Way of Wisdom
with Regina Sanders
Hebrews 12:1-2 "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Endurance and ambition is a combination of determination and tenacity. It is a balance of patience, persistence, and guts. Endurance is also being reliable and accountable, which establishes security and commitment. Without endurance, any good endeavor or intention has no chance of success.
Endurance means to be alive, to be driven by what counts. It is the readiness to fight for what you believe, to go all the way. Without such commitment any undertaking remains flat and empty. It is an energy which comes from within and stops at nothing to achieve its goals. This, of course, requires that endurance be closely examined to ensure that it is used in a healthy and productive manner.
Ask yourself, "How committed am I to my values? How much would I fight for them? Am I easily swayed? What price am I ready to pay for my beliefs? Is there any truth for which I would be ready to give my life?"
For anything to endure it needs to be loved. A natural or indifferent attitude will reflect in a marginal commitment. If you have difficulty making commitments, examine how much you love and enjoy the object that requires your commitment. Do I love my work? My family? My choices?
For endurance to be effective it needs to be caring and loving. Endurance without love can be counterproductive. Raw endurance can come across as harsh and aggressive, which undermines the cooperation of others. Out of sheer determination one may often become controlling and demanding, driving others away. For endurance to be successful it needs a loving and caring attitude, it requires patience.
Does my endurance cause me to be, or seem to be, inflexible? Does my drive and determination cause me to be controlling? Am I too demanding? Do others (my employees, friends, children) cooperate with me out of the sheer force of my will and drive, or out of love? Is my endurance unloving? In order to get my way would I allow others to get hurt? Do I believe that the end justifies the means? Would I stop at nothing to achieve my goals? When my endurance prevails and I overcome the obstacles in my way, am I still loving? Even when defending myself and others against unhealthy influences, am I driven by love or hate?
Examine the discipline of your endurance. Endurance must be directed toward productive goals and expressed in a constructive manner. Is my endurance and determination focused to help cultivate good habits and break bad ones? Or is it the other way around? Does my endurance come from strength or weakness? Does it come out of deep conviction or out of defensiveness? Am I ever tenacious out of stubbornness and an unwillingness to acknowledge errors? Am I invested in certain decisions and not prepared to review them? Do I use my endurance against itself by being tenacious in my lack of determination?
Healthy endurance, directed to develop good qualities and modifying bad ones, will always be compassionate. The compassion of endurance reflects a most beautiful quality of endurance: an enduring commitment to help another grow. Endurance without compassion is misguided and selfish. Endurance needs to be not just loving to those who deserve love, but also compassionate to the less fortunate. Does my determination compromise my compassion for others? Am I able to rise above my ego and empathize with my competitors? Am I gracious in victory?
Examine the endurance aspect of endurance, its expression and intensity. Everyone has willpower and determination. We have the capacity to endure much more than we can imagine, and to prevail under the most trying of circumstances.
Ask yourself, "Is my behavior erratic? Am I inconsistent and unreliable? Since I have will and determination, why am I so mercurial? Am I afraid of accessing my endurance and committing? Do I fear being trapped by my commitment? If yes, why? Is it a reaction to some past trauma? Instead of cultivating endurance in healthy areas, have I developed a capacity for endurance of unhealthy experiences? Do I endure more pain than pleasure? Do I underestimate my capacity to endure?
Yielding, which is a result of humility, is an essential element of enduring. Standing fast can sometimes be a formula for destruction. The oak, lacking the ability to bend in the hurricane, is uprooted. The reed, which yields to the wind, survives without a problem. Do I know when to yield, out of strength not fear? Why am I often afraid to yield?
Endurance is fuelled by inner strength. Humility does not compromise the drive of endurance; on the contrary, it intensifies it, because human endurance can go only so far and endure only so much, whereas endurance that comes from God is limitless.
Do I attribute my success solely to my own strength and determination? Am I convinced that I am all powerful due to my level of endurance? Where do I get the strength at times when everything seems so bleak?
Bonding is an essential quality of endurance. It expresses your unwavering commitment to the person or experience you are bonding with, a commitment so powerful that you will endure all to preserve it. Endurance without bonding will not endure.
Sovereignty is the cornerstone of endurance. Is my endurance dignified? Does it bring out the best in me? When faced with hardships do I believe like a king or queen, walking proudly with my head up, confident in my God given strengths, or do I cower and shrivel up in fear?
When fighting for something you believe in, pause a moment to ensure that it is accomplished in a loving manner. Break one bad habit today. Be patient and listen to someone that usually makes you impatient. Commit yourself to developing a new good habit. When you awake, acknowledge God for giving you a soul with the extraordinary power and versatility to endure despite trying challenges. This will allow you to draw energy and strength for the entire day. To ensure that your new resolution should endure, bond with it immediately. This can be assured by promptly actualizing your resolution in some constructive deed. Fight for a dignified cause.
Thank you for being with me today on The Way of Wisdom with Regina Sanders. Please join us again next Wednesday with more teachings. Be sure to visit this site each day for teaching from others. God bless you!
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