Psalm 16:7 I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
The hidden man of the heart decides most actions. Among the mental health solutions most recommended for depression, anxiety, PTSD, and both process and substance addictions is a regimen named CBT. CBT stands for Cognitive (Thinking) Behavior Therapy. Address your thoughts and your actions will follow. Follow with your actions. You are what you think. You become that on which you mull and meditate. Your actions come from the inner man, the heart, the soul, the mind, the will, and the emotions.
Character Guides Profit
The product of business is profit. Profit is a good thing unless it is the only thing. Why do I want to profit? Have I built a character base to guide my gain? Two good friends come to mind. Both are wealthy. Both focus all gain/profit on expanding the kingdom. Yes, they live fulfilled lives, but not over spending lives. The amounts they give to kingdom works and benevolence is outstanding as a percentage of profits. Another, “Christian”, friend spends his profits on himself. He travels extensively and posts all over Facebook of his travels and love for family. His gain is his gain. He shares some of the wealth, but his focus that he shares is himself first and God when convenient.
The first two friends fulfill this proverb of the seventh verse. First, they bless the Lord not just with words, but action. They recognize that God gave them wisdom and access to wealth. In gratefulness, they give back and bless Him and His work. Second, they are extremely prayerful men. They take everything to heart. They are persistent disciples of Christ and run their businesses with compassion and Christian disciplines. Their hearts (mind, will, and emotions) are guided even when they sleep and especially in hard times (night seasons). They do not become a different person under pressure because their heart is secured to His heart.
Character Guides People
The product of a community organization is people. Whether you are the Salvation Army or a church or the local women’s shelter, you are focused on people. You need finances, but that is not your product. The same questions apply. Why do I want to touch people? Have I built a character base to guide community gain? A conversation with the mayor of a community we reach revealed his heart. We spent hours discussing how to develop the hearts of the people in the community alongside all the economic growth and infrastructure changes. Discussions with other community leaders takes the same direction, but not all. Some want to tear down old houses to “clean out the rats” or “take away places for crime”. Others want to tear down old houses to deliver kinder, gentler neighborhoods and encourage growth. There is a difference of heart.
Character Comes in the Night
Struggles reveal the deep meditations of the heart. Profits will be challenged. Our people touch will be challenged. At those moments, we go back to character built in other moments to make our decisions.
Character is built by quieting our fears with faith.
Character is built by quickening our faith in the face of risk.
Character is built by quickness to turn to God when nothing seems solid.
Character is built by quietly meditating on His wisdom in His Word when all is well and our thoughts are clear.
Character is built in the inner man to be exposed by the outer man of actions.
A few years ago, my wife and I had major decisions to make concerning our future contributions to profit and people. For days, we locked ourselves in prayer. Intense hours were spent reading scriptures and prayerfully considering our future lives. Each option in front of us had risks and gains. Today as I look back, the choice was made from a life of handling risks and gains in God’s grace not just the few days of prayer. Our impact is many fold what it had been. Our finances are nowhere near where they were, but our people impact is exploded. Deep character is built in the night.
Phil , thethinkdirector