Encouragement, Life Coaching

Get Lifted Or Get Left Behind

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Philippians 3:12‭-‬14 NLT

The start of a new year is often a time of introspection and life evaluation. Crossing into the year 2020 is not just a time we consider our choices over the past year, but we are compelled to review the entirety of the previous decade. No doubt, in doing so, we take note of not only our points of reminiscent celebration, but also our regrets.

Regret is a natural response to our recall of perceived error. However, our actual response to regret is much more critical than the response of regret itself. We respond to regret at three different levels, and on each level of response there are two different modes of interaction. The response levels of regret are psychological, physiological, and physical. The modes of interaction within these levels are either active or passive.

The psychological response to regret comes about during the thought of the perceived error and its effects. When these thoughts arise, we can either control the thoughts (active) or allow the thoughts to consume us (passive).

The physiological response of regret is triggered when the attitudes and emotions generated by our thoughts begin to rise. They can range from anger to sorrow, disappointment to remorse, and from self-pity to heartbreak. These attitudes and emotions will cause us to feel certain things the body (hunger, headaches, heat, etc.)? Now when these physiological responses to our regret occur, we can either acknowledge them (active) or ignore them (passive). Whether we engage these physiological responses actively or passively, the fact is, they are still occuring. Yet, when we actively engage them we can both monitor and manage them.

The physical response to regret is triggered by the physiological response. If we move from the psychological response to the physical response without acknowledging the physiological responses, we could subconsciously become controlled by our physiological responses (passive), rather than making sound choices to properly manage physiological responses after fully engaging our thoughts, feelings and attitudes (active).

The more active we are within each level of our response to regret, the more information we gather about the error, the effects and ourselves. We could even discover that what we were perceiving as an error was merely a misunderstanding or circumstantial event. This can be extremely beneficial in developing new patterns of behavior and new solutions that can move us from darkness to discipline. We get to determine whether regret is a memorial of past failure or a motivator for future success. We choose whether our regrets become generous guests or a rent free roommates. As engaged guests, regrets usher us into inner dialogue that can teach how to make better choices, how to manage current conditions, and how to move forward. As uncontributing roommates, regrets become expensive liabilities that leave us isolated in our past, unable to move forward and unaware of the benefits and opportunities that surround us in the present.

In this life, regret will come for each of us. However, regret is something we either live with or learn from. If we learn from it, it lifts us. If we live with it leaves us stuck. I choose to get lifted.


Similarities & Differences: First American Revolution; GEORGE FLOYD Protests; The Faithful In CHRIST

On December 16, 1773, 70 to 80 Boston colonists dressed up as Native Americans, boarded 3 ships, and dumped more than 92,000 pounds of tea into Boston Harbor. The damages of that one act are estimated at a present day value of approximately $1 million (Klein, 2012). The event was supported by people the likes of Samuel Adams (a brewer) and John Hancock (a goods smuggler). The revolt in Boston was due to a tax cut that produced a monopoly on the sale of tea to the colonists by the East India Company, and threatened to put black market merchants (like Hancock) out of business. This protest goes down in history as The Boston Tea Party, and noted by George Washington as “the cause of America.” What did Washington mean by this statement? He was implying that though he vehemently opposed the action carried out by the Bostonians, it was a major catalyst for the American Revolution. Even so, the act was a blatant disrespect for the law and property of a corporation.

One of the adverse consequences of the Boston Tea Party was that it provoked British Parliament to pass a number of acts, known as the Coercive Acts. These acts did a number of things to disenfranchise the colonists, to include making it more difficult to convict royal officers of crimes (Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History, 1999). Acts such as these led to many troubling events. Some of the soldiers would pillage settlements to support their needs which made the people of the colonies take up arms in fear of losing their livelihood to bullying soldiers.

The British, who wanted to distance themselves from such behavior, chose to turn and protect the settlements from the sadistic British vanguards. Those brigades who chose to do so were now considered as rebels. However, in an attempt to reconcile the issues, the leaders of these brigades made attempts to mediate the issue not through force but diplomacy, hoping to get the backing of parliament. After persistent attempts to rectify the matters through diplomatic means, for the sake of colonial survival, these leaders chose to subvert the order of the British Empire in America and launch a full revolt against the British government.

As state legislatures grew and expanded in legal power and prosperity, they found it necessary to protect their fiduciary interests by establishing governmental fortification against British conquest of their newfound hope. They felt that it was their providential responsibility to defend their posterity and hope through the combination of force and legality. These political sanctions will set the standard for what will eventually become the foundation for constitutional prowess and a strong message of independence.

The last straw was pulled on April 19, 1775, when a group of British soldiers surprisingly attacked a settlement in Lexington, Massachusetts that was scantily armed (An Outline of American History). This level of violence was enough to provoke a peace loving preacher into an emotional tirade of biblical proportions. Rev. Jacob Cushing, in a sermon delivered three years after the event, indicated that it was the spiritual duty of the American colonies to be the tool of God’s vengeance upon the British for their horrendous behavior (Cushing, 1778).

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes while he was lying face down handcuffed on the street. Citizens from across the United States bagan to decry the actions of Derek Chauvin, as well as the officers who assisted him in restraining George Floyd. Not only have people began to speak out against this heinous act, but against many similarly reprehensible acts against African Americans by law enforcement in America. They want their voices to be heard, so they take to the streets. Though a few of the protesters violently loot and riot in the areas of these protests, most do so non-violently in reaction to systemic racism.

Let me be clear, though I do not support looting, people have the right to peacefully, yet brazenly, exercise their political freedoms to obtain the results they desire. I am concerned by the lopsided “flesh-bating” that is transpiring within biased media outlets and spheres of influential leadership. With that being said, I extend this question: What makes the protesters of the George Floyd murder (in the words of Tom Cotton) miscreants and the pioneers of the Revolutionary War patriots and heroes (Romans 2:1)? When there are protests because of injustice by those who are experiencing it all too often, it is hypocritical for those who call themselves “true Americans” to minimize or belittle their responses or attempt to vilify those who simply want to be heard.

To be balanced, a cry for justice is always justified, but outside of the confines of the spiritual fortitude of Christ, it will only lead to failure, frustration and more fatalities (Proverbs 16:25). There are clear solutions provided by a more excellent way. So, let’s ask God what we should do. Change is necessary, but the soul and the flesh can’t change anything. They can only interpret information based on historical subjectivity. God’s Word is the only instrument that can give us an objective view of any circumstance, because the Word removes any obstruction between the soul and the spirit and ushers us into a higher perspective.

Outside of Christ, apprehending justice will always be a volatile issue. In Christ volatility vanishes and answers become obvious (Ephesians 2:13-15). I don’t care whether you consider yourself, white, black or blue; African or American; policeman or civilian; poor, upper class or middle class; evangelical, protestant, existentialist or liberationist; Democrat, Republican or Independent; when it comes to the response of the believer concerning social issues we have to set aside violence and hear what God is saying by His Spirit (Philippians 3:7-15). We can’t hear the Spirit whispering words of comfort and direction when we have so many other voices screaming bitter sentiments of dissent.

Let us be like those ancient leaders: Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Hannah, Nehemiah, Esther, Elijah, Mary and Elizabeth. Let’s break away from business as usual and from the traditions of men in order to know the Father’s agenda and truly do Kingdom Business.