Finding Your Courage

Are you experiencing any pressure from life’s challenges at the moment? Believe it or not there is an upside! You’re developing Resilience which is critical to a better life.

Resilience is the ability to successfully meet and surmount challenges, obstacles, and problems. This quality is not hereditary and it has nothing to do with your talent. It has to do with your way of thinking – how you look at and interpret life’s challenges.

If you are facing some hurdles and stress is mounting there’s good news – resilience can be developed in you. Research shows that people who develop Resilience have a set of skills that allow them to persevere, manage stress and triumph in the face of challenges.

Resilient people:

  • Bounce back from setbacks
  • Develop greater authenticity
  • Are flexible thinkers
  • More optimistic
  • Are more loyal companions
  • Live and lead from their strengths

Can I encourage you that while we don’t often like the process, there is a more enjoyable you waiting at the end! So how do we develop resilience without becoming resentful or jaded? I’m glad you asked!

Who loves a non-stick pan? What makes a pan non-stick? Teflon! When Teflon is applied to a surface that surface becomes non-stick, things slide off. What could be more opposite to Teflon? Velcro! With Teflon, things slide off, with Velcro things grab and hold tight.

I believe resilience is built by learning in life what things you should hold tight to and what things you should let slide off.

In 2 Corinthians (MSG) 4:8-15 it says

“We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us. While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best!

13-15 We’re not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, “I believed it, so I said it,” we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God’s glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise!”

I like the last line as it speaks of the double benefit of Resilience! “Every detail works to your advantage and to God’s Glory!”

The testing, the challenge, the difficulty produces a greater level of Resilience which for you and I means – growing influence – Greater opportunity and success which in turn reveals more of Gods character on earth.

Maybe you’re thinking ‘Who Cares!’ I’ll just take small pressures and little success!

In my life and as I lead others I see a common trait. People hold tight to things they should let slide and what they should let slide, they hold tight to! Our emotional, mental and spiritual health depends on what we Teflon and Velcro.

Whenever challenges arrive I don’t recommend running into the cave and ignoring our problems. The best approach is to grow your capacity to handle them. We do this by increasing our Teflon or Velcro. Not only will you better weather storms you will emerge from them better off.

Consider this paraphrase of Isaiah 54:19 (NJKV)

“No Weapon formed against you shall prosper. (It won’t stick to you, because you’re Teflon), and every tongue which rises against you in judgement you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness (which sticks to them because they’re Velcro) is from me” says the Lord.”

We need to make sure we don’t get these turned around and mixed up. If we are Velcro toward things of the enemy, and Teflon toward things of God, we suffer.

How is your Teflon doing? Here are some self-awareness questions:

  1. How well are you deflecting discouragement and criticism at the moment?
  2. Are you staying free of offense, bitterness and un-forgiveness?
  3. Have you released pain from your past, so it doesn’t hinder your future?

When we speak of Velcro Christianity, we’re talking about having an aggressive attitude toward the things of God…a tenacity that seizes upon what God has said and refuses to let go.

Jesus spoke of the kind of person who brings forth fruit from the word in Luke 8:15(MSG) “But the seed in the good earth—these are the good-hearts who seize the Word and hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there’s a harvest.” This is a Velcro attitude!

So many people drop God, His word, His church in times of conflict and trouble. This is not the time for Teflon principles but Velcro principles.

My encouragement is practice letting go of un-forgiveness and past hurts while also holding tight to the life principles in the Bible.

It’s worth a try!