Pastor Chris continues our One Word series with part 5. This weeks word is PROACTION. It is both a verb and an adjective meaning, (of a person, policy, or action) creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened. To be proactive in identifying and preventing potential problems. I first heard this word when reading Simon Sinek’s book, Start With Why. He has a great quote from the book to help further explain this word.
He says, “A reaction forces us to consider what has happened to determine a solution. A proaction forces us to consider what will happen to determine a plan.
When we react, we look to point fingers and assign blame (to others or ourselves) for the existence of the situation. We work to compensate or prevent bad things from happening. When we proact, we accept the situation as fact and start looking for solutions or alternatives. We work to make good things happen.
No matter the situation, proaction has to be the primary strategy. The impact is profound. It’s forward focused.”
This word has always seemed to stick with me ever since reading the book a while back. And it’s come to mind recently with everything going on right now. Beginning to realize how reactionary we are in our world right now. Starting to think about how can we change this? What can we do? What does the bible have to say about this? Different rabbit mind trails brought me to thinking about the end in mind. Or as Stephen Covey would say from his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “Begin with the end in mind.”
But then what is the end? Has that changed in our world? Spiritually speaking, what is the end goal? The Bible clearly shows this as, “Having a deep relationship with our Creator and Savior and Loving Others.” Jesus in John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” So if Jesus wants to bing us life of exuberance and overflowing, why have I felt so lethargic lately when it comes to my life? I realized that I had moved from proaction into reaction. Just trying to dodge, dip, dive, duck, and dodge whatever life was throwing at me. Something had to change!
Our world is filled with reaction. Watch the news, reaction. Look at social media, reaction. Look at leadership in government, school, business, reaction. So it’s no wonder why I was slipping into this way of life. However, the greatest leaders and human beings that most of us read about in history or studied in school were proactive people. The greatest example of all, Jesus was proactive! Matthew 28:18-20 reminds us of our calling and proaction life that we are to life. “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore GO and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'”
Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations..” This is an instruction for ALL who believe in Jesus Christ. Not selected individuals, not for certain groups. It is instructions to all who believe in Jesus to share the Gospel. Another confusing is I always thought that this meant discipling other people in my life. But it starts with me. Am I a disciple of Jesus? Or better yet, Would Jesus call ME a disciple of Him? And during this time of not meeting in person, online church only, it is that much easier for us to turn reactive in our walk with Christ and not be a disciple.
We cannot have a passive, reactionary, relationship with Jesus. This is what the book of Revelation calls the “lukewarm” life. Jesus loves us too much to just let us stay in that place. Thinking with the goal or end in mind and then how they can help keep you on that track. Specifically talk about your spiritual life. We ALL, I mean everyone single one of us, has areas God is wanting us to grow. How will you at the end of this quarantine look back and think, “Wow! Look how much I have spiritually grown during this time!”
What do you need to do? What do you need to do to your discipleship christ-centered life to shift into a proactive faith? Don’t wait: take the first step today!