These things life has taught me. There are without doubt more than 4, but I have at least one in mind, and I think four’s enough for any single sitting.
1.Prepare for the betrayal before it occurs– the fact of the matter is we’ll all betray or feel betrayed. It’s inevitable. Get close enough to people, sow into their lives as they sow into yours, and sooner or later there’s always the risk that misunderstanding and assumption will lead to hurt where it only takes one party to say, “Nup, not doing it!”Envision every close relationship ending like this. It not only prepares your heart, but it also helps you wisely circumvent the cause of such a situation occurring in potential situations. Anticipating the sting of betrayal helps ward against gut reactions of reprisal which would only harm all parties.
2.Prepare now for the inevitable disappointment– you will be passed up, fail a key test, not arrive where you thought you would. It’s inevitable. Life will disappoint you at some point. Prepare to feel the weight of such pain as an impetus for bouncing back. Disappointments are crushing if we haven’t already lived with a daily awareness of what they might do, so to fashion resilience, we must live as if disappointment will inevitably meet us.
3.Prepare to be targeted in some way, shape, or form– preparing to be unjustly targeted helps us imagine how Jesus was persecuted. Now, it’s common in Christian circles to feel persecuted when we’re not. I’m not talking about times when we must face the music. I’m talking about the slim chance that you might be so misunderstood as to be scapegoated. It’s happened before and it’ll happen again. Expecting that injustice will occur at some stage will help you not be driven into victimhood, and from the resilience of a calm demeanor, you recognize that your whole life isn’t defined by one event or aspect of life.
4.Prepare to be elevated, and where there, stay humble– just as big a concern for resilience is the test of success. Not everyone can handle being successful. Power is a big test, and without humility, a fall will ensue. Resilience is required just as much for when chips are increasing as much as when the chips are down. It’s a great fall when there’s the topple from a great height. What a shame when it’s such a public spectacle, yet it could be you. How will you show the world that you can rise again? Only through authentic resilience. It’s got to be a background part of your plan—how will I rebound from calamity?
Resilience is such a buzzword these days and it has been for 20 years. Rather than talk about it, there’s the opportunity to invest in it now, before the day of disaster when it will truly be needed.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Tribework