Hair pulling… Nail biting… All out Craziness!
Ever have one of those days? You feel like you want to pull out every hair on your head… or someone elses. Your nails are bit to the quick and you are sure that your whole world has done gone crazy! I just gave you my morning. As I was praying about what to write in my blog, I quickly got my answer: There was drama on every side! Here at Teen Challenge, people are learning new tools on how to deal with the struggles of life. This isn’t always easy; and sometimes, things can go awry. Within minutes I had a line up of both staff and students outside my office door. Some of the situations were minor, some were not. By about the fifth “situation”, I was ready to literally pull my hair out. I would say that the situations turned my hair gray, but, too late, nature took care of that. I had to put everything on pause; take a breath; take a walk; and talk to the one who is really in charge. I really needed God’s perspective. I never want to “deal” with situations in my own wisdom; never want to unintentionally hurt someone; and always want people to grow through an experience – not be shattered by it. And though I am a pastor, a Teen Challenge director, I don’t think I am any different from you, the reader. We all have days like I just described; and I think the worst fallout from those days happens when we allow our emotions to rule us. When I run my life by emotions I seldom glorify the Lord. More often than not I end up reacting, instead of giving thoughtful response; I end up feeding and acting in the flesh, instead of being led by the Spirit; and I can easily act out in human judgmental-ism, instead of God’s amazing love. So what do I do? The following are a few tools I have learned to use over the years:
- Zippeth the Lippeth and learn to LISTEN! I have found that I am so much better off when I keep my mouth shut! There will be a time to speak, but I need to be one that is “quick” to listen and “slow” to speak. We can never take back our words. Think about it… I bet you can think of words spoken to you in anger from decades ago. I know I can. I also can remember words I have rashly and harshly spoken – that is where true regret comes into play.
- Take a time out. Take a walk if you need to. Part of successfully dealing with any situation is timing. For example, we never want to deal with something when we are over-heated, or if someone doesn’t have time to deal with it right then. Set an appointment if need be, but don’t give into the tyranny of the urgent and feel you have to deal with it right that second.
- Don’t feel you have to have all the answers. Get council if need be.
- Let everything be ruled by Love – God’s love. God loves when we do well; when we don’t do well. He loves us when we love Him and when we don’t. He even loves us when we ignore Him. No matter what, He loves us. We need to walk in His love; be led by His love; and learn to be examples of His love by our actions.
- All our actions need to be backed by the Word. We can’t just read what the Word says, we need to apply it – even in the heat of the moment.
I have had the privilege of being involved in a lot of intense ministry. I have seen a lot of good; a lot of bad. I have had my life threatened; knives pulled; guns brandished; but the thing that scares me the most is if I were to ever hurt one of His little ones. As Scripture declares, it would be better a “mill-stone” be hung around my neck and be thrown in a river. Though my congregation comes often with numerous tattoos, rough exteriors, and with histories that are often filled with devastation; they are just “big kids” in need of the Father’s love. And, guess what… so are we, and so is everyone in our lives. If I will use my “tools” when I am going through the crazies, I will not only help myself, but I will be a blessing to others. #doingitGod’sway