How to Bounce Back When You Have Crushed Your Own Character
As I am growing to become a better leader, I have been faced with the challenge of restoring the trust and integrity with others due to poor choices that I have made. I believe it is safe to say that we’ve all burned bridges and loss and gain trust with individuals. Whether it be a small issue or a blowout. Trust sometimes can take years to establish but yet trust can be loss within a matter of seconds. How do you come back when you have failed one another? When you have failed your spouse? When you have failed your children?
We have seen it in politics, religious institutions, and even in our homes. We have many people in our lives that we have considered as role-models or even idols have failed us at least once. There are pastors or church leaders who have been caught in unethical situations every year. Because of their mistake, many people have decided that they are not a leader they want to “follow”. But yet we make mistakes all the time in our lives. All of the good the leader have done over the years can be cancelled or forgotten in seconds because of a mistake or failure. The person can ask for forgiveness over and over again. We can ask for forgiveness all day long but that does not equate to restoration of trust? Can the Violation of trust by a self-imposed destruction of the integrity and character cannot be restored merely by forgiveness?
We can ask for forgiveness all day long but that does not equate to restoration of trust?
Trying to Build Up Broken Bridges
One of the the reason why a leader have success is because people trust them. It is not how you move through the English language with finesse or your personality. It was them buying-in or trusting in you. It took the testing of their character and integrity to build trust with others. When one fails, the door of trust is closed. But how is that door opened back up? The door of trust is opened and closed based on both parties. We have a choice whether or not to trust again. The leader have a choice to make themselves trustworthy. One of the keys of reconciliation is to know that works alone will not bring back trust. Talents and gifts are only as safe as your character and integrity. Without both, your works means nothing.
So how does one bounce back when their character was self-destructed? Or how can you restore trust when someone has done you wrong? What do you do when you have lost it all? Your character carries so much weight with where you stand with others. Now I am a Believer of Christ so I am only writing from the tense of having the Word of God as the foundation of morals and beliefs and as an accountability mechanism. The Bible is my final authority. Unbelievers foundation of beliefs is based on other things that are not of God Almighty. So we cannot hold our standards to them. You can always tell in a person of where they lay final authority in. You can always tell how people handle life’s situations whether or not they are rooted and grounded in the Word of God. If someone hurts you, how do you handle it? If you hurt others, how do you reconcile?
If you are a Believer in Christ, your final authority should be the Word of God.
The Ministry of Reconciliation
Because God brought Jesus here on earth to be the vehicle to reconcile God and man, God has commanded us to do the same with one another. With the grace and mercy that God has extended to us when we fall, God expects us to do the same. Loving how God loves us is the toughest thing to accomplish especially if He is not The Lord of your life. The problem is not the failure. The problem is how you deal with the failure. Many leaders do not know how to deal with their own failures and others as well. Pretending that it did not happen does not cancel it. Letting time past does not let it off the hook. The key is reconciliation. We have to be able to face one another and talk things out. After talking things out, we have give each other room for God to come in and handle the rest.
Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. – 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Oh how we love to hold on to accusation and faults of one another and at the same time is it hard to move on when you hurt one another or others hurt you. Colossians 3:13 reminds us that “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave.” The question is what do you do when you have forgiven them? Do you hold it against them? And the answer is no. You are supposed to restore them to the place where they have fallen (Heb. 6). We should always extend the hope of recovery. The enemy wants us to believe that a someone cannot be trusted again or you have to hold reservations towards them. That is not the way of the Kingdom. If our final authority is in the word of God, then we should be able to reconcile our differences.
When we fail one another, the guilt is heavy. I know with me, The Holy Spirit is constantly in teaching mode. He allows me to see when I have done something wrong when handling situations. Whether it is instant or later, I am always corrected. I always say “you cannot trust man”. The better approach is that because we are man, we have to give other believers room to make mistakes and get messy. Also give people time for them to move forward. We all progress and move at various rates. Matthew gives a principle of how to reconcile differences. The key in that scripture is that “if you have won them over” meaning that you all have a chance to talk about it and both have seen where they have fallen and repent, then the relationship is salvageable.
