|Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Changing the tone of the conversation”
Our Bible verse for today: “But he must ask (for wisdom) in faith, without doubting (God’s willingness to help), for the one who doubts is like a billowing surge of the sea that is blown about and tossed by the wind. For such a person ought not to think or expect that he will receive anything (at all) from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable and restless in all his ways (in everything he thinks, feels, or decides). James 1:6-8 (Amplified Bible)
Our thought for today: “Be balanced, measured, and controlled.”
One of the books I’m currently reading is “Mandela’s Way: Lessons for an Uncertain Age”. It’s essentially a summary of Nelson Mandela’s leadership principles. Nelson Mandela, of course, was instrumental in helping to bring an end to the terrible system of racial segregation and institutional discrimination known as “Apartheid” in South Africa.
Mandela was held in prison by the government, as a political prisoner, for twenty-seven years. He was finally released at the age of seventy-one. It was at that time that he led the nation to end Apartheid and to institute a genuine democracy with fair representation for all races. Personally I don’t agree with some of Mandela’s politics, he was a little too left of center for my tastes, but he was a strong and transformational leader who guided an entire society to a new and better chapter in their nation’s history.
One of Mandela’s outstanding character traits, as described by those closest to him, was that he was balanced, measured, and controlled. He was quietly confident, thoughtful, slow to respond, and when he did respond, it was in a balanced, measured, and controlled manner. He did not allow his emotions to drive his responses. He was intentionally and deliberately in control of himself, and he admired those traits in others. The highest words of praise Mandela had for anyone was “That person is balanced, measured, and controlled”. That was his phrase and he used it often. He admired that in others, and it was especially true of him.
Conversely, he was wary in his dealings with those who were not that way. Mandela was not one to be unfairly critical of others, but one of the most condemning observations he would ever offer about someone was, “That person is emotional, overly-sensitive, and easily offended.”
This is the lesson James was teaching in James 1:6-8. There he encourages us to be thoughtful, deliberate, and prayerful, always seeking wisdom from God. He writes that if we’re not that way, we will be like a person tossed about on the sea, double-minded, unstable, and at the mercy of our emotions. Such people typically do not honor God with their responses in difficult and tense situations.
I encourage you to practice being balanced, measured, and controlled in your thinking and speaking. Becoming that way requires prayer and discipline, but it is possible. This is a character trait we can learn, and which the Holy Spirit will develop in us.