Who’s In Control?

“‘Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? … Therefore do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” … But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.[‘]” – Matthew 6:25-27, 31, 33 (NKJV)

I love this passage of Scripture! Here, Jesus states quite clearly that we are not to worry. But although we all know we’re not supposed to worry, actually not worrying is a whole other story. I want to share with you a few thoughts on worry from the perspective of God’s sovereignty, in the hopes that it will encourage you to truly not worry and trust in God.

Why do we worry? I recently realized something very interesting. Normally, when we worry, we’re worrying about something that we don’t have any control over. If we can control it, then we don’t typically worry about it. For example, I may be stuck it traffic, worrying that I won’t get home in time for something. I can’t control anything about the situation. But if I had left late, not giving me enough time, I wouldn’t be worrying. I’d probably be irritated at myself, but not worried. If we have an alternative course of action, we normally do that instead of worry. So when we have no control, we start worrying.

But what does worry communicate? If we want to be purposeful in our communication, we ought to identify what we’re communicating when we’re worrying.

To be blunt, worry communicates a lack of faith in God. You see, since we worry about things that we can’t control, in essence we’re saying that we think we should have control in that situation. But clearly we don’t. That means it’s in God’s domain. So if we’re worrying, then we’re saying that we don’t trust God enough for Him to take care of the situation and we think we should have control instead of God.

But here’s the good news. God is in control, regardless of whether or not we see it or understand what He’s doing! Remember, God sees the big picture; we don’t. We’re humans; God is perfect. God is sovereign! He holds the world in the palm of His hand. This is where faith enters. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” We can’t see the big picture, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It just means we have to have faith. We must trust in God and His sovereignty.

So when you’re tempted to start worrying, remember this: you’re worrying because you’re not in control, which just means God is in control. That’s actually a really good situation to be in!

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Speak with Conviction

When we desire to speak with purpose, to communicate with purpose, we must have conviction. This video is definitely worth three minutes of your time.

Do we speak like we believe what we’re saying? Or are we afraid to speak with conviction when speaking on what we believe? As communicators for Christ, we are communicating messages that are grounded in God’s word. We must speak with conviction, with passion, with authority. It doesn’t matter how others view us as long as we speak with grace in addition to conviction. Because our message is grounded in the greatest Authority, the strongest Foundation.

Disclaimer: While this video is completely appropriate for all audiences, I understand that other content from Taylor Mali is not. I don’t at all endorse anything from him, except for this video, which is excellent.

5 Lessons about Teamwork

This past year, I had the honor and privilege of serving on the Institute for Cultural Communicators‘ 2012-2013 National Student Leader Council (NSLC). The responsibility of the NSLC pertains primarily to supporting ICC’s student leadership programs. Not only have I been able to support and serve ICC and its student leaders, but I have also learned much from this opportunity, especially regarding teamwork. Here are five lessons I’ve learned about teamwork as a result of serving on the NSLC:

  1. A team is one unit. I know this might sound a little obvious, but serving on the NSLC has shown me just how true this is. As a team, we are not individuals all working toward the same goal. We are one unit (made up of individuals) working toward a goal. Individuals give character to the team, but ultimately a team has to be unified to be effective.
  2. Teammates focus on each other, not themselves. It’s a common saying: “There is no ‘I’ in team.” Being a good teammate means ignoring what you want and what’s best for you and instead focusing on your team members and thinking about what’s best for them and for the team as a whole.
  3. Teammates love each other. Just because you’re on the same team doesn’t mean you always work well together. Sometimes your teammates will annoy you or frustrate you. But as a team, you have to love each other in spite of your differences and difficulties. And when you do that, you end up appreciating your team even more than before.
  4. Teammates need each other. The idea behind a team is that you’re not alone; you have people working alongside you. I’ve seen just how true this is as I’ve worked on the Council. Whether it’s planning a conference call or discussing a policy, we have to work together; we can’t do it alone!
  5. Teams are not exclusive. As the NSLC, we are given special responsibilities. But this doesn’t mean that we have to be our own exclusive club. In fact, part of being a team means reaching out to those not on your team. And that brings even more joy than only hanging out with “your team.”

Serving on the National Student Leader Council has taught me so much. I love my team and am so thankful for all of the lessons I’ve learned!

NSLC