Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don’t miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out. Colossians 4:5-6 MSG
USE YOUR HEAD... become mentally tough
Have you ever felt as if you had totally "lost your cool"? I know I have. In relationships from marriage to business (any time you have to deal with people) we have the opportunity to become offended. Maybe your spouse is upset at you, or you thought you were going to get a better price on your product than you received, in both instances you have the option to loose your head. What the Bible is trying to teach us here in Colossians 4:5-6 is the concept of Mental Toughness.
Mental toughness is a measure of individual resilience and confidence that may predict success in sport, education and the workplace. As a broad concept, it emerged in the context of sports training, in the context of a set of attributes that allow a person to become a better athlete and able to cope difficult training and difficult competitive situations and emerge without losing confidence. In recent decades, the term has been commonly used by coaches, sport psychologists, sports commentators, and business leaders.
There are several factors as to why a positive mentality or mental toughness is a huge benefactor to success. An elite athlete must be able to handle pressure, have self-belief and avoid any lifestyle distractions. They must have that urge to win and know that they have all the capabilities to do anything they desire. This separate's the good athletes from the elite athletes. (wiki)
Is it hard for you to imagine a "Christian" as being Mentally Tough? Is it hard for you to imagine existing a successful "Christian" business man/woman? (have you ever heard of R.G. LeTourneau?) Jesus himself was exceptionally mentally tough in his thinking, his mind was heavily guarded (Phil 4:7) and He was constantly aware of the men and women who were surrounding him. He was definitely an elite, by this definition...
And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. Luke 8:43-48 King James Version (KJV)
Jesus was so aware of his surroundings he was able to feel when someone touched the hem of his garment! If you feel like you are always getting the "raw end of the deal", or are just the "nice guy" who is destined to "finish last" don't! It is time you become AWARE of your surroundings and begin to walk in the confidence of who you are in Christ. Don't believe the lie that just because someone else has more experience than you they know more than you, or any of the many other lies we believe because we are not trained to be mentally tough. Let God's Word train you!
LIVE AND WORK WITH PEOPLE ... you just might learn something
A Pastor friend of ours once gave us some great advice, he said "If you stay in the church too long... you get weird." What he meant was human beings need variety. We NEED to be in and around communities which we aren't necessarily comfortable in. This experience of learning how to relate to others is a key factor in becoming mentally tough. Yesterday, we talked about winning souls by having a cheerful demeanor and how winning souls is what we as Christians are called to do - but how are you going to win others over to the Lord if the only people you meet with are the people just like you? (you can read yesterday's article here) The Bible calls us to "work with people". This statement is twofold. Not only should we be working "with" people we should be working things out with people. It isn't enough to just be in the same space as others, we must learn how to relate with and communicate without offense too!
Jeff and I have been married a VERY long time. In the 22 years we have been married I have had to learn to listen more than I speak. Over the years I have become very mentally tough because you simply cannot raise a family of multiple children without digging your heals in every now and again. The hardest part for me is biting my tongue!
Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. James 1:26 NIV
MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY... Jesus did
- Use your head
- Work and live among outsiders
- Don't miss a trick
- Make the most of every opportunity
These four tips could be read in ANY New York Times best selling book written about business! These four points paint the portrait of a shrewd business person, don't they? Should we make the most of every opportunity - ABSOLUTELY. Jesus did.
Who turned the water in to wine? Jesus. Who healed the sick? Jesus. As a matter of fact the Bible says Jesus healed them ALL. (Matthew 12:15) Jesus took every opportunity which came his way to glorify God the Father. The people's success was the Lord's success and vice versa. This is how God's system works. When your business prospers - it glorifies the Lord, when the Lord is glorified your business prospers!
A HARD RIGHT TURN... you are different
The rest of today's scripture is meant to separate the Christian Business person from the Non-Christian way of doing business. Initially in the beginning of the verse we read a very worldly way of looking at things, but toward the second half of the scripture we see where we are called to be different than the traditional status quo. Not only is the author educating us on best business practices, he is advising us on a soul level as well. What is success worth if you can't sleep at night? Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out. YES! We supposed to use our head, be aware, and make things happen! But we are also supposed to bring out the best in others because if we don't do business with love - in the long run - our businesses won't be worth anything.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2
Learning how to have successful relationships in business and life can be just like learning how to drive a manual transmission. You will need to "pedal and clutch" regularly and often. You will need to practice when to stand firm and when to relax. You will want to practice both faith and hopeful expectations with hard work and diligence. As you do, you will have practiced the ULTIMATE recipe for success!
Jessica and her husband Jeff have been married for 21 years and currently live in the Silicon Valley with their seven children and their dog. As Silicon Valley residents and business owners, Jeff and Jessica have had the pleasure of advising CEO's, as well as business students in the best business practices. Jeff was recently featured on the television show God@Work hosted by Rich Marshall on GodTv. Please share this message if it encourages you! Wholeness is for everyone! You can also check out our new category tabs on our site www.wholeheartedministries.com for more subjects such as Salvation 101, Marriage 101, Salvation 101, Money 101, Parenting 101, and Minute Motivations. We are working tirelessly to update our site, thank you for being patient with us as we work through this time of transition! You can subscribe to our daily blog here.