Archive for the ‘Actions’ Tag

Assumptions   Leave a comment


Image provided by blog.sedgwick.com

Image provided by blog.sedgwick.com

Assumptions can be a double-edged sword.  We need to use assumptions in some of our decision-making process.  We are not able to have all the facts when preparing to make a decision because some variables are out of our control.  So we make assumptions based on the facts which we have available to us at the time and trends which we are able to project into the future.  We assume that based on the information, similar or continued trends will exist into the future.  But the problem with assumptions is that they can be wrong.  Unknown information may have an impact on outcomes.  Something may alter the trends which we have seen.  So assumptions cannot be trusted completely.

So many people make assumptions when it comes to individuals.  In our nation right now, we are dealing with the impact of assumptions and decisions that are made using those thoughts.  There is a lot of speculation regarding the reasons for assumptions which lead or have led to negative outcomes.  Many people look at an individual or situation and assume they know what the facts are regarding them.  They make judgments and take actions based on those assumptions.  Sometimes they are correct and sometimes they are very wrong.

Today I would like to throw out a warning to all of us.  Be careful how you act upon and treat others based on assumptions.  There are times when you must act or make decisions on assumptions but be very limited on those times.  Error on the side of not acting on assumptions, especially when it comes to people and their lives.

Reflecting Beliefs   Leave a comment


Image provided by kawprairie.org

Image provided by kawprairie.org

If you work with people, you are well aware that there are times when a person says something but their actions is not congruent with their words.  I have encountered this with individuals at various times.  More importantly, I have noticed this can be a true statement about myself at times (I only notice this when I take time to reflect back.)  So one of the challenges that I have placed before myself recently is to strive to reflect what I believe through the way in which I live and act.  This has caused me to spend some days considering what I truly believe.  While this list is still in progress, here are some of the items which I have placed on my list:

  1. I believe that above anything else, God loves ALL people (even the ones who I strongly disagree with).
  2. I believe that the Lord loves me more than I can ever describe.
  3. I believe God’s grace is all-sufficient.  There is nothing which I can name that is not overcome by God’s forgiveness.
  4. I believe that I am an imperfect child of the Lord.
  5. I believe that the key to any relationship (human-human or human-the Lord) is communication.
  6. I believe that everyone deserves a chance to be understood and offered care.
  7. I believe everyone has value.
  8. I believe that the greatest challenge and greatest joy is living as the person the Lord has created you to be.
  9. I believe that there is hope even in the darkest of situations.
  10. I believe that there is no mistake which is so great that it cannot be overcome.
  11. I believe that I can always learn from someone if I will take the time to listen.
  12. I believe that I can always strive to improve but must also celebrate who I have become.

Now I have a few questions for my readers…..

Do your lives and actions truly reflect what you believe?

What would be your list of beliefs?

Do you need to work on aligning your beliefs and your life?

Being Sure   2 comments


Image provided by youcanworkout.com

Image provided by youcanworkout.com

I ran across this quote today:

“If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.”  – Win Borden

After reading this quote, I was led to find out more about the person who said it and of course I went to Wikipedia for information.  Here is what it states:

Winston W. “Win” Borden (September 1, 1943 – January 20, 2014) was an American lawyer, businessman, and politician.

Born in Brainerd, Minnesota, Borden received his bachelor’s degree from St. Cloud State University, his master’s degree from University of Minnesota, and his law degree from University of Minnesota Law School. He practiced law, was a lobbyist, and owned a fish farm business. Borden served as a Democrat in the Minnesota State Senate from 1971 until 1978 when he resigned to work for the Minnesota Association of Commerce and Industry. He died in Brainerd, Minnesota.

So while the man who made the comment did not have a huge national following, I find there is much wisdom in the comment.  Many times people want certainty in making decisions.  They want to know that it is “right.”  What is amazing about this approach is determining the definition of “right.”  Sure there are some societal and religious definitions that are attached to this word but I do not believe those necessarily apply in this situation.  I think that what many people mean when they say they are waiting until it is “right” comes down to their desire that others approve and that they are not making a mistake which will impact them in a negative way.

I have blogged previously about the willingness to take a risk.  Here is another example where there is hesitancy in taking on risk.  There is fear of making a mistake, or even worse, failing.  There is fear of being rejected by others because of actions.  I have at times had this type of hesitancy.  However, I am learning that the truth contained in this quote is more and more real.  If you really want to make a difference, if you really want to change something, you have to be willing to act.

The other truth contained in this quote is that everything will probably never be right.  There may be aspects of your actions that are right.  There may be some certainties that exist which assist in your taking action.  But the is seldom, if ever, a time when everything is right.

So think through what you may be led to do.  Weigh as many factors as are readily available to you.  Consult with others.  However, never wait until everything is “right,” or you may find that you look back and see that you have done nothing.

Permeate   Leave a comment


Image provided by eatwell101.com

Image provided by eatwell101.com

Recently I was at one of my favorite coffee locations.  The person behind the counter was doing some prep work for an item they would be selling during the lunch time.  He was cutting up onions for whatever he was preparing.  In a relatively short time, the onion smell began to permeate the who place.  My eyes started to become irritated and all I could seem to smell was onion.  This experience led me to think this morning about what it means to permeate.

