Mind of the Staircase

By Linda Tancs

The French expression “esprit de l’escalier” literally means “mind of the staircase.” It refers to that comeback, response or witty remark that one frustratingly comes up with only when the moment for doing so has passed. No doubt you’ve been there. And, in many cases, it undoubtedly worked out for the best. How many hard feelings may have been averted simply for lacking mastery of the comeback? As Proverbs instructs, life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Don’t be quick to applaud those who are never left without a response. It can be a curse just as easily as a blessing (James 3:9-10).

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

 

 

Zero Tolerance

By Linda Tancs

We often hear news reports about zero-tolerance policies, often because they’ve been violated by way of harassment, discrimination, violence or other things. In our own lives, we establish zero-tolerance policies, too. Parents establish zero-tolerance policies with their children around behavioral issues like disobedience, lying and stealing. Spouses establish zero-tolerance policies concerning issues like adultery and abusive behavior. Individually, we resolve (especially around the New Year) to stop tolerating our own proclivities toward indecisiveness, fear, impatience and a host of other attributes.

The Bible encourages a zero-tolerance policy against ungodly thoughts, words and behaviors (Romans 13:14). The best way to enforce the policy is to look for wisdom (Romans 12:2) and perspective (Philippians 4:8) as your anchors.

Does your policy need updating?

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

Knowledge or Wisdom

By Linda Tancs

The phrase “knowledge is power” was first attributed to Sir Francis Bacon in the 1500s. There’s nothing wrong with being knowledgeable, but knowledge isn’t always powerful. Sometimes, it’s wrong or even useless. The better phrase is “wisdom is power.” After all, God ordained it a valuable treasure (Proverbs 8:11) and even commands us to acquire it (Proverbs 4:5).

God does grant knowledge (Ecclesiastes 2:26), which is often used in pursuit of worldly endeavors. But wisdom is an ability to see things from the Lord’s perspective, to conduct oneself according to His precepts. Practice wisdom through prayer and discernment and you’ll live a powerful life.

A Brain, a Heart and Courage

By Linda Tancs

In the movie The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy meets up with three characters, each seeking a different attribute. The scarecrow wants a brain. The tin man wants a heart. And the lion wants courage. That’s a pretty good summation of what we need to persevere through life: wisdom, love and courage.

The Bible exhorts us to gain wisdom (see, e.g., James 1:5; Proverbs 3:13-18). How do you do that? By reading the Bible, the source of all God’s knowledge and understanding. Wisdom is a gift from God, the means to discern the truth in all things. We’re told to love wisdom, and wisdom will protect us (Proverbs 4:6-7). Above all, though, we are commanded to love God (Deuteronomy 10:12) and extend that love to our neighbors (Luke 10:27). It’s fair to say that the pursuit of wisdom and love takes courage. It’s so much easier to hide one’s head in the sand, avoiding truth and neglecting the work to build strong relationships. Yet we’re reminded to be strong and of good courage (Deuteronomy 31:6). That’s because fear, insecurity and anxiety undermine the courage we need to foster effective personal and professional relationships. But you’re an overcomer! Stand firm and apply the power formula of wisdom, love and courage to persevere through life’s tasks and struggles.