“Accept both compliments and criticism. It takes both sun and rain for a flower to grow.”
You have most likely heard the phrase “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” It really is true. We can thrive and grow in anything if we are open to change. To think that we need only one kind of element in which to grow is false.
There are those who can only do good in an extremely positive environment. If they are not being praised on a regular basis, if people do not recognize their work, they begin to whither. They get depressed. Their work load decreases. They find themselves adrift.
There are those who can only do good when everything is negative. They face the storms around them with great courage and fortitude. They look forward to confrontation. They take the lead in struggles. They produce extremely well. However, when things slow down, when there is no opportunity for confrontation, they are lost. They cannot function in a peaceful, calm environment.
Living in extremes is not good. Extremes, by their very nature, cannot sustain themselves over time. Sooner or later, the extreme becomes drawn toward the middle and ceases to exist, ceases to be extreme.
We live in a world characterized by extremes. However, the goal is not to live in the extreme, the goal is to find a way to work through the extreme to a normalized center. If we are grounded in that center, the extremes will never bother us. As a matter of fact, the extremes can be places where we find ways to grow. We might find ideas to employ or, at the very least, situations to avoid in the future. As long as we learn from what we experience, we are on the right track.
Christ is what keeps us centered. Without being grounded in Christ, grounded in the faith, our frail human nature tends to go to the extreme. However, if we are grounded in the Lord, we can learn from anything. We can go through the toughest of times and come out, not only unscathed but, stronger.
The lesson, then, is to do whatever we can to keep ourselves grounded in the Lord. That may mean that we need to take more time each day in personal prayer. That may mean that we do more spiritual reading. That may mean that we open our Bibles and read the stories of our faith. Whatever it is, we need to work on our relationship with God so that we are grounded when the extremes of life come our way. If we remain grounded in the Lord, the craziness of the world will never be able to swamp us.
FAITH ACTION: Take stock of your relationship with the Lord. What do you need to do in order to make your life more grounded in Him? Make an effort this day to spend some quality time with Jesus.