For over 30 years Dr. Charles Siburt of Abilene Christian University told generations of young and old preachers alike, “Manage yourself.” We may not have known exactly what he meant when he bellowed these words in his bass voice, but we got the gist. “Gentlemen, take charge of yourself. Don’t expect someone else to do it for you. Be responsible.”
Here are five more sets of questions for all of us the next time we take a look in the mirror.
Where am I playing the victim and how much longer will I wallow in this role? It is true that many things are beyond our control, but honestly? There is a time to cast off passivity and take action. I remember a family who was lamenting a daughter who had gone off the deep end and acting crazy—open affair and so forth. While other family members were wringing their hands, the father got in the car, drove 12 hours and had the daughter in a mental hospital within 24 hours.
What am I doing to have fun? Is it true re-creation or a mindless squandering of time? What is the last good book I read or the best movie I have seen lately? Am I taking the appropriate time off?
What am I afraid of? Where am I afraid to fail? What is holding me back? Asking for a raise, making one more sales call, confronting a belligerent customer, starting a church program that might not work—we face options like these all the time. Remember you can’t get a hit if you don’t get up to bat.
Where am I on mentoring and being mentored? Have I surrounded myself with the people I need to succeed? Am I maintaining these relationships in a healthy way?
Where am I with the Lord? Am I engaging in behavior that is not God honoring? Am I hiding things, from others or from myself? The prophet Jeremiah declares the heart is deceitful. Spiritually speaking, am I telling myself any lies?