Challenge to Self-Manage – Great people, outstanding people, successful people, people who make a difference are people who learned to self-manage – life, money, anger, health. They not only are able to manage projects, they are able to manage themselves, which is a far greater CHALLENGE than managing a project. They realize the importance of managing their own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health.
Challenge to Self-Manage
by Delbert Young
Challenge to Self-Manage
Scriptures: 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Job 30:16; Ephesians 4:26; John 11:34-36; Matthew 18:33-34; Deuteronomy 14:4, 9, 11, 19, 21; Matthew 6:21
1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your WHOLE SPIRIT AND SOUL AND BODY be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lord wants you to manage every area of your life, not only your spiritual area. Any of these areas – spirit, soul, body – left unmanaged will become potholes to your doing anything great in your life. People frequently self-destruct simply because they do not SELF-MANAGE. People allow an emotion, such as anger, to cause them to explode and mess up their lives. People allow stress to cause a mental nervous breakdown. People overeat, over smoke, over drink, or do not exercise causing all sorts of physical problems. Need we even mention how people ignore their spiritual lives causing them all sorts of moral problems, home and family problems, not to mention eternal problems? How many of us know people who did self-destruct, or are on the road to self-destruction because they did not SELF-MANAGE either physically, mentally, or spiritually? How about you? How many potholes have you hit, and some large enough to knock your wheels off because you refused to SELF-MANAGE? SELF-MANAGEMENT is a CHALLENGE.
Let’s discuss some of the fire-breathing dragons today that will terminate your doing something great if you refuse to accept the CHALLENGE to SELF-MANAGE.
(1) SELF-MANAGING FEELINGS. Feelings are simply emotions and EMOTIONS HAPPEN. You cannot stop emotions from happening. Emotions are neither good nor bad in and of themselves. It is how we SELF-MANAGE them that matters. Most people allow their emotions to manage them. Have you ever told someone, or someone told you, “You are too emotional” or “Just calm down?” The point relayed is emotions were doing the managing. Let’s mention a few emotions.
- Self-managing Depression.We talked about this not long ago. Depression is huge. When it comes, it intends to manage you.
Job 30:16 “And now my heart is broken. DEPRESSION haunts my days.
Depression desires to manage every day of your life unless you SELF-MANAGE depression. How is depression SELF-MANAGED? There are two types of depression: (1) endogenous depression, which is biological and requires medication; and (2) exogenous depression, which requires therapy and must be dealt with at the emotional and psychological level. Medication only numbs exogenous depression and will eventually not even do that.
Both types of depressions are dragons causing confused thinking, lack of motivation, fear of losing one’s mind, appetite shifts, guilt, stomach disorders, etc. Depression must be SELF-MANAGED. You and you alone make the decision to come out of it. If not, it will haunt every day of your life.
People refuse to go to a psychologist for help. They have no problem going to a medical doctor for their body, but refuse to go to a mental doctor when the problem will never be corrected until the psyche is healed. If it bothers you that people know you go to a psychological doctor then don’t tell anyone. Just SELF-MANAGE the dragon.
- Self-managing Anger. How many have heard the term “Anger Management?” The world seems ahead of the church at least in the area concerning SELF-MANAGEMENT. All humans experience anger. Even Jesus became angry with the Pharisees, the moneychangers in the temple, and even at his own disciples. The feelings of irritation, fear, misunderstanding, violation, of being slandered and criticized, etc. can cause anger. These are normal feelings that we all experience. The key is to experience anger, but not sin.
Ephesians 4:26 And don’t sin BY LETTING ANGER GAIN CONTROL OVER YOU. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry
Anger, not managed, becomes a controlling dragon of destruction. I was watching the Braves vs. San Francisco Giants baseball game the other day (Aug 15). The umpire, Mark Carlson, called strike three on Ryan Klesko. Klesko argued with the umpire, was thrown out of the game, came out of the dugout, and would have attacked the umpire on national television over a strike 3 call had coaches and Barry Bonds not held him back. He was totally controlled by anger. People allow an emotion like anger to control them.
