Tag Archives: mindsets

Where’s my promotion?

Have you been feeling that you keep getting overlooked for a promotion, can’t seem to find that dream job?  I don’t work in HR but have had a few nterviews in my time.  From that experience, I’d like to share with you some questions that you can ask yourself that might help you understand differently.

  1.  Is your heart burdened or closed off?  If you base everything in life on past experiences, you might be setting yourself up for repeated failures and disappointments.  Have previous results been chipping away at your confidence? Have you been too busy comparing yourself and your successes to others?  If so, and you aren’t where you want to be, then maybe you could ask yourself if you’re holding grudges, resenting those above you in authority, or being too competitve that your confidence has become arrogance?
  2. Your eyes can’t see what is right in front of you.  Is there a gap between your current skills and the role you seek?  Is there a roadblock that is stopping you from progressing your career but can’t see a way around it?  Could you have different conversations with those senior or more experienced to you?  Is it possible that your covet the leadership responsibilities or salary benifits someone elses job rather than the actual job?
  3. Your ears aren’t hearing what others are saying.  There is a significant difference between listening and hearing.  If you hear what someone says to you, especially your employer or an interview panel, about the reasons for not having secured that role yet, you will be able to assess if that role really is for you, or what gaps need to be reduced before reapplying.  Technical skills can be learnt, as can behavioural mannerism.  It may be challenging to change you default personality type, but if you hear what is said to you by those whose opinions matter, you then need to make the changes required to ake progress.

You could call it ‘ground hog day’, or ‘just anothr day at the office’ when Jesus had a similar conversation with His disciples.  Jesus had just performed another miracle – the feeding of four thousand.  The legalistic religious people who always sought to undermine Jesus influence and authenticity began demanding another miracle.  After which Jesus’ disciples, forgetting what they had just witnessed began to argue about resources.  He asks them “Why are you arguing about having no bread (resources and provision) Don’t you yet understand even yet?  Are you’re hearts too hard to even take it in?  You have eyes – but can’t you see?  You have ears – but can’t you hear?” (Mark chapter 8 verses 14-21 NLT).

There are many things that we can learn, or relearn today from historical manuscripts and documents.  In this instance, the disciples were close to Jesus, He was their mentor. They had witnessed His skills and expertise in action turnng water into wine, feeding the masses from meager rations, healing sickness and disease, and other miracles.  The message Jesus was trying to get them to remember and apply was that the resources for all that they needed was right before them, everyday.  They were mentored by the Master.  Yet they struggled to develop the skills that would see them able to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, the way He related to all peoples He encountered and the way that he understood His rloe and undertook it passionately.

There may be a multitude of reasons why you haven’t landed that promotion or your dream job yet.  Can I suggest to you that looking around you, the resources at your disposal would be an ideal place to start.  Maybe you need a mentor in the area you wish to move into.  Maybe its time to pause and reassess where you want to go, your action plan and timeframe to get there.

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Evict the freeloaders!

Today marks one month into 2018. It means that the Australian Open has been played and won, the shrimps and lamb have been consumed from the BBQ, most people would be back at work and the kids have begun school. Not to mention the progress, or lack there of for 2018 New Years Resolutions.

What are you changing or sacrificing this year?

Guilt unforgiveness or grudges don’t sacrifice or pay anything to take up residency in your life. Depression anxiety and substance abuse are also freeloaders. Its time to evict them.

In fact you are the one who is making the sacrifice. It has been said that unforigveness is like drinking poison hoping the other person would die. You could say the same about undue guilt that weighs you down or a grudge you are holding against another person for something that they did, or possibly only your perception of an event or incident from… how long ago?

Depression and anxiety are real emotions that many people experience during their lifetime. But you don’t have to set up a tent in the valley of the shadow of despair. It may take you time but its now time to use those roadblocks (boulders) to overcoming these issues as stepping stones. Its time to evict them and rise above.

Substance abuse and other addictions not only hurt you but those close to you. These may cost you financially as you part with money to feed them but the costs are much more than the financial: friendships, relationships employment housing freedoms and liberty. Not so much a freeloader as the others above but by no means without cost.

Mental health is important. Not keeping check on the causes of negative virtues or habits in your life could be contributing to an unhealthy lifestyle.

Have you already broken your new years resolutions for 2018? Maybe some of these issues identified above have contributed to you lack of staying power. Its time to evict the freeloaders in your life and rise above your accomplishments and mistakes of the past.

What do you seek?

