Go ahead…Give up.
Seriously. Quit trying. It’s easier. You’re probably tired. It might not work anyway.
Sure. It was a God-given dream. Of course, it was His idea. But you gave it a good shot. You hung in there longer than most. Find your justification…create the right excuses. Make yourself feel better about quitting now so you can move on with your life.
Sure, you may be quitting just before a victory begins. You will never know what could have been. But, you can process your regrets later. For now, live for the moment. Get some immediate relief.
There. Is that the “encouragement” you wanted, or do you not do sarcasm very well?
For how I really feel, click HERE.
Sometimes life throws curves at us that take the wind from our sail. If we aren’t careful we can allow the injury to haunt us for life; never regaining what we have lost.
Have you lost a job recently? If you’re not careful, you will falsely assume that you could never get as good of a job again.
Have you had a business failure? If you’re not careful, you’ll keep yourself from ever taking a rid again.
Did you suffer from divorce? If you’re not careful, you’ll believe you can never recover or receive God’s grace.
Did your spouse have an affair? If you’re not careful, you’ll never risk intimate love again.
The Devil loves when you doubt yourself.
What steps should you take to get back on track and succeed again after a major disappointment?
Here are 10 tips to consider during the recovery process:
Reconnect with God. This is always a wise idea, but it becomes a necessity at times like this. Times of disappointment can cause us to emotionally pull away from God. Our faith may still be in tact, but our daily trust waivers. We may know God is able, but we have a harder time trusting Him to do what needs to be done. (I preached about this issue HERE.)
Evaluate your life. Use this time to reevaluate the decisions you have made in life and what got you in the situation you are in today. Are there changes that you need to make? If so, be willing to change. If you did nothing wrong in this case, release yourself from responsibility.
Create some new dreams. Don’t allow past mistakes to keep you from discovering your passions in life. Keep those creative forces going in your mind so you’ll be ready when the next big opportunity comes along. Give yourself permission to believe the impossible. God does.
Call in the advisors. Others can usually see things we cannot see. They approach our life from a different perspective. Give someone you trust, who has your best interest at heart, access to the painful part of your life…and the freedom to speak into your life.
Don’t take your pain and anger out on others. It doesn’t make things better (usually worse) to hurt others because you are hurting. Innocent people shouldn’t be subjected to the wrath of your pain.
Take a break. Don’t expect to recover immediately. Your situation and the emotions and struggles because of them, probably didn’t start overnight and they will not end overnight. Give yourself time to heal.
When it’s time, be willing to risk again. Yes, you may get hurt again, but just as life is full of disappointments, it’s also full of joy and discovery. Remember that everyone is not the same and every situation is different. Don’t hold your past experiences against others who weren’t even there or against a future that hasn’t come.
Don’t let failure or disappointment define you. Be defined by God’s love for you and His plan for your life.
Do something. Rest yes, but at some point, just do something to stay busy and occupy your mind. It’s true that the “idle mind is the devil’s workshop”. If you lost your job, find somewhere to volunteer until you find another job. If you lost a relationship, find non-sexual relationships through church or civic activities to keep from being alone. If nothing else, start journaling as a way to release your thoughts. Do something.
Get back in the game. Choose your next steps carefully and don’t keep repeating the same mistakes, but at some point it will be time to enjoy life again. Life was not meant to be lived on the sidelines.
What steps do you have for receiving from disappointment?
(This is an expanded version from a previous post.)
…than this world could ever offer!
far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. Ephesians 1:21 NIV
Nothing is better than what the believer gains through Jesus Christ!
I used to think I wanted to be President of the United States! When I was 18, I thought that I would be the nation’s youngest president at the age of 36. (There would have been an election that year and I would have been old enough.) Well, needless to say, that didn’t happen. What if it had? What a title! President of the most powerful nation in the world would have certainly been impressive! I suspect my blog traffic would have been higher these days.
I once wanted to be rich. I had “noble” purposes. I was going to make lots of money, give lots away, and own a beach house too! I was on a good track, but something got in the way. Mainly I lost what I had started with. God called me into ministry…and…well, you know the rest of the story.
I have a friend who is running for a high elected office. If he wins, and I think he will, he will be powerful. I could be envious of his opportunity, but instead, I’m trying to appreciate the influence God is potentially giving him.
I have another friend who is worth millions! Mega millions. His millions have millions. He has worked hard, been blessed greatly, and was often “in the right place at the right time”. It would be easy to be envious of him and his wealth. I try, however, to appreciate what God has done and is doing through my friend’s resources.
Often we look at people or positions in life and think to ourselves: “if only I could be where they are” or “if only I had what they have…everything would be okay”. For the believer, Paul reminds us that we have what is far better than anything this world can offer. We have a relationship with the Creator of the heavens and the earth. We have an inheritance that we share with the Son of God. We have a promised eternity that outshines all the wealth of the world! We have Jesus!
If you are finding yourself overwhelmed by what the world has that you don’t, and if you ever become dissatisfied with your appeared lack of worldly treasures, remind yourself whose child you are. You are heir to the Throne of Grace! Your Daddy owns the cattle on a thousand hills. You can boast that your family heritage includes Jesus!
What you have is far beyond what this world can ever offer!
Do you need that reminder today?
When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. But David heard of it and went out against them. 1 Chronicles 14:8
Sometimes you have to approach a problem head-on…not waiting until it finds you.
Have you got a problem staring you in the face? Is there a conversation you know you need to have, but you’re afraid of the response of the other person? Do you need to challenge a friend? Do you need to admit your marriage is in trouble? Are you struggling with some difficult business decisions?