How does one SELF-MANAGE anger? First, you must identify your “hot buttons.” What is it that cranks your anger (tantrum) engine? Identify them so you can see or feel it coming like a person or a storm coming. When I fish, I can see a storm coming and know it is time to take evasive action. Then you must be accountable to others. Give people who are around you and love you permission to “check” you. Years ago, my son, Lance, was working with me and knew from experience my buttons and my temper. I remember one day talking to a person who was pushing my buttons. Lance was there and recognized that happening. He stepped back out of the person’s vision and positioned himself so I could see him. He motioned making prayer hands. Then he mouthed “Please stay calm!” as he made suppression motions with his hands. His doing that checked my saying something I would forever regret to a dear sweet person. In fact, I caught myself so well that the entire conversation turned and the person began to praise and thank me instead of being upset with me.
When anger comes, and it will, you must SELF-MANAGE it and you must do it quickly… before the sun goes down. If not, the dragon of anger will extract its price – blood pressure, stomach problems, headaches, bitterness, damaged relationships, SELF-DESTRUCTION, etc.
- Self-managing Grief is actually a healthy emotion designed by God to help us deal with loss. “Stuffing” pain in is not a sign of Christian maturity or how we are to SELF-MANAGE it. It is the opposite. We are to release grief. We read about Jesus at the grave of his friend Lazarus.
John 11:34-36 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. JESUS WEPT. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!
If the Son of God had need to grieve, then so do we. Grief expresses the loss and begins a healing process. God alone heals, not time, so God gave us the emotion of grief to bring healing. The time of grief varies from person to person. However, a person remaining in “grief” mode has not managed it and it has turned into the dragon of depression. As we saw, depression desires to manage you. Allow yourself and others to grieve. Grief is healthy, but must be SELF-MANAGED to avoid depression.
- Self-managing Bitterness.Bitterness is cancer of the spirit. It eats away decaying your joy, positive emotions, your mind, your spiritual well-being, and your body. It makes your spirit dark. Bitterness, not managed, is a dark dragon that will put you in prison. Jesus, telling the parable about the bitter servant, said…
Matthew 18:33-34 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger HIS MASTER TURNED HIM OVER TO THE JAILERS TO BE TORTURED, until he should pay back all he owed.
The servant, forgiven a huge debt, refused to forgive another person of a small debt. The point of the story is that God forgave the Christ follower of the huge debt of sin. Now we are to forgive those who trespass against us. It is a CHALLENGE, but one you must SELF-MANAGE. No one else can do this for you. How does one manage bitterness? Jesus tells us clearly in Matthew 5:43-48. Bless the person(s) to whom you are bitter, do something good for them, and pray for them. It works every time. The problem is you don’t want to do it and bitterness is managing you. It is eating you like cancer making you sick. You are in a prison of bitterness, deceived into thinking you are somehow “getting even” with the person to whom you are bitter. SELF-MANAGE bitterness. It is a CHALLENGE, but you can do it.
(2) SELF-MANAGING HEALTH. I am talking about physical health. We all fear the dragon of bad health. Sometimes we get so busy with “life” and “doing” stuff that we forget about the need to SELF-MANAGE our bodies. You must take care of your body. No one else can do it for you. I hear more and more about physical health in churches nowadays. I was listening to Rod Parsley not long ago. He was doing an entire series on healthy eating habits (we might do a series on that one day just to awaken our awareness). The Lord God spent a lot of space attempting to make us aware of what and how much we put into our bodies.
Deuteronomy 14:4 These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat…
Deuteronomy 14:9 Of all the creatures living in the water, you may eat any that has fins and scales…
Deuteronomy 14:11 You may eat any clean bird.
Deuteronomy 14:19 All flying insects that swarm are unclean to you; do not eat them…
Deuteronomy 14:21 Do not eat anything you find already dead…
We all know there are some things we simply should not eat.
Most health challenges, not all, but most, result from your personal lifestyle choices, i.e. not eating properly, not getting adequate exercise, not getting enough sleep, etc. “Sleep deprivation has been linked to heart problems and even obesity, not to mention irritability, fuzzy thinking, and lack of judgment.” You must pay attention to your physical requirements. Your body will demand its due.
Don’t allow the dragon of mismanaged health issues to devour you and stop your experiencing an outstanding life. For your sake, your spouse’s sake, your children’s sake, your grand children’s sake, friend’s sake, etc., SELF-MANAGE your health. Get adequate sleep. Eat a proper diet. Do not use excess in alcohol, nicotine, or caffeine. Get some regular exercise. Here is one you probably would not think about. Spend time with positive people. AVOID BRAIN DRAINS… those people sap the life out of you, i.e. negative people. I have found that my body suffers physically, not only mentally, when I am around negative people. If you do not SELF-MANAGE you will self-destruct. SELF-MANAGE your health.
