Life happens and moves forward. Things don’t go to suit our plans, or tragedy swoops in and flattens us. I’m pondering how often we refuse to move forward. Leaders are just as susceptible to this woe-is-me syndrome. We get rutted and trapped in the past, clinging to the thing that destroyed the life we wanted or imagined.
There is a time to mourn and weep, but too often we’ve turned it into a lifestyle, and “poor me” has become an idol. Self is exalted over God. We aren’t hearing His voice nor focusing on His call because we are too busy listening to our own complaints and whines.
We aren’t caring for others because we are too busy coddling ourselves. We are (and are choosing to be) ineffective in God’s Kingdom. There is always someone worse off, always a story worse than ours, always a situation more heartbreaking. Always.
Please don’t misunderstand. There are many hurting people who need tender care. Many who need time to grieve; many who need to be gently wrapped in God’s healing and love. God is a compassionate God and we need to show that same compassion.
However, there are others who need a good shaking of the shoulders to wake up.
I’ve been there, done that – sat and stewed and mourned. And the longer I stewed in my stew, the stinkier my stew (and me) became. Ugh.
Christ took our sins on Himself, rose from the grave and conquered death to set us free to live free. His mercies are new every morning – God’s amazing love wrapped in forgiveness, mercy, grace, hope, and new life. God heals the brokenhearted, binds their wounds, and sets captives free.
When past issues come up, when a memory returns, when we are sitting in our own stew, let’s immediately wrap the lies of the enemy in God’s truth. Allow God to get to the root and pull it out, and allow His light to shine on the darkness. God’s power isn’t limited to partial, maybe, or sometimes, because nothing is impossible with God.
Hop out of the pot my friends, and walk free in the newness of life!
Heavenly Father, help me to get out of the ruts where I’m stewing in self. Help me to focus on You and the new life You so freely grant. I choose and embrace Your healing. I don’t want to limp along in life, but to comprehend fully the breadth, length, height, and depth of Your love, running free in the fullness of Your abundant power. Thank You, Father for Your freedom, never-ending hope, and new life!
As Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith … so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Romans 6:4 NASB, Philippians 3:13, Hebrews 12:2, Ephesians 3:18-21 NIV)
Pause and Reflect:
A good biblical example of self-stewing is Jonah. Some might even say he pouted on that hill overlooking Nineveh. Jonah even went so far as to ask God to take his life saying, “it is better to die than to live.” (Jonah 4:3, 8, NKJV) God did not allow him to stew for long, asking him what right he had for being angry. Then God pointed out His pity for the more than 120,000 innocents that lived in Nineveh.
- What situations have you faced when those you lead were self-stewing?
- How did that kind of attitude affect the other team members?
- How did you handle the situation?
- What might you have done differently?Consider sharing what you learned in our LinkedIn group HealthyLeaders.
– LeaderSource SGA
© Lisa Buffaloe. All rights reserved. Used with permission.