. Only when we attune to God and submit to His work in our lives on the internal factors (our ‘inner self’), do we develop into the generous people God wants us to be.