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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

15 Jan '14

The rear view mirror

Posted by T.J. Addington in closure, letting go
Some things belong in our rear view mirror rather than our worrying, feeling guilty or obsessing about them. Here is a truth that many of us find hard to accept: Some situations we cannot fix, some people we cannot change and some problems we cannot solve. Often when we run up against such walls we feel guilty that we could not make it right, we wonder how we get through to people who don't want to hear and we feel anxious that we didn't do all that we could.

How many supervisors have agonized before, during and after letting someone go who needed to go! As a consultant I have encountered clients that I could not much help and watched good ministries settle for what is rather than what could be. Or, that relative who we want to help but isn't open to input. These situations can be anxiety and guilt producing and we constantly re-saw the sawdust in our mind. Or, we have finally got rid of that highly dysfunctional leader who made our life miserable but we keep dwelling on the pain.

Here is a second truth: God does not expect us to solve all the dilemmas we encounter. People make choices, organizations make choices, and some folks are not interested in hearing or changing. That is not our issue so why do we obsess about issues we cannot change?

There are some phrases that apply here: "It is done, put it behind us," "get over it," "put it in the rear-view mirror and move on." "It is not our responsibility." "We cannot solve someone's problem who does not want to hear." "Some people like their dysfunction and drama." "Let it go."

When we hang on to stuff we cannot solve we take responsibility for things that are not ours. It is wasted energy to be sure and highly unproductive to say nothing of stress producing. Let it go and put it in the rear view mirror where it belongs.