Leading Well In Tough Times

By Denise Paswaters

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In the last few days, two physical gauges in my home have been especially important to me. As the thermometer on my window reflects temperatures that are more like winter than spring, I am wearing more layers of clothing again just to keep warm…and I have adjusted my thermostat a degree or two higher to make life easier and more comfortable while I’m stuck inside the house.

Thermometers and thermostats are a classic leadership teaching tool, and I have often reminded student leaders that they choose to function every day as one or the other, whether they realize it or not. Sometimes we tend to simply reflect the attitudes and behaviors around us, much like a thermometer reflects the surrounding temperature. After all, it’s easier to just go with the flow, isn’t it?

But that’s not what we are called to do as followers of Jesus. We are created to influence others, and God has equipped us for it (2 Timothy 3:17). Thermostat leaders take notice of conditions around them—even the ones they can’t control—and choose to be change agents. Right now we may not have much control over exactly where we go, but we do have control over our attitudes and behaviors. Let’s choose to be joyful, kind, flexible, and patient through it all, knowing that Jesus is the one holding all things together (Colossians 1:17).

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