4 Things I Know About Exceptional People

I have had the opportunity to observe thousands of people in my lifetime. Growing up in a minister’s home, being a missionary kid  living in Italy and Belgium and now pastoring for some 36 years, I have observed a thing or two. Here are what I consider to be four attributes of exceptional people.

1. Exceptional people have exceptional battles but also know how to persevere.

You cannot be exceptional and have ordinary battles. Ordinary people have ordinary battles. Exceptional people have exceptional battles but they also have exceptional perseverance.

Beloved, do not be amazed and bewildered at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test your quality, as though something strange (unusual and alien to you and your position) were befalling you. - I Peter 4:12 AMP

This is half the battle right here. Once you decide to be exceptional and you begin to walk it out - God warns us - not to be surprised and shocked, don't be amazed and bewildered, don't be caught off guard, when you come under a fiery attack. Inevitably, the attack comes and we become shocked and taken back. We were warned but we still say, "Where did this come from" and "Why me Lord?"

Exceptional people don't know how to quit. Doesn't mean they're not tempted to. Quitting is just not an option.

A righteous person may fall seven times, but he gets up again...
Proverbs 24:16 (GWT)

No matter how many times you trip them up, God-loyal people don't stay down long…

Micah said, " When I fall, I will arise!

Perseverance: steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

Exceptional people don't know how to quit. Doesn't mean they're not tempted to. Quitting is just not an option.

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They’re battles you never dreamed you would encounter and wondered if they would ever end. Pain that so broke your heart that you wondered if you could even be put back together again.

Ordinary people can't weather the storms of life because they are so dependent on others that they can't step out from the framework of their ordinary relationships to do something exceptional for God.

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]
John 16:33 (AMPC)

And do not [for a moment] be frightened or intimidated in anything by your opponents and adversaries, for such [constancy and fearlessness] will be a clear sign (proof and seal) to them of [their impending] destruction, but [a sure token and evidence] of your deliverance and salvation, and that from God.
Philippians 1:28 (AMPC)

Thank God Jesus is our healer, our deliverer, the captain of our salvation, an ever present help in time of need!!!

The very day I called for help, the tide of battle turns, my enemies flee! This one thing I know, God is for me.

2. Exceptional people have exceptional values and convictions.

  • it's non-negotiable
  • It doesn't change over time, and
  • the more pressure applied the deeper your conviction becomes.

While a preference is very different - it functions on feeling. Under the right amount of pressure preferences are:

  • negotiable
  • do change over time
  • can be compromised

Is what you do as a leader based on conviction or preference?

3. Exceptional people have exceptional partnerships and teamwork.

Partnerships are not the same as friendships. Friendships are mostly based on similarities—common likes. Partnerships are created out of differences. That's why healthy, fulfilling marriages are a lot of hard work. When all we do is magnify our differences, we inevitably end up defending and fighting for what we want, what we need - me, me, me, mine, mine, mine.

That's why when marriages end up in divorce court we always hear about "irreconcilable differences." Now I believe, teach, and live—when love and understanding are in the middle of our differences, those differences become the super glue that can make our marriages indestructible.

I need my wife's differences and she needs mine. When blended together in partnership, we are both stronger together than we could have ever dreamed of being apart. We then have the potential of having an exceptional marriage and not just an ordinary marriage like so many have.

In order for your church, business or family to be exceptional, you need to forge partnerships with people who have different giftings, different backgrounds and experiences, but are willing to expose those differences under one heavenly vision that we love and value. Together is always better.

4. Exceptional people live an exceptional lifestyle of generosity.

Exceptional people live to give. The true mark of maturity is a generous heart. Their perspective sees giving as an opportunity to invest, not as potentially losing something.

The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.
Proverbs 11:24-25 (MSG)

What do you want to be known for as a church?
Do you want to be known for your deep theology? Your music?  Your children’s program? Your relevant messages?

At the end of the day, your neighbors, in your surrounding towns and cities will be talking about you. So since they are already talking about you, why not have their conversations be centered around, "That church is the most generous church I know!"

Is what you do as a leader based on conviction or preference?

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John Bunyan describes living our lives this way:
“You have not lived today until you've done something for someone who can never repay you.”

Why is that? Because that is the heart of what our God is all about. For God so loved the world that He "GAVE"...He gave, He gave, He gave and He gave some more. The Bible is all about this generous God who has impacted everyone of our lives for eternity. When we are on the receiving end of generosity, the result of that one act transforms us into also being generous. Do you realize how many more lives you will be able to help and bless?

The wicked borrow and never repay, but the godly are generous givers.
Psalm 37:21 (NLT)

Take a few moments and evaluate the road you are on. We are all on a road that is leading us somewhere. Are you on the road that is taking you to an ordinary life or are you on the road that is taking you to an exceptional life? Live your life surpassing what is common, usual or expected - live to give Him honor and glory!