Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Mentality of Courage

As I stated last week, I was one of the speakers at the 'Maximum Man' conference our church held this past weekend.  My topic was on 'Leading Courageously'. So I explored a variety of issues related to leadership and courage.  

The most interesting thing that came out of that for me (and when you speak/teach, YOU are the primary one to benefit or be taught) was this idea that - as Robert Louis put it in Mens Fraternity - our #1 obstacle to courageous leadership is......our feelings!?  

Now, you may not have expected that to come out at a 'mens' conference, unless it was some kind of new-age, sensitive man conference - WHICH IT WAS NOT!  I would think, as far as emotions go, that anger would be the number 1 enemy for men, or maybe apathy.  But the more I think about it, the more I agree.  

When we run into conflict while trying to lead in the home, what happens?  Our wife doesn't agree, our kids don't follow instructions, and we...get our feelings hurt.  NO I DON'T, I GET MAD!  Right, but why?  What's the deeper issue?  Your opinion doesn't carry weight?  It doesn't count?  Nobody cares what you think anyway?  Nobody agrees with you?  Nobody 'cares' about you?  There's something else going on that triggers our reaction, and it's internal to us.  Do outside forces impact us?  Absolutely.  Do they dictate our response?  Probably, but they shouldn't.  Are you a victim?  Do you have a victim mentality?  Then you've given up.  You're not doing what 3 other speakers talked about at the conference.  Reject passivity, Accept Responsibility, and Expect a greater reward, both now and in eternity.  

Again, as Louis stated so well, we have turn our faces into the full gale force of our emotions and say "NO", I'm not giving in to you.  And we keep doing the right thing, whatever that is.  That's practicing mature manhood.

Do you think this applies to work as well?


  1. One thing I know is that I get mad plenty often. I need to examine what is below that anger. Is somebody huwting my wittle feewings?? Maybe.

  2. Feelings...aren't always mushy. Like you said, anger can be a big one. But I think a lot of times the sappers of courage and leading are feelings of defeat and failure or feeling like "what's the point of trying one...more...time?!?"

    I think this happens all to often because we genuinely want to see change in people/situations but we forget that we aren't in control of anyone, except ourselves (and even then, we're not in control of ourselves very often sadly).

    One of the few things that helps me deal with this feeling of trying to help someone and it failing miserably is that I spend some time thinking about how well changing people works for God. I mean, if anyone could just snap their fingers and make someone change, it'd be Him. But he chooses not to do that, he chooses, in a sense, to allow his efforts in our lives to possibly (many times) fail. And I'm sure that our failures cause him to feel some deep things - sadness, frustration, longing, pain, and yeah, sometimes anger (usually I'd say the anger is with people who know better, i.e. people who are held to higher standards)

    But if God doesn't just give up on me, even when I resist him and hurt him, then I can find courage to deal with my feelings. I can find a loving Father who knows what I'm going through and still keeps reaching out, keeps shaping my life. And I can reach out to others as much as I can, even when they slam the door on me, even when they try to walk all over me.

    I dunno, just my two cents :)