Working for one company throughout your corporate career is no longer the norm. Last week, my husband announced that he wouldn’t be traveling anymore. The company he worked for downsized, and the new size didn’t include him. Our first thought was to manage the situation, but we soon realized there was someone already managing our affairs—God.
Have you ever experienced a sudden setback? It’s tempting to manage every problem, but that is exhausting. Answers aren’t found in managing but in surrendering.
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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO MANAGE?
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines manage as:
– to have control of something
– to take care of and make decisions [for] someone’s time, money, etc.
– to direct the professional career of someone
WHAT WE SHOULD MANAGE
We are to be faithful stewards. Simply stated, it’s obedient management of God’s blessings. Matthew 25:20-21 puts it in perspective. God is the master; we are the servants.
We manage our spending (Proverbs 3:9)
We manage our thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:5)
We manage our talents and gifts (Romans 12:6-8)
Stewardship is managing or supervising, what God has entrusted to our care.
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WHAT WE SHOULD NOT MANAGE
Cultural clichés, television shows, and even articles can suggest empowering messages that are not empowering. The word alone is misleading. Nothing, without God, can empower. Here are phrases that have caused me to manage what I should not manage.
To manage anger means, we own anger. Does God want us to own anger? Anger is the opposite of love, joy, and peace. We don’t need to spend energy managing anger; we need more of Christ in our lives. When we fix our eyes on Jesus, as the old Christian song states, the “earth will grow strangely dim.” Soon, we’ll realize God can transform anger reactions to Godly responses.
God created time, and He said it was good. There wasn’t a shortage of time or poor allocation of time. We make the best use of time, but God placed time on automatic pilot. There’s enough time in each day for His daily plan. Perhaps, we need God to help us wade through life’s demands and narrow our focus and Kingdom priorities.
Who wants to own stress? For years, I assumed stress was part of life—no escape. After all, it’s part of our high-tech, instant gratification, multitasking culture, right? Wrong! It took me a long time to realize my perspective was limited—I was fooled by limited beliefs.
WHY DO WE TRY TO MANAGE SETBACKS?
My husband and I are achievers. The Gallup assessment calls this a personality strength. Let me just say, Holy Spirit strength beats any personality strength. I can’t speak for all achievers, but we have the stamina of hyperactive puppies. We can remain busy and productive to a disgustingly wide degree. Loss of income could have put us into high gear to find a solution and overlook God’s best plan. God, however, gave us peace to wait for His direction.
The unseen influence that triggers unhealthy reactions is a well-hidden enemy—fear. For some, setbacks can trigger depression or self-doubt. Others could procrastinate. Some may try to find solace with alcohol or reckless living. There’s also the unfortunate freaked-out person who becomes ill from the anxiety.
Fear plays with our emotions until we realize that God hasn’t gone anywhere. God waits as He whispers, “Follow me.”
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UNDER NEW SPIRITUAL MANAGEMENT
If you chose to follow Jesus through every valley and every blessing, your heart is under new spiritual management. God will help you judge every choice—every thought. Your energy won’t be drained but maintained for His glory.
There’s a time to manage and a time not to manage. Whatever you manage, make sure it’s from God. He has entrusted stewardship for His Kingdom purpose.
“Dictionary.” Merriam-Webster. Accessed August 29, 2015. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/manage.