Summary: 1 or 7 in series on Personal Change
In most dictionaries you won’t find our word of emphasis though it is used in most management literature. It means more than merely taking initiative. It means that we are responsible for our own individual lives. Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions. We can subordinate feelings with values. We have the initiative and the responsibility to make things happen.
Look at the word responsibility - response ability - the ability to choose your own individual response. Proactive people recognize that they cannot blame circumstances conditions or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is based on their own conscious choice, based on their values, rather than a product of their conditions based on their feelings.
Because God created us proactive, if our lives are a function of conditioning and conditions, it is because, we have consciously chosen to empower those things to control us.
Let us look at some principles that will push us in this area of personal vision.
Slap 3 People a high five and tell them "ACT OR YOU WILL BE ACTED UPON!"
The difference between people who exercise initiative and those who don’t is literally the difference between night and day.
We must learn to ask ourselves "What is happening to us? What is the stimulus?" Many things are happening. The pressures of our society are powerful. There are many people getting laid off, a majority of the black community is either unemployed or under-paid. People spending money on things they don’t need on things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like because they feel the need to keep up with the Jones’. Our young black men and women are being drawn to artist like Outkast, 50 Cent, and Lil’ John and the Eastside Boyz. We are driving more money than we are living in. We are struggling to make ends meet, and at the end of the day we are depressed and discouraged.
But it is then that we must ask ourselves "What is going to happen in the future?" It is here that you stop and look at the progression of where you were and continue it at an even extensive rate into the days to come. Meaning more gang problems, more unwed mothers, more unemployed people, less homeowners, even less faith in God. We have to realize that unless we change our world things are going to get much worse before they get any better.
Then we come to the place where we get proactive and ask ourselves "What is our response? What are we going to do about it? How can we make a difference?" Here we start standing on the truths of God’s word and our covenant with him. It is here where we began to make the confession that all things work together for the good of them that loves the Lord and are called according to his purpose. It is here that you began to make the confession that with God all things are possible. You began to make the confession that I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.
Look at somebody else and shout, "TAKE THE INITIATIVE!"
Our God given nature is to act, and not be acted on. As well as enabling us to choose our response to particular circumstances, this empowers us to create circumstances.
Taking initiative does not mean being aggressive, obnoxious and pushy. It is simply recognizing our responsibility to make things happen.
Every body wants better jobs, better homes, better social status, better family relationships, greater spiritual understanding. But the Lord never puts us in situations that we cannot change.
But we see people saying, "I DON’T KNOW WHERE… I DON’T KNOW HOW… I DON’T HAVE…" Many people wait for something to happen or someone to carry and care for them. But the people who go some where in God and in life are the people who are proactive, not problems but trying to find solutions to them, who seize the initiative to do what is needed to be done, consistent with biblical and economical principles to get the job done.
Look at another person that you haven’t already talked to and tell them, "LISTEN TO THE LANGUAGE!"
Our attitudes and behaviors flow out of our frame of mind, and if we use self-awareness to examine them, we can often see in them the nature of our hearts. Our language is a very real indicator of the degree to which we see ourselves.
You have to start speaking positive things into your life.
You need to start becoming like David and encourage yourself in the Lord.
Can’t you hear the Bible saying:
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.