Seeking after the things of God, not this world reflects your priorities in life. There is nothing wrong with pursuing a career or interests outside a faith setting. It is when your pursuits in life give no regard to God, you may find trouble beckoning.  The hurts you experience along the way may begin to spiral out of control when you are unable to, or unaware of how to view them as opportunities.

Getting God’s perspective on the tension between joy and tribulation can provide you with the greatest lessons in life.

God has a goal for each and every one of our lives. It isn’t just to make us happy, but to model for us how to be Holy – by being more like Him.  Jesus knew and endured pain, ridicule and shame.  He was disowned, ignored, physically beaten.

The writer of the Bible book of Hebrews says that it was through the pain and suffering that Jesus Christ endured on our behalf taught Him obedience.  (Hebrews 5:8). Through these times it was who He put His faith and trust in that Jesus got through – He learned to depend on God, and God alone.

It is when we can see God’s providential care and involvement in the good and bad times; in the valleys and on top of the mountains; in the dark times and bright, then we can build the resilience that comes from depending on God. 

Not much in this world comes without risk. The saying goes “the greater the risk, the greater the reward.”  Allowing yourself to become vulnerable and opening your heart to God is the first key in allowing the hurt you have endured to be used for good, for those set backs to become set ups! 

It is said of Saint Basil (303 – 379 AD) that his faith was ambidextrous because “he welcomed pleasure with his right hand and afflictions with the left, convinced both would serve God’s design for him.”  Seeking God in all seasons of your life, trusting God in the joys and tribulations of life is where ‘ambidextrous faith’ is beneficial.

When we look around with our eyes open, we can be distracted by the issues and struggles of life.  When you close your eyes, these distractions and biases become less influential. Determine to close you eyes to your hurts and ask God to reveal to you how He is able to turn these around into greater possibilities.

 

Where’s the hope?

Life’s challenges can leave even the strongest of people replacing hope with doubt and fear. Several times throughout the Bible, God reminds His people to “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid…for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV)

Having listened to the negative voices in the past you may be carrying hurt deep with in your heart that needs to be exposed to be healed. There may be such hurt and pain, or unforgiveness so repressed that you don’t remember what actually happened. I’ve heard it said of generational family feuds and long running marriage problems, that no one involved can clearly articulate what started the dispute. What a waste of opportunity for living in hope when you can’t remember what started an argument. 

A significant key to hope is to apprehend what God says about you and surrender all your hurt to Him.  Healing so deep can be painful. It is also the place of new beginnings.  Birthing a new life is painful, ask any mother.  

Some of the things that the Bible records of God saying about you includes how you are His beloved, His pearl of great price, you are more than a conqueror. 

The Bible also says that God has given you a spirit of power, love and self-control, not one of fear. That He has placed within you the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead. The ability to be strong and very courageous in all circumstances is repeated several times under different circumstances. 

God also says He will provide a place of rest from the battles within and without. When you have Him as Lord of all of your life, you are not immune from life’s challenges, but He gives you the ability to overcome any test or temptation that comes your way. He also promises to never leave you, or forsake you.  
The mess, test or pain you are or have experienced could be the very thing that God is waiting to show you just how much He loves and cares for you.  Your breakthrough, and witness of it could be the very thing that helps someone else regain hope. Every human being past, present and future, has been created in God’s own image. It stands to reason then, that His desire for your life is not to set up residence in the darkness but continue to walk through all of life’s experiences. If you don’t turn towards the light, you may never see how bright your future can really be. 

If there is so much positivity that God has spoken over your life, don’t you think that it is worth placing all you hope in what He says about you and not the negative influences of this world?

Responding versus Reacting

The world will tell you that mediocrity is acceptable. God’s word tell us that “in all things we are more than conquerer’s through Him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)” and “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)”

We all go through pain in our lives. Whether it be that initial slap on the buttocks at birth, relationship breakdowns or a financial meltdown, what we do with it shapes its influence on our remaining years. We can choose to either react (to act in opposition to a former condition or act), or respond (to react to a stimulus or to a treatment, especially in a favourable way).

  • The baby’s reaction is to cry, responding with opening its lungs for more breath; 
  • Relationship breakdowns may cause a reaction that is self destructive, where as a favourable response might include self reflection to understand how our own patterns of behaviour may have influenced the breakdown;
  • Financial meltdown reactions could include self harm or seeking out vices to find that illusive quick fix, whereas a favourable response might include adequate planning or change of habits.

