By Christie Love, Founder and Executive Director of LeadHer
During the month of September our LeadHer Local chapters are talking about a tough subject. Our theme for the month is “Response Time” which is addressing the difference between reacting to a situation and responding to a situation. In our teaching video this month, I share ten difference between reacting and responding to help our members better understand the two and then we talk about how to train ourselves to respond instead of react. Yesterday, I posted on our LeadHer Facebook Page, “Learning how to respond rather than reacting is one of the most painful yet powerful ways, we, as women can discipline ourselves to become better leaders.” I believe this with my whole heart which is why I have said many times to our coordinators and team that this month’s theme is one of the most important that we have ever addressed in our chapters.
During all of 2014 we have been using the theme of LeadHer BootCamp: Getting in Shape to Serve as the basis for each month’s theme and teaching video. What makes this month’s theme so critical is this powerful truth: You cannot effectively fight the battles in the world around you until you win the war within you.
There is a war that wages inside of our own hearts and minds- the battle between our sinful, human nature and our new nature as a child of God. When we surrender our lives to God then we are to give him every piece of ourselves… some are easier to give then others. It is easier to give him our bad habits, our past sin, our prayer requests, our talents and gifts, our time BUT our thoughts, our feelings… our reactions. Those are harder to submit to God…especially for women.
In 2001 Gallop Poll conducted a survey to see if various characteristics were thought to be more common to males or females. On the question that talked about “being emotional” 90% of respondents overwhelmingly classified this trait as a more female characteristic. Women are known for our emotions, that is no secret. However, we as women do not have to be controlled by our emotions- that choice is ours!
God gave us emotions, he designed them to be part of who each of us are. Our emotions are not an accident– nothing about us is an accident. Scripture tells us that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14) Each of us are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and all throughout the pages of the Bible we read about a God who feels emotions. We read about his great love, his patience, his forgiveness, his anger, his sadness, his regret, and his great joy. Our emotions are not only God-given they are also shared by our Father in Heaven.
When we talk about the war within our minds we are really talking about a battle for control. Romans 8:5 says, “For if men are controlled by their earthly natures, they give their minds to earthly things. If they are controlled by their spiritual natures, they give their minds to spiritual things.(WEY) The truth I want you to focus on this month is critical for every person, but it is especially important for those who are leading and impacting others each day with words and actions. Our emotions are meant to enhance our lives not control our lives.
This month is not about apologizing for your emotions or feeling guilty about them- rather this month’s topic is meant to challenge women to recognize their emotions and instead of reacting because of what they feel– learn to go to God with those feelings. He is the one who created the feelings in the first place- he understands them and will help you process them and gain HIS perspective on them. Then you are able to respond not based on feelings but on his revelations and directing. Learning to take time to do this is how we live out Romans 12:2 on a daily basis, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (ESV)
Living life by this truth and discipline is the key to winning the war within ourselves and being effective in the daily battles we face out in the world.