loren Eric Swanson: The Convergence of Hope

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Convergence of Hope

The Convergence of Hope

In Harvard Business Review this month there is a great little article on the topic of Hope. Let me quote a few highlights:

“What is hope? Something more than wishful thinking but short of expectation. A rejection of cynicism and dispiritedness. An a state, we believe, quite central to the work of a leader.”

“Yet work connected to the positive-psychology movement has made hope discussable in new ways. How has been shown to be the key ingredient of resilience in survivors of traumas ranging from prison camps to natural disasters. Many studies have shown that people who score higher on measures of hope also cope better with injuries, diseases, and physical pain; perform better in school; and prove more competitive in sports. Our contribution has been to outline the elements of hope—possibility, agency, worth, openness, and connection—in a way that guides efforts to nurture it in the work place. The first two are central to the definition of hope: people must see that change is possible and how they can engage personally in that change. The remaining elements have to do with how hope is cultivated in organizations.”

Hope is the reigning champion of Christian virtue—even above character, as it is the fruit of character. Romans 5 exhorts us to “rejoice in our tribulations, knowing that tribulations bring about perseverance and perseverance proven character and proven character hope and hope does not disappoint.”

Last week at the global learning community, pastor Dan Nold from Calvary Baptist Church in State College made the remark, “The one who offers the most hope, leads.” He is so right!

This weekend I’ve been at Hope Evangelical Free Church in Oakdale Minnesota. Hope is doing a wonderful job of giving hope to their community through their creative and innovative expressions of externally focused ministries. They come under the umbrella of “Bridges of Hope.”


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