(c) 2014 John Thurman
By John H. Thurman Jr., M.Div., M.A. Adapted from The Survivor’s Guide, by Ben Sherwood
Ever wondered what you can do to increase your odds of winning the race of life?
Dr. Dennis Charney is the dean of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. The fifty-eight-year old is the king of resilient studies in North America. In his years of research and collaboration, he has developed what he calls the Resiliency Prescription. Here is a brief outline of it, as well as some scriptures that support his points.
1. Practice optimism – some people are “born optimists,” others are “trained optimists.” You would think this would be a no-brainer for people of faith. Studies show… The key is to stay positive and hopeful while confronting the reality of a given situation.
Try this little test, take a quick look at this domain name:
www.opportunityisnowhere.com (This is not a real website.)
What did you see? When some people look at this web address, they feel like someone had thrown a wet blanket on them: Opportunity is nowhere. But others see the exact opposite: Opportunity is now here.
This is not being a “Pollyanna,” but is being in a state of mind—a way of thinking and behaving.
The Scripture refers to faith, which can be interpreted as practiced optimism.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives assurance about things we cannot see.” (NLT)
2. Find a resiliency role model – someone who as done it. It can be a biblical character, a historical figure, or someone you look up to.
Once again there are countless illustrations of this principle in the Bible, but the one reference that gives us a short, but focused list is Hebrews 11:3-12:2.
In this portion of Scripture we read of the faith and resiliency of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Rahab, and Jesus. These are all exceptional resiliency models, stories of individuals who overcame significant obstacles to glorify God and others.
3. Develop a moral compass and unbreakable beliefs. The Bible is the ultimate source of truth, and the Ten Commandments are not the Ten Suggestions. It is important to have a solid rock for your belief system.
Joshua 1:7-8 has been a favorite verse of Scripture for millions of Jews and Christians for thousands of years and best summed up the importance of having a moral compass and unbreakable beliefs.
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning to the right or left. Then you will be successful in all that you do. Study this book of instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all that you do.” (NLT)
Faith is the most-important part of this. It means that you are learning to trust that God has a plan for your life and will look after you. You have a growing belief that a power bigger than you will guide you through the storms of life. You are learning to see the Lord as an active participant in your life.
Be looking for Part 2 on Wednesday.