When I work at home on my laptop, because the house that we live in doesn’t have an extra room for an office, I usually just sit at my kitchen table.
The only problem with working at my kitchen table is the Sun.
We have two big windows in our kitchen, and because of the placement of the room, these two windows are in direct sunlight all day. Sun up to Sundown.
This is a great problem to have. I love natural light in the house. But it also means that while I’m working, I’m either dealing with Sunlight beaming through the spaces between the blinds when they are closed (that seem to always shine like a laser into my eyeballs) or the sunlight glaring off my computer screen.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Why don’t you work somewhere else?” I could. “Why not cover the windows better?” That might work. “You could re-arrange your dining room so the sun doesn’t hit your table.” That’s a good idea. “You could wear sunglasses.” Wearing sunglasses inside is stupid.
These are almost all great ideas. But here’s the point I’m making that you probably don’t even see coming.
The greatest advice in the world is useless if I don’t choose to act on it, and there is nothing you can do about it.
It’s frustrating, isn’t it? Watching someone you know make the same mistake over and over again, getting the same result every time? And no matter what you do or say, they don’t listen to you? It begins to feel like your beating your head against a brick wall.
I’ve been there, and if you’re in any leadership position, you’ve been there too.
The problem with beating your head against a wall is eventually your going to hurt yourself, possibly permanently.
How could you hurt yourself permanently? Because if your not careful, your FRUSTRATION could turn into INDIFFERENCE and then you might stop caring. As leaders and as Christians, that can’t happen. We can’t stop caring. We can’t give up on people. We don’t throw people away.
BUT, we can protect ourselves. Here’s how: KNOW WHAT YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES ARE.
Here are two of the most significant lessons I’ve learned as a Pastor:
1) My authority over and my access to a person’s life only goes as far as that person allows.
“But, they are in your church! They should submit to your authority!” Yeah, maybe. But they also have a free will. And most of the time they’re adults, and I’m not their Dad or their boss. I’m their Pastor. It’s up to them to allow me to be their Pastor.
2) It’s not my job to change people. That’s God’s job. My job is to point THEM to HIM.
People may not listen to me. People may even go so far as to ignore or avoid me. But no matter what they do, they can’t stop me from loving them and praying for them. That IS up to me. And it’s a choice I HAVE to make, sometimes on a daily basis. I have to make the decision that I WON’T give up on a person.
When I had those two revelations of leadership, it did something AMAZING in my life. It took the burden I was carrying and put it back in God’s hands where it belonged. And because I know that there’s only so much I can do and that at some point it’s entirely in God’s hands, I can have peace.
And trust me, trying to lead without peace is a road that leads straight to burnout and failure.
So right now, right where you are, take the next 2 minutes and ask God to show you what walls your beating your head against. (You probably don’t need the 2 minutes. You already know.)
Now ask God these two questions:
1) Is there anything else in the natural I can do or say to help breakthrough in this situation? (other than unconditional love and unstoppable prayer)
2) Give me the strength to COMPLETELY hand this over to You, and the peace to know YOU’RE the one in control.
Now, let God handle it.
Originally published at Niles Holsinger.