I was listening to a gentleman speak many years ago. He was telling a story about when he was confronted by someone over the way he operated his ministry. The man was complaining, and pointing out all the flaws he had noticed. I will never forget his response to the man. He said, “after he had finished telling me all the things I was doing wrong, I looked him in the eye and asked; now I know all that I am doing wrong, please tell me, what you are doing?” That was the end of the conversation!
There is always a good supply of folks willing to point out what you are doing wrong and second guess your every move, that’s just a fact. The struggle is to know the difference between wisdom and opinion. We never want to reject wisdom, however if you listen to every opinion you will find yourself second guessing your every action.
So how can we move boldly and confidently in a culture, where many, not only have an opinion concerning others, but are ready and willing to share it?
Three steps to moving without regrets.
- Know what you know. The Bible tells us, that there is safety and success when we heed wise counsel. The opposite is true when we don’t. There have been many occasions when after a period of reflection and discussion, my perspective has changed. Opinions are often formed as quickly as issues arise, and today, that is fast and furious. Be intentional about forming, correct and Godly perspectives, based on the Bible and wise counsel. This is an important part of moving with boldness and certainty. NOTE: Be sure the counsel you seek is wise and godly, not merely friendly and nice.
- Know your intentions. Only you and God know why you do what you do. Others are often quick to assign their own motives to your actions. This is sad and wrong, but prevalent in this world in which we live. So understand, and be confident in this area. Always consider why you are taking your course of action and let God defend it. I once heard a well know pastor say, that, if he defended every accusation he would have no time to share the gospel. I believe it.
- Consider your actions. I remember talking to my boys about fighting. They asked me if they should fight when being bullied. I told them that all of our actions have consequences, sometimes we know the consequences up front, and sometimes we don’t. Whatever your decision, know the possible consequences and be prepared to accept them. I put it to them this way in order to get them to think their actions through beforehand. This is a hallmark of wisdom. Consider the consequences. Sometimes doing what is right has negative consequences.
After many years of walking with God, I have discovered the art of ignoring the foolish and well-intended. For me to assume that other people have put more thought into my actions than I have, is not necessarily wise. Simply put, many people don’t know what they don’t know. This doesn’t make them bad and I don’t let their opinion make me angry (usually). I just know what I know, if you know what I mean. The world needs morally definitive, and spiritually unshakable men and women like never before. Be prepared! Be bold!