I think that we have the opportunity to permeate the lives around us.  The question is with what would we permeate those lives.  As a believer, I feel that one item I have to share is my belief.  Many times throughout a given day, I can share my belief with others.  There are many different ways to approach this but I think the best way is to do this sharing without words most of the time.  The way that I live my life and the manner in which I interact with others is at least a starting point for sharing my belief. When others view my life and interactions, it should lead them to see something different and then ask me about it.  Given that opportunity, words could then come into play.

I think that another way we can permeate the lives around us is in our attitude.  I have blogged before about the impact attitude can have.  A negative attitude can permeate a room and have the effect similar to the onion in the coffee shop.  It can cause irritation and be disruptive.  An attitude of joy, or a positive attitude, can feel the room in an uplifting manner.  This attitude can bring pleasure into the lives of others.

So today, I would challenge all my readers to think about permeating the world and people around you.  With what are you permeating your surroundings?

Day 3 of Holy Week   Leave a comment


Quito, Ecuador, Good Friday 2010: Street proce...

Quito, Ecuador, Good Friday 2010: Street procession entitled Procesión del Jesús del Gran Poder (Jesus with the Great Power). Français : Quito, Équateur, Vendredi saint 2010 : procession appelée Procesión del Jesús del Gran Poder (Jésus au grand pouvoir). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I decided this week to focus on the most important week for a believer…. Holy Week.  This is the time period between Palm/Passion Sunday and Easter Sunday.  During this week, Christians focus on the events of the last week of Jesus’ life.  Palm Sunday recalls the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.  Everything starts in a very upbeat and positive manner but by the end of the week the attitudes are much different.  Today is the third day of Holy Week.

Today, I spent time considered Jesus’ words, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  (Luke 23:34, NIV)  It points out to me two important realities.  First, that even in the midst of pain, disappointment, abandonment, and dread, Jesus still had an attitude of forgiveness.  I am confident that if I was experiencing what Jesus was experiencing, and if I knew that I was on the path to execution, I would not have forgiveness at the forefront of my mind.  Jesus even provides them an excuse which would not hold water with me.  I am extremely grateful for this demonstration of forgiveness however.  It clearly communicates to me how deeply Jesus’ forgiveness can go.  I need that type of forgiveness.  I know that there are many aspects of my life that need a forgiveness that does not make sense, a forgiveness that I, myself, am not able to offer.

The second reality that stands out to me is that many times I do or say things that I do not even realize will have the impact that they do.  I am truly one of those who “do not know what they are doing.”  While I have never executed someone physically, I wonder how many times I execute someone with my words, my actions, my inaction.  How many times do I not even realize what I am doing to someone else?  to the Lord?  These words call me to be more mindful of how I can negatively impact others and not even realize it.

So on the third day of holy week, I hear Jesus’ words of forgiveness and am challenged to be more mindful of the way I do things unknowingly.

 

In the Actions   3 comments


Communication

Communication (Photo credit: P Shanks)

I have often said that you can tell the priorities in a person’s life by watching how they spend their time and money.  When you take time to observe the expenditures of those resources, it becomes pretty evident the level of value and importance a person places upon varies aspects of their lives.  I read some information recently that provided for me another measurement of the way people approach life.  I think that the manner in which people treat other people can speak volumes about their beliefs.

Now before you point out that many people have a disconnect between their beliefs and their actions, I would argue that there may not be that much of a disconnect.  The reason for this may be that an individual really is uncertain about what they believe.  I could cite a long list of reasons that this may be the case but if one does not truly know what they believe, then their actions will generally not be consistent and a disconnect truly may exist.

Another possible reason for this disconnect is because their beliefs do not line up with the beliefs of those around them.  Since most people want to “fit in” with the groups that exist in their lives (family, friends, co-workers, colleagues, etc.), they may attempt to suppress their true beliefs so that they are not communicating thoughts which are in opposition to whatever group to which they may want to remain connected.  This obviously creates in their own minds.  I also believe that there is limited success in this suppression since I would argue their actions in relationships around them would eventually betray them.

On a more positive note, if a person’s actions truly communicate their core beliefs, then it is easy for the person to communicate their beliefs to others not so much in words but in action.  I believe that this is the example set for us by Jesus.  While he did spend a fair amount of teaching and correcting individuals, I believe that his main message regarding the love of God was most clearly communicated through his actions.  Many attribute Francis of Assisi with saying, “Preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.”  While there is not solid evidence to support attributing these words to Francis, the concept remains important.  It clearly communicates the value in communicating one’s beliefs in actions.

Another very important reality if my thoughts are correct is that a person needs to be mindful of what their actions are communicating.  The way that an individual interacts with others can be, and are being, observed.  I, or you, may be communicating messages to others which we have no idea or intention to communicate.  I must always strive to do my best in aligning my actions with my beliefs.

While I lift up the communication of beliefs in a Christian‘s life, I think that this can be said about any person.  I think that what a person believes can be observed by watching their interactions with other people.  I find this to be an important truth for leaders inside and outside of the church.  If a person is going to be a leader, they need to understand the beliefs of those that they are to lead.  They do not have to agree with those beliefs and they may even determine that it will be important to attempt to change or redirect the beliefs of the individuals in the group but they have to initially understand the beliefs that are currently held.  One helpful tool in achieving this understanding is to observe the actions of the people, this will give strong indication of what is believed within the group.