The better approach is that because we are man, we have to give other believers room to make mistakes and get messy. Also give people time for them to move forward. We all progress and move at various rates.
As leaders, we are going to make mistakes, hurt people, or say the wrong thing. The test is the aftermath. Do we go and apologize? Are we so prideful to the point where we do not see our mistakes? Great is the person that can go to the one you have hurt and explain scripturally where they have fallen and what we should do about it. Only under test can your character be proven. You only believe what you believe until you are tested to break it or not. Your convictions are proven by test. Not by pronouncements. What you claim must be tested. Live out what you proclaim.
Seasonal Shifts: How Do You Respond to Shifts?
Seasons come and seasons go. Some seasons can be tough and others can be beautiful. The key to seasonal shifts in life is to embrace and learn about them. Seasons come and go in life to constantly progress or move us into new levels and phases. How do you respond to life changes? Last time I talked about how God forewarns us when the seasons are changing in our lives. But are we sensitive to the transitions? Do we take heed of the warnings?
Growing up in school I was the biggest procrastinator when it came to studying and school work. I was on honor roll but I knew that I could have done better in many of my classes. In my first year of college, I realized that I could no longer wait to study and do assignments. Especially in accounting. After closely failing accounting one, I realized that I had to change my way of studying for test and doing assignments. I actually started reading assignments ahead of time, asking questions, and making sure that I was ready for the test. So when the test came, I scored in the top percentage of my class. I went from an “D” to an “A”. Why? Because I prepared myself and realized the mistakes I was making. I had a choice to either stay in the cycle or go and put forth the effort.
When you take to time to study, ask questions, observant of things around you, and praying all the time, you are more prepared to handle life situations. Many of us have a habit of waiting while we are in the turmoil to pray rather than praying and preparing ahead of time. God speaks and He speaks a lot. He loves His children so much that He has the best motives and thoughts for us. The next time you feel in a place where you cannot discern the seasons or understanding what is going on in your life, stop and pray. Ask for guidance and direction. Then the season will start to make sense. You will pass the test with flying colors!!
In a dream, in a vision of the night, When deep sleep falls upon men, While slumbering on their beds, Then He opens the ears of men, And seals their instruction. In order to turn man from his deed, And conceal pride from man, He keeps back his soul from the Pit, And his life from perishing by the sword.- Job 33:15-18
We all have been at a point where we had fallen in sin and it felt like we were not able to escape. We had accepted the state that we were in to a point where it became the norm. Who was there for us to show us a better way? Did we have enough faith in God for Him to provide an escape for us? Did we want to take the path of escape? In 1 Corinthians 10:23, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
I’ve been a victim of being ridiculed and condemned of past sin that I had committed. There are many that have had the same experience. Going through the ridicule may have caused one not to be open about their weaknesses. Many may have wanted to find someone to confide in, but at the same time they may had been embarrassed to share their experience. We have walked around the same mountain of disappointment and many have seen us do it over and over again. Do they intervene or continue to watch us fall? I have come to a point in my life where I have to show compassion for those who have fallen. I have to be able to extend a helping hand rather than a whip. Easily I can fall into sin. Who can i confide in when that happens? Scripture says that, “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor 6:11)
Being in leadership, it is so easy to become cocky and cold-hearted. We set standards to others but fail to follow them ourselves. We are harder on those who exhibit their flaws rather than turning the mirror on ourselves and see what is wrong with us. I am learning in leadership to show more compassion for those who are struggling. The Love of God is the only way we can win others and help them to remain in God. In Jude 1:22 says that, “And have mercy on some, who are doubting.” Also Romans 15:7 says that, “Receive one another, then, just as Christ also received you, to God’s glory”.