The saying goes “God can turn your mess into a message, your test into a testimony, or your pain into gain.”  Learning how to respond rather than react to life’s situations can have a favourable outcome for your life, and for those around you.  It can be difficult seeing through the fog of challenges to see the future promises.  Remaining positive and pushing through can reduce the severity and frequency of the times you need to pick yourself up and keep moving forward.   

Two keys to achieving this are calling on God’s voice that can silence the negative voices.  Then once you learn how to use this key, you can begin to apprehend what God says about you, not the opinions of the naysayers. 

Determine within yourself today, that you will not let the barriers, attitudes and mindsets that have been negative influences on your past decisions to have a place of residence in your future.

No Condemnation

SCRIPTURE:  Romans 8:1 “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (NKJV)

OBSERVATION:  Under Old Testament law, a sacrifice had to be made for the cleansing of all sins.  Since Christ’s death and ressurection was a once and for all sacrifice for the sins of all peoples, throughout all of histroy, Pauls states that we are no longer condemned to death as a result of our sinful natures but through Jesus’ sacrificial death, we can now be freed from condemnation into the fullness of a life restored to our creator God.

APPLICATION:  When our past is brought up, it can stir up emotions within us that either cause us to react or respond. When the enemy of our souls tries to remind us of our past, we are most likely to feel the emotion of condemnation. That is to feel that the forgiveness that Christs death and resurrection brought for us was not sufficient to cleanse that sin from our lives. Sometimes in the heat of an argument, or passionate discussion with a spouse, a friend or family member, we or they may react in a way that brings about condemnation in the atmosphere.  This can demonstrate to us that we have not forgiven a past issue or released someone of a hurt that is in the past. It may even be telling us that there is something we haven’t forgiven ourselves over.

Contrary, sometimes something from our past is brought up and the emotion of condemnation is absent, but we feel compelled to respond. This could be that there is still a lesson to be learnt, or some further equipping that is required. We may feel a prompting from the Holy Spirit about a lesson that God wanted us to learn from to help us on our journey to our destiny. It is also possible that we haven’t truly repented for a past sin and subsequently released someone from that bondage of unforgiveness.

I heard a saying that ‘unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die.’  Is there a past issue surfacing in your life that needs to be dealt with? To have the Blood of Jesus applied to it?  Which of the above is it?  If you are feeling condemned then don’t let it become a root of bitterness, but release the person (including yourself if approriate) and seek to be reconciled with them. If there is no condemnation then ask God what lesson still needs to be learnt so you can continue towards your destiny.  Maybe there is an attitude or mindset within you that needs adjusting.

PRAYER:  Lord God, guide me I pray to know when I need to forgive and to be forgiven so that no unforgiveness can take root in my life. IN JESUS NAME, AMEN

Don’t stop celebrating!

SCRIPTURE: ACTS 16:16-34 “But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.  Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.” (v25-26)

OBSERVATION: Amongst the hysteria of the time, there were those who were profiteering of the miracolous works that Jesus and his disciples had demonstrated.  Paul and Silas had been sent to prison for calling out one of these such charlatan by using the name of Jesus Christ to free a girl from demonic possession, and removing the income source this girl was able to provide.

APPLICATION: Things happen in life that bind and restrict people.  The girl in this story was demon possessed, Paul and Silas were bound in chains along with other prisoners.  The sentence given saw them placed ‘into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.’ (v24)  This makes prisons in our modern western culture seem luxurious.  The smells wouldn’t have been fresh, and the lack of natural light could have added to the depresive environment.

Paul and Silas had a chioce – be bitter and angry about the miscarriage of justice, and the circumstnaces they found themselves in; or remember that the God whom they love and served is bigger than anything this world could throw at them.  We read that at midnight, when it always seems the darkest, when things are coming to an end that they were found to be ‘praising and singing hymns to God.’ (v25)  It was their choice to celebrate life and the freedom that they knew they had in God, that could not be taken away from them that changed their environment.  Their spritual focus created a natural response that led to an earthquake that impacted everyone around them.  Their declared words of faith and hope brought them a freedom that impacted those around them.

We can all make a choice in our lives, to focus on how big God is and not how big our problems can appear.  Our praise and breakthrough can overflow into the lives of others.  Do you keep your praise and thanksgiving to God to yourself or do you shout it out and declare it for all to hear?  People are listening, so continue the celebration of praise that Passover represents and see how many people around you receive some of your overflow breakthrough.

PRAYER: God I am so thankful for who you are and praise you despite what my circumstance say, beacuse you have the last say.  AMEN