One of my favorite quotes is from Kathy Litton, Director of Ministry to Pastors’ Wives for the North American Mission Board. She led a breakout session at the Velocity 2013 Conference regarding the influence a wife has on her husband, and her statement still has my mind processing. Here it is:
“The discipline of our emotions is found in the training of our responses.”
Do you, like me, ever find yourself spouting off answers or demands only to regret your words an hour later? Have you, like me, ever wished you could go back in time and change your reaction to a challenging moment? Like when our kids push our buttons or our husband (knowingly or unknowingly) hurts us? Yet, these aren’t the only areas that trip us up. Leadership (as well as parenting, marriage, friendship, etc) often brings situations that invite surly responses and negative emotions.
Recently I spoke with one woman who was dealing with a divisive faction of people who were causing trouble in her church. She was hurt and defensive, and it showed.
Another lady at the conference was distracted during one of the breakout sessions by a few volunteers who were whispering in the back of the room. She grew frustrated, and within moments she wrote a passive aggressive note to silence them. She left a bad impression on the volunteers….who were mortified that they had been a distraction.
And, yet another woman shared the indignation she felt as her current church withheld its blessing for her husband to plant a new church….in the same town. Her emotions were getting the better of her.
Ladies, leadership brings burdens. It comes with the territory. But, we must train ourselves to measure our responses in ways that honor God, protect our listeners, and leave ourselves blameless before God. If we do….if we can actually train ourselves to silence our tongue until we have time to process the moment….then we just might find that our emotions no longer rule the day.
What would our ministries look like if we put this idea into practice? What would the church (as a whole) look like if its leaders grew in maturity in this area?
So, what is our LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE this week? Let’s discover a new level of discipline of our emotions as we train our responses to the world around us.
THAT’S true leadership!