Without going through the entirety of the challenge I want to leave you with what I’m learning in the midst of it. I hope you can find some of these things beneficial as you face your own.
1. Relationships. A crisis exposes the shallow. I’ve discovered that a crisis exposes the lack of depth in relationships and will ultimately destroy that shallow connection we have with others. We can tend to overestimate relationships and underestimate their depth. This lack of depth in our relationships becomes exposed in crisis.
An answer to this is to be intentional about investing in relationships prior to any crisis.
“Few things will pay you bigger dividends in life than the time and trouble you take to understand people and build relationships” John Maxwell
2. Criticism. Criticism can be your friend if you allow it to be. Listen to the criticism. Learn from the criticism. Respond in love to those who are offering the criticism. Don’t be so insecure that you fail to listen to others. Let’s face it, we all have blind spots. What’s important is to extract any nutrients from the criticism to learn from it and grow.
Leadership requires us to listen to others, admit when we are wrong and to make things right, trusting the Lord through the entire process. When viewed correctly criticism will not derail you but develop you. Use criticism as a newer level of growth and a greater dependency on the Lord.
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Proverbs 27:6
3. A Right Focus. Keep your eyes on what God is doing so you stay encouraged. If we constantly keep our focus on the things that are not going right we eventually become overwhelmed and cave into the negative leaving little motivation and hope. There is always good news in and around every problem, even in crisis, if we just look for it!
The strength of God’s people waned because their focus is placed squarely on the rubble instead of the wall which has already reached half its height. Keep your focus more on what God is doing and gain supernatural strength to keep moving forward.
“Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.” Nehemiah 4:10
4. Get Outside Counsel From Those Who Have Been There. Seek out those whom have walked similar paths and discover how they made it through. Ask them about the good, bad and the ugly and draw out what they learned. Borrow from their experience. Many people have walked these similar paths and have done so successfully with a few battle scars along the way.
“Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” Proverbs 15:22
5. God Is For You. Above all else, realize that God is for you. The Lord is fully vested in you and is fully aware of what is happening. He is not aloof nor absent. Come to Him with your questions and pain. Life will be found in the secret place.
Problems are opportunities for growth and development. They are not meant to make us bitter but better. Be more intentional than ever to pursue the Lord in prayer and carve out more time to be with Him.
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31