God Time for November 7-11
(Start with five minutes of thanks for something you appreciate. Focus on one or two things)
Monday November 7
14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
“Let the shalom that comes from Jesus be the referee in your hearts.”
The action stops to sort things out.
Same for us.
If I am not experiencing peace, or the group I am leading isn’t experiencing peace, it’s time to stop until we are all able to return to joy. Don’t let upset emotions run the show.
By letting emotions go off the track we cannot live with the heart Jesus has given us, acting like our best true self.
This is so important, because many psychologists say the most important predictor of a person’s emotional health is the ability to return to joy from upsetting emotions. The same goes for groups.
Grudges that last weeks, months, years, may seem humorous in a warped way, but what they really show is a sickness and inability to live life the way God intends.
You are responsible for everything in your life. You always control how you interpret what happens to you, as well as how you respond.
Return from upset is another way of saying Return to joy. The more often this happens the stronger the leader and the group becomes.
The first step is to realize we have emotions. Emotions cause more problems when we try to resist them than if we accept them.
We save a lot of energy when we accept emotions, which allows us to calm ourselves quickly.
When we experience the full emotion, accept it, and deal with it directly, we are able to remain relational and act like ourselves instead of stewing in upset. Powerful connections are made when we are able to respond well to others during the emotion instead of having to wait until it is gone.
We don’t have to have the emotion disappear, but can be glad to be with someone despite what we are experiencing.
“I can sense and value myself now as much as when I am happy.”
“I can sense and value you as much now as when we are happy.”
We use the emotion to build a better relationship with others in the present moment.
Why do we mean when we call someone emotional?
Tuesday November 8
But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly.
Let’s look at the six upsetting emotions and then we will look at the alternative.
To remember these negative emotions, we can use the words, SAD SAD.
First there is shame. Shame is the opposite of joy. It means “Not glad to be with you.” Toxic shame is used to try to manipulate and isolate a person. Then there is healthy shame which is used in healthy relationships to build up the relationship, by inviting the other to to act like yourself.
Next is anger.
Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating,[b] a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head.
The disciples were indignant when they saw this. “What a waste!” they said. “It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.”
Anger is probably the most common of all our upsets. Leaders get angry. We can get angry when someone doesn’t follow through with a commitment, angry with incompetence, even angry that we allow ourselves to get angry! There is no limit to what might perturb.
Here’s the problem, if we don’t know how to return to joy quickly from anger, anger will itself be our primary motivator. It will become hard to get anything done without it.
To return to joy from anger is not to get rid of it, but to remain relational and act like my best true self even when I am angry. As I develop this skill, I can still value you as much when I am angry with you as I am when I am happy with you.
When anger is controlling me, I stop caring about our relationship and I just want to fix or walk away from the problem you’re causing for me by making you understand how upset I am.
I focus on and say things like,
“What were you thinking?”
“What’s wrong with you?”
“Are you kidding?”
“Do you know how much trouble you are in?”
Mature leaders are able to quiet themselves and elevate the relationship over the problem. Instead of cutting off the relationship and using anger to get a desired outcome, I acknowledge my anger, continue to value the other person, and address the problem in the context of the relationship. A helpful phrase to remember is this:
Value people and use things, not use people and value things.
Why is anger so common? More than anything it is not getting our own way. Sometimes things aren’t fair. Why not get angry?
Wednesday November 9
O Lord, why do you cast my soul away Why do you hide your face from me?
Afflicted and close to death from my youth up, I suffer your terrors; I am helpless. Your wrath has swept over me; your dreadful assaults destroy me. They surround me like a flood all day long; they close in on me together. You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me;my companions have become darkness.
Despair…Victor Frankl wrote the influential book, Man’s Search for Meaning. The book was about his experience in a German concentration camp during WWII. To be human is to have meaning in our lives.
Frankl called despair- suffering without meaning. If the prisoners gave in to despair and had no reason left to live, they would die. Whoever was alive at the end had a reason for hope.
With despair while we suffer, we finally give in to nothingness. Nothing is going to work. Nothing will help. There is nothing I can do.
A person filled with despair will say life gives me no meaning.
But there is an alternative question.
What meaning do you give to life?
Next is S for Sadness.
O Lord, how long will you forget me Forever? How long will you look the other way? How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand?
Sadness is linked to depression.
Sadness is energy draining. But, we have been facing sadness since we were babies and sadness can continue to creep in at any time. Remember this is not the opposite of joy. Joy may be the best thing to happen to someone who is sad. To just have you there makes them glad. You don’t have to say anything.
Why is suicide called a disease of despair?
Thursday November 10
There, too, the whole community of Israel complained about Moses and Aaron. “If only the Lord had killed us back in Egypt,” they moaned. “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death.”
Anxiety or fear is next. With anxiety, we face the threat of falling apart.
The fear of failure.
We buy in to Murphy’s law were whatever can go wrong will go wrong.
When we are fearful, we are focusing on a future that hasn’t even happened. We are using our imaginations and filling the movie screen of our imagination with frightening images. Focusing on what is undoubtedly going to go wrong, though we have no logical reason to think this. But, anxiety is not logical.
When we face fear, we need love. God’s love.By inviting God into our anxiety, we can return to joy with him.
I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’
Disgust happen when we feel we are not worthy. If people only knew the real me.
When we get disgusted at others we can easily fall into the worst sin we can have against another precious human being created in God’s very image. Contempt. When we have contempt for someone we act as if they don’t exist. In other words, we put God on trial and declare him guilty overtime we treat people with contempt.
Why is contempt so devastating to the person who has contempt?
Friday November 11
“Comfort, comfort my people,”
says your God.
“Speak tenderly to Jerusalem.
Tell her that her sad days are gone and her sins are pardoned.
So, what do we do about all these upsetting emotions? it seems the odds are stacked against us right?
Well, in Rare leadership we are invited to turn on the VCR.
VCR stands for: Validate, Comfort, and Repattern.
When we are upset we are invited to return to quiet. Return to joy where once agains we can be glad to be with others. The way we do this is to turn on the VCR.
To validate an emotion doesn’t mean you agree with it.
1. Name the negative emotion
2. recognize where it originated
3. understand the level of intensity
This meets a person where they are at emotionally.
It names the emotion accurately.
It gives some indication that you can begin to understand why they feel the way they do.
Provide a different perspective or alternative.
However large the problem, our group identity is larger.
This takes place when validating and comforting become the new pattern that guides our responses to upsetting emotions.
If we don’t learn to quiet ourselves through validation and comfort, the upsetting emotions will tend to grow as we fixate on our problems.
If we have a habit of validation and comfort, a new pattern will develop that helps me return to joy quickly.
RARE Leaders meet people where they are at emotionally, find ways to help them change their perspective or fix their problems, and call out what is best in them.
Glad to be with you when one of both of us is upset is the a key measurement of emotional health.
Leaders who do this build resilient groups who don’t get stuck or overwhelmed by big problems or big emotions.
Which of the six upset emotions is a trigger for you most? What can you do about it?