You can get back up again, but the choice is yours. Words do hurt at times and can cause discouragement. But we have to remain focus on the promises of God. A paradigm shift or a change of point of view can cause us to focus on what God has to say rather than our peers. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says that, “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” Romans 6:6 says that, “We know that our old man was crucified with him so that the body of sin would no longer dominate us, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.” We can get back up and we have to help one another to get up. Let us continue to pray for one another. Let us continue to extend a hand of grace and be accountable to one another. We are in the race together, not pushing one down to seem more righteous than others. We need one another spiritually healthy and ready to carry out the Will of God on earth. Pray for me as I continue to pray for you.
When I left the house this morning, I felt the urge to pray. It was hard for me to pray a certain prayer because I knew that it was a prayer against my will and plans. God gave me a word a while back that in a few months, a change is going to occur. Being antsy and tired of the current situation that I am in, I tried to rush the process and the timing of God. I know from experience, rushing the timing of God is never a good thing. So I laid down my will right in the car. I said to God, “I will wait for you. I do not want my flesh to get in the way of your promises for me”.
When I got to work, the spirit of the Lord hit me while getting coffee. I began to cry, “Lord, calm my raging soul”. My soul is trying to get what it wants and I do not want to receive anything God has for me outside the timing of God. I believe that my soul is not at ease because I have not found my resting place in God. Like a baby who is irritated and fussy and cannot communicate to its parent what is wrong, my soul was in the same state. I realized that I needed more than just a vacation or to sleep more, but I need the love of the Father to cradle me and say it will be OK.
In the book, “The Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyers says that, “The rest that God offers us is not from physical work, but a rest for souls- a rest that operates as we go about daily life and take care of the responsibilities… If you are truly believing God and trusting Him, we have entered into rest (Heb 4:3)… You can speak His word to your raging soul and tortured mind just as Jesus spoke to the wind and waves and said, “Hush, be still. (Mark 4:39)”.
When your soul becomes uneasy, begin to pray in the spirit and tell your soul to hush and be still. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). When you have nagging desires and your flesh is trying to rise up and causing you to feel anxious, remember we serve a God who is ABLE TO KEEP you from falling. Stay in the rest and comfort of God for it is your protection and safety net.
Anger can take over a person in an instant. When we act out of anger, we do not think first. We act first. In result can lead to detrimental issues. Proverbs 14:17 says that, “A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of evil devices is hated.”
The other day, being in a rush, I closed my computer too quickly and the computer shut down completely on its own. In result, I lost a portion of revisions that I was working on. I had never gotten so angry in my life. I was at the church and I could not let anyone see how angry I was. I immediately left and stood at my car. I was slamming things, yelling, about to pull my hair out because I just lost 2 hours worth of work.I could not get in the car to drive because I knew I would speed out of anger. I knew the Holy Spirit was coaching me through the whole thing because as I was driving, there was a sense of ease or calmness that came over me all of a sudden. The whole drive home, the Holy spirit had to coach me through the whole thing. Even though I just lost 2 hours of work, I was going to stay up for hours to catch back up. But the Lord rest assured in me that all was not lost.
When you are angry and emotional, you have to quickly shift to wisdom. Wisdom told me to leave the church quickly. Wisdom told me not to hop in the car and speed off. Wisdom caused peace to go through my mind and body. Wisdom told me that all is not lost. Being emotional without wisdom is mania! It causes you to become crazy and emotionally driven. That is why the enemy fights against us to receive knowledge and wisdom! We need to get wisdom to handle our emotions. Proverbs 14:29 says that, “He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.” God wants to shift us to use his wisdom more in situations and learn how to live in a climate of peace and wisdom.
You have to learn how to resolve anger before it gets out of hand. Ephesians 4:26 says that, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger”. Have you ever gotten so angry that you stopped talking to God? Anger causes you to be estranged from God or causes you to be a stranger to God. See how the word “anger” in is the word “stranger”? It pushes you away from God because you are so caught up in your emotions to a point where you will not allow yourself to hear from Him. Anger distorts your view and judgement of everything.
So the next time you get angry, slow yourself and shift to the wisdom of God. Do not run from God but run to God.