Be, Know, Do
As a cadet going through officer leadership training in the early 1980s, I was taught the characteristics required to be an effective leader. An informal definition of leadership that I remember was, “the ability to get someone to do what you want them to do, willingly”. The model for effective leadership in the Army back then was Be, Know, Do.
Be has to do with our internal character. It is who we are. Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” We must be authentic and take responsibility for our actions. When we make a mistake, we must own it, and take action to fix it rather than make excuses or try to hide it. A good leader is a person of integrity, is trustworthy, and is being a model of the right thing to do.
Know has to do with our competence and knowledge in doing our job. Without knowledge and competence a leader will lose legitimacy with their peers, subordinates as well as their leaders.
Do is the fruit of Be and Know. This is where we see or measure the results. These are the habits that we have developed, always choosing to do the right things, as tough as they may be, over the easy and wrong ones.
Whenever I see or receive great advice, I often find that they are rooted in and probably developed out of a knowledge of Scripture. These Be, Know, and Do principles point right to the beatitudes that Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount. They have to do with our character. They are often referred to as Be-attitudes. You may note that in the middle of all the beatitudes, we find, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” in Matthew 5:6. This is a key principle or focal point of the beatitudes. All the beatitudes that come before this point to it, and all the ones following it are the fruit or results that come out of it. It is imperative that all believers (not just leaders) embody these beatitudes in our very being. Our actions and ultimately our lives should be characterized by them.
Matthew 5:3-5 establishes the pathway to being filled and blessed.
The first beatitude, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. Poor in spirit are those who realize their absolute poverty, spiritually speaking, apart from Jesus Christ.
The second step on this pathway is found in the second beatitude, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”. It’s when we recognize that we should be burdened by our poverty, grieved at our spiritual condition, and mourn or cry out to God for help.
The final step is found in the next beatitude, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”. This is the idea that we submit our lives to Christ, being Spirit-controlled, and allow His will to determine ours.
This brings us to the doorstep of a life of blessing, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled”. This speaks of those who strive for the righteousness of Christ in their own lives…more so than just happiness.
The remaining beatitudes reveal the proof and blessings of one who hungers and thirsts for the righteousness of Christ. These are the fruit or results, the “how” we are filled when pursuing this righteousness.
First, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy”. We receive mercy in our thirst for righteousness and our reaction is to show mercy to those around us.
The next proof of a Spirit-controlled life is, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”. Someone with a pure heart is revealed through their motives and morals. Their actions also show it.
The third proof is found in the next beatitude, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God”. These are the ones who actively promote and seek unity among the family of God. They are recognized and called sons of God for demonstrating this.
Finally, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. Having a thirst and hunger for righteousness comes at a cost.
The first and last beatitude ends with the same promise, “For theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. This should be a good reminder for all of us that our citizenship is in heaven and this is just our temporary residence. We shouldn’t concern ourselves with what this world offers us, thinks or even does to us.
As believers, we should all hunger and thirst for Christ’s righteousness and remember that pursuing this helps us to Be, Know, and Do what God has called us to. We must Be, have the character that is required to be a follower of Christ, Know, gain the knowledge of Christ through the study of Scripture, and Do, exemplify a life filled by and controlled by the Holy Spirit. As a bonus, we are promised all the blessings that can only come from God.