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Prioritizing Those Closest to You

by Joel Comiskey

Summer 2015

I was attending a Promise Keeper’s rally back in July 1996, when I first heard John Maxwell talk about true success. He said, “True success is having those closest to you love and respect you the most.”

Maxwell’s recipe for success came from Christ’s playbook: start with the inner circle and grow from there.

I have the privilege of speaking to crowds around the world. Those who I meet for the first time don’t know me personally. Perhaps they’ve read one of my books, and hopefully I’ve given them a good impression while speaking. Yet, they don’t know the real me. And I don’t know them.

My wife and family, however, know me intimately. They see Joel Comiskey up close and know how successfully my faith translates into the nitty-gritty of life. They witness how I deal with real-life circumstances. Living the Christian life, rather than talking about it, becomes essential with those who I’m closest with. Words take a backseat to action and lifestyle.

God’s work of grace starts with the inner circle. It’s in that circle that I receive criticism, true encouragement, and make mid-course corrections. As I pass the inner circle test, God can then use me in greater spheres of influence.

Whenever I coach pastors and leaders the first thing I want to know about is the relationship with Jesus, their spouse, and family—in that order. I’m convinced that our first ministry is with those closest to us and all effective ministry flows naturally form there. Do you agree that “True success is having those closest to you love and respect you the most?”