In today’s guest post, Liz Giertz, a self-admitted “word nerd,” shares a process she uses when faced with difficult decisions. Read to the end for a free printable worksheet she’s including as a special offer.
There is a phrase that has been coming back to me repeatedly over the last several months.
Usually when God brings something up that often, I take note.
These few words started out as a strategy to help overcome added stress during the holidays. Then it was the question I asked a friend when she came to me for advice on something she was going through. It’s also been the answer to a question my Bible study class wrestled with last week. But most recently it helped me gain clarity in a situation where I was struggling to do what I knew I ought.
Just four little words with a whole lot of problem solving power:
Mining motives minimizes MESSES.
I am a self-admitted “word nerd,” so I like to define words and study their synonyms. And, in case you couldn’t tell, I adore alliterations. After tackling the etymology of each word, I tried to come up with other catchy combinations using their synonyms…
Excavating emotions eliminates entropy (I had to look this one up).
Panning the purpose prunes problems.
Digging deep diminishes difficulties.
You get the idea.
The only one I came up with that has been particularly useful is, “wondering why works wonders.” To mine our motives in a particular situation we must wonder why. Why do we want to do a certain action? Why are we not doing something we know we should?
Why am I posting this on social media?
Why am I not volunteering for this worthy cause?
Why am I sharing this hardship with her?
Why am I reaching for that piece of chocolate?
Why am I spending money on this?
Why am I not making the best use of my gym membership?
For me, the question I had to face head-on was, “Why haven’t I called this woman I know is having a really tough time?” It was hard to admit, but I was scared. Scared I’d say the wrong thing. Scared I wouldn’t know how to help her. Scared she wouldn’t want to hear from me.
If you can pinpoint your why, you can determine if this action glorifies God. Not every good deed glorifies Him. We can do good things with self-serving motives. (Think about the hypocrites in Matthew 6 who pray and fast only to be seen or the Pharisee in Luke 18 who prayed to make himself look good.) And sometimes, things that might not seem good on the surface, can have pure motives. (Think about Jesus eating with tax collectors and prostitutes or healing on the Sabbath.) If you determine that God is glorified in your why, then you have reason to go for it.
Of course, my fear in this situation did not glorify God. So, I had to go a little deeper and ask three more questions.
– Who BENEFITS?
– What’s the BIBLE say?
– What’s a BETTER BEHAVIOR?
You see what I did there… another alliteration. Benefits. Bible. Better Behavior. The goal of any situation is to do that which glorifies God and is supported by the Bible. That’s how we minimize messes. So if we aren’t accomplishing that, we need to determine a better behavior.
If God is not glorified by my actions, then who is? Me? Satan? Somebody else? The answer may involve more than one party. By not making the call, Satan was benefitting because I was immobilized by a sense of fear and he could use to make this woman feel more isolated.
What does the Bible say about fear? It says we should not fear because He is always near (Isaiah 41:10). It also talks about sharing each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2) and asking God for wisdom in every situation (James 1:5).
So, what was my better behavior? First I should pray, and ask God to use His Holy Spirit to fill me with the wisdom needed to speak His love and truth. I could look up comforting verses to share with her and have the numbers for other agencies that could help handy. Then, I could make the call confident He was with me every step of the way.
Most of us are faced with difficult decisions multiple times a day. I’ve seen this process of mining my motives work wonders to uncomplicate a multitude of crazy situations. Can you think of any predicament where this process wouldn’t work? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
As a thank you for Michelle’s generous offer to allow me to share here today, I’ve created a special printable worksheet to help you be intentional about mining your motives and minimizing your MESSES. Just click on the picture to download it!
Click on the image below to download your free printable worksheet: Mining Motives Minimizes Messes.
Liz Giertz is an Army Veteran turned Army wife and mom to two boisterous boys who call FT Hood, Texas home for now. She is passionate about encouraging women to overcome MESSES and embrace their MEMORIES as they become the MASTERPIECES God created them to be.
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
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Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
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Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: http://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.