(3) SELF-MANAGING MONEY. Money management goes way beyond undisciplined spending habits and poor choices. Managing money is about how you treat the money God gives you by or with your overall lifestyle choices. In other words, the way you treat money is the way you treat life –issues of the heart. Jesus said it this way.
Matthew 6:21 for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Money is only a thermometer. It gauges importance. So, if you are “flippant” and irresponsible with money, you are flippant and irresponsible with life. You do not take the importance of life – heart issues – seriously.
I want to attempt to express something. The things that drive us financially are, at least in part, scripted by our families and origin. What do I mean? Most likely, the way you handle money is the way your parents handled life. Let me attempt to make my point then you can discuss and decide. If your parents treated life flippantly, then that is most likely the way you treat money. Money is only a thermometer.
Judy and I are very frugal people. We want and enjoy nice things, but we don’t go after extravagant things. We want nice clothes, even name brand clothes because they are made better and last longer, but we don’t have to have the “most expensive” name brand. Years ago, we were frequently going to this couples house after church. We would take something, let’s say drinks. We might not take the name brand “Coke.” We might take the “off brand” Cola. Once I had talked in my Sunday school class about my reusing coffee grounds. For example, if I wanted to have one more cup of coffee, instead of dumping out the old grounds and putting in a new filter and fresh coffee grounds, I would simply use the old grounds. I thought that was wise and frugal. However, one day I was home and the man to whose house we went after church drove up. I welcomed him and he began to rail on me about my being cheap and bringing “off brand” cokes to his house and my using used coffee grounds. I didn’t know what to say. I had no idea that offended him. I could not believe we were having the discussion… still can’t. I processed that. Why did I do that? I did not have to. I had money and could afford anything I wanted. I concluded this: My mom was that way. That is how she treated life. Rennie was a “pack rat.” She saved and reused everything. When mom died in 1993, it was amazing what we had to deal with – 2 freezers, 3 refrigerators, a 5 bedroom house and full basement with every room full of “STUFF.” When you went to visit, you literally had to move something to sit in a chair. I’m not that bad. In fact, I can’t stand clutter, but she did life frugally. That scripted me to a great degree. I would be a little embarrassed if you entered my utility shed, saw my bookshelf in my study, or went through the drawers of my desk. My point is that is how I treat money. I will spend it, but I have to have some put away. I enjoy nice things, but not extravagant things. This church expresses that. I am frugal. Nearly any one thing could go down and there is a replacement somewhere around here – 3 or 4 soundboards, extra cameras, extra computers, etc. My son Lance is exactly like me except worse. Before he moved, he had clothes from his high school days (80’s). My daughter Bonnie, well, she is more like her mom – kidding. Judy is very frugal and hardly ever spends any money, but when she does, she wants the best.
What is my point? The way you do life is directly connected to how you treat the money God gave you. “Well, God didn’t give it to me. I earned it!” You go on thinking that. He can shut your money off right now and you know it. How you treat and manage money is how you treat life and how you treat life is, at least in part, scripted by your origin and how they treated life and money. How you treat money will be how your children treat money and treat life. Some of you need a new script. Some need to adjust your script. You need to reprogram by SELF-MANAGING your finances. Some of you are so far behind and so in debt that you do not think you will ever see daylight. We have talked about physical health, and mental health. How is your financial health? If it is sick, then you need to go to a “financial doctor,” right? You don’t have to tell anyone. The point is it is a dragon destroying your life. It will until you SELF-MANAGE it. One more thing before I leave this point. Your children are being scripted and that is all I got to say about that.
We could talk about SELF-MANAGING many things – keeping the house clean, putting dirty clothes in the hamper, being at work on time, etc., etc., etc. Life is a series of SELF-MANAGING issues. Let’s talk about one more.
(4) SELF-MANAGING YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE. You must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. No one can do that for you. That relationship will come through prayer, reading God’s Word, attending the corporate gathering (church) and house to house gatherings, giving – time, talents, finances, and through doing anything else the Lord asks you to do. A spiritual life does not just happen. You must SELF-MANAGE it with planning just like every other area. If you don’t you can expect all manner of problems.
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