We admire the people who are not afraid to make a gutsy decision.
These people seem to have special insight into reality and the courage to follow that insight in a direction that may or may not make sense to everyone else.
You know who I mean — the ones who seem to always make the right bets: the investor who buys stock when everyone else is selling, the coach who calls the unconventional but perfectly-timed play, the marketer who creates the non-traditional campaign that goes viral.
The great news is that we all have access to this insight and courage. God’s common grace means that it is given to both the believer and non-believer, but the ability to connect in real time with an infinitely wise God is available to every believer. And courage is a basic response of our faith and trust in God.
In reality, however, there is often a gap between how we read the circumstances of a situation and what God would have us do. A gap between our natural, safe, conventional judgment and God’s judgment.
So how do we have the ability to discern between them? How do we know when something risky or unconventional is of God? And where do we get the courage to follow this insight when it is from Him?
Here are a few basic ideas for developing the ability to discern and trust God’s judgment in real-time.
- Learn to recognize the ways of God. This is like understanding the market. Remember, Warren Buffett is no novice investor, but the foremost student of the stock market. He sees patterns that others don’t. We should be the foremost students of how God works. As you spend daily time in scripture, make note of how God works.
- Know the promises of God. We often read scripture trying to find ourselves in the text. Read it instead to discover who God is, what He is all about, and what He has promised.
- Record how God has worked in your life. Recognizing God’s ways and promises in scripture builds the ability to recognize them more quickly in real-time. But remembering how He has worked in your own life is what builds your capacity for courage and internalizes God’s work.
- Make space to listen. Making time to reflect and listen to God’s voice at the beginning and throughout your day will enable you to recognize the quiet prompting of God regarding the real decisions you face in the day ahead. And you can enter the day confident that you are aligned to God’s purposes.
Growing in insight and courage takes time. There is no quick fix, but rather there are habits that must be cultivated. The temptation is to continue on as normal, watch the stories of courage from afar and simply wish that could be us.
But it can be you. And it should be you! Your company and your team are craving this type of courageous leadership. Let’s commit to cultivating the habits that will enable this insight and courage to take shape.