Do you have an urge to do something greater in your marriage and family relationships? Honestly, many of us are so tired in the relationships; we get drained of energy when we think about making changes. Likely, part of the problem is that we’ve made attempts to change things and haven’t been successful.
Recently, as we’ve read some material that had to do with people making great changes in their lives or organizations, it hit me that there are some important first steps that we ignore or hurry through. We do it innocently enough. We ignore them or hurry through them because we live re-actively. We notice a problem and we react quickly doing what we know to do.
What we skip involves two things: discernment and prayer. Instead of doing quickly what you know to do that might actually be wrong; think more, study more, ask more questions from others around. Be sure, too, that you add more prayer to that discernment process. Wouldn’t it be great if your next step toward a greater relationship was the best instead of the quickest?
1. Break out your Bible. Talk to someone who’s Bible knowledge you appreciate. Be aware of what God has said about your situation. What is God’s will, as revealed in scripture, regarding the details of your dilemma? If your quick reaction, that often turns out bad, is about your anger or worry, meditate on what the Holy Spirit has revealed in scripture about anger or worry.
2. Pray, asking God for wisdom to determine your direction. This is much better than (a) asking God to bless the outcome of your previously made decision; (b) asking God to correct the mess you made because you acted impetuously.
3. Be still. This is really hard for some of us, but God is alive and active and we need to listen for wisdom from him and let him work. Sometimes you may need to be still for an extended period of time. Sometimes,when something really is urgent, being still means at least biting your tongue, living in the Spirit’s fruit of self-control, taking a breath (seriously, inhale slowly and exhale before you react), and then pray a short prayer for patience.
4. Ask for advice from wise, spiritual people. Many of us are way too independent. Ask for help and when you ask – this is important – listen attentively.
Quickest or best?