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In Times of Crisis What Do You Do?

I wrote the following post back in May of 2008.  I thought maybe we could revisit the topic…  Let’s hear your thoughts…

Time Crunch Creates Crisis

What do you think about when life is difficult?  What is the first thing that your mind does when crisis decides to pay you a visit?  Do you jump into a panic?  Do you loose sleep?  Or maybe you are the complete opposite, maybe you hibernate to get away from it all.  Endless tears?  Continual anger?  What is your response to crisis?

I’ve been reading a book called “The Man God Uses” by Henry and Tom Blackaby.  It has been a great book so far.  I am not all that far into the book.  But I had to stop and think about this line of thought that they’ve got going on here.  Check this.

“Character is not shaped by crisis; it is revealed in crisis.  When crises occur, you can discover more about yourself as you listen to the words that come out of your mouth, as you see what actions you take, and as you monitor your attitude and evaluate how Christlike it is.”

WHEW.  Better tighten your belt a few notches.

How does that resonate with you?  How have you dealt with crisis lately?  Have the words that come from your mouth and the actions that you take, and the attitude that you display all been more like Christ, or more like man?

Please don’t make me answer.  I’m sure we won’t be happy with the answer!  At least, I’m not.

But here’s the great news.  You and I are just works in progress.  Romans 5:20 reminds us that “where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.”  Right now you have the opportunity to turn this crisis that you are experiencing right now into a tool that molds you and makes you more like Christ.

Maybe crisis or difficult times will never be fun.  That’s probably true.  However, on the flip side, every crisis I have gone through, God has been there with me the whole time.  He has been faithful as the day is long and even longer.  So, I guess we need to think a little before we throw our hands up in anger, or go hibernate till the storm is over.  I guess there is a lot to be learned.

What do you think?  How do you respond in times of Crisis?

~Peter

3 Comments

  1. There is a paradox here with that statement – “Character is not shaped by crisis; it is revealed in crisis.” Or perhaps it has some room for iteration. I understand what the author is trying to say, but making an absolute statement where character development is not shaped by crisis is at odds with what we find in Romans 5:

    (3)…knowing that suffering produces endurance, (4) and endurance produces character, and character produces hope

    The Bible tells us that what we experience in crisis — which might entail suffering and endurance, certainly shapes character.

    For the context of the author’s statement, I would rather say that crisis allows for one’s current state of character to be revealed. Crisis immediately sheds all the fluff in customs, habits and niceties where are trained to respond with. Crisis, like solitude, can bring into focus what our default personal response would really be without all that fluff.

    But if that character that is revealed is a permanent, immovable fixture, how can there be any sanctification in our faith (regardless of who takes credit for it — me or the Holy Spirit).

    Interested in what others would have to say.

  2. Interesting point, Kevin. I wonder if it’s the crisis that’s shaping the character or what we do with the crisis that’s shaping the character. Either way, the crisis plays a big role.

    How we respond in a crisis probably also says something about whether or not we’ve been in the habit of going to God or other things for help with the little problems in life.

    I like what you said though, Peter: “But here’s the great news. You and I are just works in progress.” This is encouraging! When I get discouraged and want to kick myself for responding negatively once again, it would be good for me to look at my progress rather than just my current bad reaction. Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. Barb, that is well said. I think that it is about moving forward and seeing how far we’ve come. I do think that Kenny has a point too though- Crisis does have a way of shaping who we are. Barb be encouraged! God is working in the midst of your situation-both the good and the bad. Just place one foot in front of the other. Easier said than done though, right?

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