Monday, October 23, 2006


Psychologists Suzanne C. Kobasa and Salvatore R. Maddi studied individuals in business who although in the midst of highly stressful situations nevertheless experienced low degrees of illness. They discovered that people with psychological hardiness:

1. Believed that they had an influence on their environment and acted consistently with that belief.
2. Consistently considered how to change situations for advantage and never accepted events at face value.
3. Regarded change as part of the normal course of events.
4. Viewed change as a helpful path to positive development.
5. Were committed to learning and personal transformation.

The catch-phrase for psychological hardiness is, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." Frankly, at times, ministry can be pretty tough. Spiritual warfare. Intense schedules. Counseling issues. Being understaffed. People problems. It can get pretty intense sometimes. At those times, you need to hang tough. You need to dig deep. You need to stand in there. Of course, not in your own strength, but in God's.

Psychological hardiness is a must for leaders. Hardiness is simply meeting the demands of the situation with character and courage. Don't shrink back from the challenge.

In the book of Hebrews one of the overarching stories is that of the children of Israel being spooked by the giants in the promised land, and backing down. God hates it when we have a little faith and then shrink back from that.

Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief. Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. Hebrews 3:16 – 4:2

Evidently, God does not have a lot of patience with “shrinker backers” and he warns us to “be careful” to not get a spankin’ ourselves.

Honestly, it will be difficult for you to remain in ministry if you are a wimp. Yes, ministry is tough. Yes, people can be difficult. Yes, you get tired. Yes, we never have enough money. Yes, it is hard to work with volunteers. But there are times when you just have to “get over it.” We can’t call you a “wahmbulance.” I like how the coach of my son’s Little League team tells the boys, “If you get hurt, spit on it (“pthew”) and keep going.”

Teddy Roosevelt

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena: whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strive valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

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