God’s intervention in my life seems more apparent to me almost daily. You know the old expression, “when one door closes another one opens” is really the best summary of God at work in our lives. I’ve written a lot about God’s plan because I have seen it unfold in my life quite often. I recently read a great phrase that caught my attention – “When your heart is right with God, your ways will follow”. I started thinking about the other verses that describe how we will act when we have God in our heart and for me, that always comes back to who’s plan are you executing? I work with someone who doesn’t seem to understand how his actions create problems for others. The really sad part is that he doesn’t care how he affects others. He is very knowledgeable and well respected in our field, but he simply doesn’t care or doesn’t possess the emotional capacity to understand that he hurts people when all he does is think and act in his own best interests. If it’s not his way, then it’s no way. No matter who speaks to him or who no longer wants to work with again, he still goes his own way.
We all know the people we can joke with and those that are all business. We know who can take constructive criticism and who can’t, so take these things into consideration and carefully maneuver throughout our day. We’re executing our plan. But what happens when our plan doesn’t match with anyone else’s? Usually chaos or frustration. People are upset, deadlines are missed, quality suffers and relationships are damaged. This is why; working to combine plans by finding common elements is when great things happen. It takes looking beyond yourself and trusting in someone else to achieve great things.
“A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.” Proverbs 21:2
Have you ever thought what influences you and your decisions? I remind myself every so often, of the order of life priorities that we used to say to our kids when they were small – God, family and everyone else. Tell a teenager that he or she doesn’t come first and wait for the emotions. For us, this worked well when their friends were becoming a problem, but it also helped keep things in perspective. We don’t consciously stop and ask ourselves what God would like us to do; although He wouldn’t mind. Our brain would never consider it as we process decisions unless we put it there.
A person thinks that they are right; it’s their plan after all so why consider what God thinks. If He wants it changed, He can just change it – right? Hopefully by now you know that isn’t how God works. However, if you have let Him into your heart and into your mind, He will weigh your heart with His words and the examples given to us by our Savior Jesus. We have free will but if we’re in a relationship with God, He will influence our decisions and keep a little calm in our lives. Sure, bad things will still happen, but we will react to them with much less anxiety so that it won’t seem that bad. God has already weighed your heart with great wisdom; simply follow His lead.
I was trying to determine if there was a difference between frustration and anger. The dictionary uses almost the exact same words in each definition but exchanges dissatisfaction with displeasure. My point is, some people will say that they are not angry just frustrated however, it’s not a big difference. In leadership positions, we have to guard against showing either of them to our workforce. The leader needs to remain calm and continue moving forward. This week, I had a conversation with a pilot from a major air carrier who told me that just last week on approach into an airport at 2am, the entire cockpit went dark, including the instruments. After the initial shock, they went into a holding pattern; he remained calm and went through the checklist to restore power to the instruments. I’m sure he suffered both anger and frustration. Once they were confident that problem was resolved, he landed without incident. In fact, he shared with me that he didn’t even tell the flight attendants until after they landed. Staying calm in an emergency is what saves lives. When we are calm we think clearer, and can process information faster than if we start getting angry. The same can be said in our daily lives. We make better decisions when we remain calm; in fact, we are much nicer to each other when we are calm. Everyone will have moments when they get really angry. I’ll bet the people around you know it when you do. Hopefully the moment comes and goes and you haven’t done too much damage to the relationships around you. What do we about those who are always angry? They are miserable to be around and almost instantly effect our outlook. Have you thought about your own actions lately? Which side of “angry” are you on? Bobby Farrin wrote the popular 80’s hit, “Don’t worry, be happy”. It’s good advice.
24Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, 25or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared. Proverbs 22:24-25
A couple of weeks ago I said something about “you are what you eat.” This week it’s also about the company you keep. Have you ever noticed that you enjoy a movie much more in the theater, laughing with everyone than you do when you see it again at home? People adapt to their surroundings constantly. If we work in a pleasant atmosphere, our general disposition is good. If we dislike where we are, it shows too. The same can be said about the friends you keep or the associates you make. We are being warned in these verses that if we make friends with short-tempered people, we too will become short-tempered. Jesus was never angry; He displayed calm in the face of grave challenges. When the Pharisees tried to trick him into breaking the law, he remained calm and worked through their deceit. When the devil tempted Him, he remained calm and used the bible as His defense. These are examples of life and death situations where calm was better than anger. Jesus never showed His frustration with those that failed to believe in Him, He continued to be compassionate. Don’t let the anger take over; give it up to God in prayer. Choose your friends and associates carefully and if you have no choice but to be around them, ask God for peace and understanding in their lives and calm in yours. One of the final words Jesus spoke to us at the last supper was “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you.” Stay calm, you have the Peace of Jesus Christ with you all day, every day.