You can ignore it.
You can hope it goes away.
You may even be able to run from it…for a while.
Eventually, most problems have a way of surfacing again.
My advice, follow the example of King David. Attack your problems before they attack you.
You’ll have more control on offense than on defense.
What problem do you need to face today?
My friend coach Craig Candeto is a former Navy standout quarterback. He’s still a young man, but he’s already started an impressive career as a coach. Currently he’s coaching quarterbacks for the Citadel. In addition to being a great football player and coach, Craig is a solid believer. He lives his faith boldly in all he does.
Recently, Cheryl and I were visiting with Craig and his wife Maribeth, and Craig told me a story of meeting Billy Graham recently. Craig was invited as part of FCA with a few other coaches to go to Dr. Graham’s house in the mountains and visit with the famous evangelist.
He said Dr. Graham was frail, obviously weakened from how most of us think of Billy Graham, but he was gracious, gentle, and still very alert.
One of the coaches asked Dr. Graham a question.
What word of advice would you have for guys like us, just beginning our careers and still young in our faith?
The young coaches expected something profound from the famed pastor, but Dr. Graham frailly and simply answered:
Read your Bible and pray everyday.
Did you catch that? Was it too fast for you? Should I write it again?
Read your Bible and pray everyday.
Billy Graham, after years of influencing others with the Gospel, encouraged these men with what was most important in developing themselves longterm as believers.
Spend time with God everyday!
Here’s my take on Billy Graham’s encouragement:
Don’t try to make it more complicated than it is. Sometimes simple is the most profound.
Read your Bible and pray everyday.
You got it? Any questions?
This is a guest post by Nathan Rouse. Nathan is a fellow church leader that is passionately investing in the Church as a pastor and writer. Over the last 15 years in ministry he’s been seized with the calling to mentor young leaders for ministry. As a student of church leadership he is committed to collaborating with other church leaders to effectively make and send disciples around the world. You can find Nathan’s blog at www.NathanRouse.org and he’s on Twitter: @NathanRouse
Here are 7 truths worth remembering during such times:
The last few days have brought an unwelcome and unforeseen storm in my life. I’m not alone in this, I’m sure you’ve experienced circumstances and storms that have caught you off guard or maybe experiencing this even now. I want you to be encouraged and strengthened by the knowledge that you’re not walking this journey out on your own.
Here are 7 truths I’m convinced are worth remembering during such times:
1. There is always time to pray! (You’ll “feel” and make things worse if you don’t.)
2. No matter how much you “don’t feel like it”, Read your Bible! It is our compass, our true north when it feels like our life is spinning out of control. We need more truth, not more feelings in crisis. Psalms 46 is a good start.
3. Don’t believe that you have to be depressed because you’ve encountered something heart breaking. Grieve….yes. Harbor it….no.
4. Make it a point to not make any major decisions when feeling overwhelmed. (Unless absolutely necessary)
5. Make sure you’re eating right and getting plenty of rest. You’re going to need all your strength to walk through this season.
6. Remember you can’t fix people or fix every circumstance. Stop carrying that responsibility. The God Almighty position is already filled.
7. Stop what you’re doing now and practice doing #1.
What would you add to this list?
I talk to so many people who are waiting on a burning bush experience before they move forward with an idea or dream. With the best intentions, they want to make sure what they are doing is God’s “will” for their life. They keep waiting for some sign…maybe a writing in the sky…a letter from God…or certainly some definite “sign” that this is God’s plan for them.
I also know pastors who are afraid to let people “follow their heart”. Anytime I post about following a dream some well-meaning person challenges me that following the heart is dangerous.
Can you trust your heart apart from Christ? You better not. Could we misunderstand God’s will? Absolutely. Could we move in a wrong direction? Of course. But, telling people not to follow their heart?
I’m not sure that’s the right approach.
God didn’t make us a robot.
If your heart is closely following Christ…
If your desire is to please Him…
If you aren’t being convicted otherwise…
You don’t have to sit on the sidelines and let the world pass you by.
God is creative, and He’s made you creative as a part of His image.
I’d rather tell people to get their heart close enough to hear Christ…then go!
- Check your heart
- Continue to check your heart
- Check your motivation
- Continue to check your motivation
If it’s not sinful…if the Bible doesn’t specifically address your issue…if you don’t have any sense God is telling you otherwise…if what you are doing is good and honorable…if it is helpful to others, or…if it is in line with the direction and experience you’ve had in life…
Give God all the glory…
But quit sitting on the sidelines and follow your heart.
Have you been waiting for a “sign”?
When I’m tired:
I become irritable and harder to please
I see irrational flaws in others
I have difficulty concentrating
I have less patience and get frustrated easily
I’m less effective
The team suffers
Take a nap (Some think you should take one everyday.)
Exercise (My adrenaline and energy grows when I sweat.)
Change perspective by reading a book or watching or listening to something funny
Engage with motivating people
Take extended time away from my work
Evaluate my priorities, freeing myself for what’s most important
Call it a day and prepare for a better night’s rest
I’ve learned I’m not very helpful to the team when I’m extremely tired. Addressing it quickly makes me a better leader. Things aren’t likely to improve until I improve. Many leaders try to operate from an exhausted position and never realize they are the problem on the team.
Leader, be aware when you are the problem.
Don’t be afraid to admit you’re tired, leader. Most likely the team already knows it.
What happens when you’re tired…and what do you do about it?