Mindset of a Warrior
By Chris Sweet, guest contributor, leadership trainer guru, life is awesome consultant, and oh-so-cool parent
Argh. I sighed surveying the seemingly endless dark, steep walls around me. Oxygen seemed to be leaving the room slowly after I got thrown into the ditch by my enemy. The fight I was just in was longer than one I have ever experienced in my life. Every part of me was impacted severely. I felt my emotional, physical and spiritual break apart under the weight of the experience I was going through. I laid down. “God, “ I sighed. “Do you love me?” I started sobbing as the weight of my enemy’s memory sat on my chest. The enemy mocked me, lied about me, and choked every part of me until what was remaining of me was slight. I read through scripture, listened to sermons and I tried to do the right thing as the attack continued. As it continued, the truth kept me grounded. The truth kept my eyes on Christ. As my life sometimes felt like it was draining out of me during my trial, my center felt safe in Him. Even though my mind and brain was processing the devastation and asking the questions of why to God, the Holy Spirit calmed my angst and reminded me of His love. He spoke through the books I read, my friends who prayed alongside me and the pastors I listened to. I took each word, each encouragement and put it around me as bandage each day as I woke up to a new day of pain during my trial. Life is hard. No question about that.
I wish I could have told you that I was a rockstar and said “Thank you God” and didn’t once question His love and why. But I did. I did. I think that God wants you to have real conversation with Him. He already knows your heart. Nothing that we say is a surprise to Him. I’ve had to remind myself of that repeatedly. God loves me. His intentions are love and to protect me. This world is chaotic. I am subject to the choices made by the people in it. And, I’ve learned that the warrior mind is not to run from the war or battle ahead which could be our version of personal issues at work, family or life. But to do our part in it and chose to be courageous.
So, how do we stay focused right in the midst of the battle?
- Remind yourself of God’s love towards you and He will bless you for living right.
God’s curse blights the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous. He gives proud skeptics a cold shoulder, but if you’re down on your luck, he’s right there to help. Wise living gets rewarded with honor; stupid living gets the booby prize. Proverbs 3:34 (MSG)
I’ve written verses down on post-it notes and carried it with me during the work day so I could be reminded of God’s promises. I’ve captured phrases or words in books on paper so I could be forced to change how I view what I am going through and change my actions as a result.
- Read books and tap into resources from experts on battling your mind, strengthening your mental health, keeping physically strong and strengthening your spiritual armor.
Thank goodness that God created experts in these fields of survival and there are books out there to help.
- Change the filter through which you view what you are going through. It’s easy to be caught up in self-pity. I’ve done it.
“The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary man takes everything as a blessing or a curse.” ― Carlos Castaneda
If you change your filter on how you are viewing what is happening to you as a challenge, suddenly the challenge has purpose.
- Practice gratitude. Praise God for the trial so that it can be used to develop you.
“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” James 1:2-4 (MSG)
“Recognizing all you have to be thankful for – even during the worse times of your life – fosters resilience.” Amy Morin, “7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude That Will Motivate You to Give Thanks Year-Round”, www.forbes.com
Continue your mission to ride the storm courageously. Consider each trial a time to practice what you’ve learned and to reassess the habits and tools you use in crisis and to change them if necessary.
“13 things mentally strong people don’t do” by Amy Morin
“The Secret Power of Speaking God’s Word” by Joyce Meyer’
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