Time to Turn the Tide

I hadn’t planned on sitting down to write a post. Many of us have something to say, but we’ve been waiting for a divine green light and ears who want to hear.

So many voices. As a result, this past week I have only sought the One voice that matters to me. And today, the God-breathed words that have come to my mind are Psalm 119:105: The Word of God is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. This verse summarizes my life experience: when I pursued unshakeable Truth and walked that road, my life prospered. When I didn’t, bad things happened. So I want to encourage you to encourage others to pursue the path of unshakeable Truth.

This is how we “turn the tide.”

I realize that in using this idiom I admit my opinion: that there is a tide that we are riding on that is going in the wrong direction.

A Path NOT Unto Life

NOTE: This is not a political post. 

We were created to look forward. Gaze at the night sky and wonder, What is beyond? From birth, we progress onward. We learn to speak, walk, reason and this progression of life is one we celebrate with birthdays, privileges and cultural rites of passage. In other words, we were created for forward motion. Stagnancy or the “two steps back” is frustrating because we have goals, dreams, and prayers that we want to see realized.

The problem, as I see it, is that many people think they are going in the right direction but they are not. 

Defining What is Right or Constructive

In my books, I have used construction analogies. Wanna build a house? Make sure the foundation is strong and level. Wanna build a stone firepit? Set the cornerstone correctly. (I learned this the hard way).

Faulty foundations or loose stones affect the integrity of the whole. Many of you know this from your work in business, community innovation…or any sphere. I learned this raising kids! So there is a right way to build and a wrong way to build. We can choose a path that is constructive and supports individual and corporate vitality versus a path that is destructive and maintains brokenness  or leads to disrepair .

In this climate of frequent disagreement, I think we can agree that we cannot determine the “good” of something–an idea, a program, even a behavior, by how it is affecting us right at this moment. We need to weigh the outcomes. 

Will my physical health benefit?
Will my mental/emotional health prosper? 
Will those I associate with have my best in mind?
What foundation does this idea, program, or behavior stand on?

These few questions apply in every social circle and can guide every decision we make. Today’s gratification may bring bliss. But will it enslave you in the end? 

Moving forward means accessing what is toxic in the spheres that affect us everyday, (economic, education, political, faith, etc.) and even in our relationships. I don’t think the constructive answer is to abandon those spheres, but rather, fix them.

Make them constructive. Life-giving.

A Constructive Trajectory

“The word edify means to build up. As Culture Changers, we are called to build up those whose lives intersect with ours for a few minutes or a lifetime. We bring change as we oppose the conditions and mindsets that diminish the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities.” Let’s turn the tide by coaching people how to move themselves and others into a constructive trajectory.

To build up, we have to determine what is broken. Wrong. Destructive. Evil.

“It is easy to categorize concepts under the heading of “good,” but many of us are reluctant to call something “evil.” Sometimes we don’t feel comfortable using either categorization, so we lean toward relativism, which is the idea that good or evil is just based on someone’s opinion. Relativism says that behavior cannot be called negative or evil because it is subjective to a person’s belief system.”

In my book, Culture Changers, I go on to write:

“The definition of shalom is rightness, completeness, harmony, and wholeness. The opposite is wrongness, incompleteness, dissonance, or confusion, and brokenness…We have to be on the same page when it comes to what contributes to a productive society and what inhibits it…Progress involves movement, while stagnancy limits growth and experience. Therefore change can be a blessing or a curse. As a society, we need to recognize the systems and even trends that are destructive to people’s overall wellness.

So, readers, it’s assessment time! Look around you. At people. Your relationships. Systems. Laws. Programs. Take time to weigh outcomes. Inspect the foundation principles that are in place. Does the present foundation support a person’s overall wellbeing (mental, emotional, physical and even spiritual)? (Or your own?) Is a new and unshakeable foundation needed? 

Lastly, since I am a mom who mentors moms, I have to add: invite your kids and teens into this process. Teach them to ask themselves those questions as they weigh ideas, programs,  behaviors, etc.: 

Will my physical health benefit?
Will my mental/emotional health prosper? 
Will those I associate with have my best in mind?
What foundation does this idea, program, or behavior stand on?

Let’s help the next generation by shining a light on a constructive path.

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