If you want to become a better leader or a more creative person, the secret is not to focus on either quality. Focus, instead, on your connection to Christ, the True Vine. Because everything you do flows from who you are, and who you are cannot be separated from the person God is calling you to become. All your efforts to increase your competencies will be uneven and ineffectual unless you’re meaningfully connected to Jesus Christ.

One man illustrates this beautifully: Charles Williams, author of The Greater Trumps and The Place of the Lion. Williams was a mystic who wrote to uncover the fabulous world hiding behind the seemingly mundane. He tackled tarot with angelology and mysticism with a theology of romantic love. A member of the Inklings, Williams’ vocal admirers included T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden, and Dorothy Sayers. He was a hero of heroes. How did Charles Williams become such a literary and theological genius? What makes him stand the test of time, attaining the high esteem of such mighty company?

Williams devoted himself to the indwelling presence of Christ. His theology wasn’t an abstraction, but the record of his descent into the otherness of God. In order for you to become the best possible version of yourself, Christ needs to be revealed. He lives in you, but has been covered up by ego, confusion, and neglect. Your old habits have to be discarded. Your destructive behaviors have to be lasered off. Your sin has to be cut away, bit by bit, so Christ is seen more clearly.

You are like diamond, and your true brilliance is hidden. Diamonds are among the most precious materials on earth. We do not possess the skill to improve upon a diamond; rather, diamonds have their less-appealing qualities stripped away to reveal their innate worth. The process is difficult and can only be accomplished by a highly specialized diamantaire. You don’t have to be constructed, only revealed.

Adapted from the upcoming book Then. Now. Next, about the future of the Church. When published, the book will be available at David’s Amazon author page.