Adversity and Discouragement

by Ron Potter


“A man stopped to watch a Little League baseball game. He asked one of the youngsters what the score was. ‘We’re losing 18-0’ was the answer.
‘Well,’ said the man. ‘I must say you don’t look discouraged.’
‘Discouraged?’ the boy said, puzzled. ‘Why should we be discouraged? We haven’t come to bat yet.’ ”

Discouraged? Hardly. The boy was holding strong to the hope that his team could overcome any deficit. He was holding strong to his convictions.
No matter what the source may be, discouragement and adversity have a purpose:

  • to deal with our pride
  • to get our attention
  • to get us to change our behavior
  • to prepare us for future service

There are some wrong responses to adversity and discouragement, and they cause bitterness, doubt, depression, and hopelessness. But holding strong produces some right responses:

  • We gain our team’s trust because our actions match our intentions.
  • We focus on seeing things through rather than abandoning our values or vision.
  • We rely on God for the ability to endure.

We want you to build courage and persevere, to realize the sweet taste of standing strong for the long haul. Endurance.

No matter what the source may be, discouragement and adversity have a purpose: to deal with our pride, to get our attention, to get us to change our behavior, and to prepare us for the future.

Dogged endurance is an important quality, but if it is directed down the wrong path, it can damage people, teams, and organizations. To endure, a leader must build on a foundation of humility, trust, compassion, commitment, focus, and integrity. Without holding firm to the other seven attributes on your way to endurance, you can never be assured that you are staying on the true and right path.
Have you developed a leadership style (one that includes humility, trust, compassion, and integrity of a Trust-Me leader) that has equipped you to endure? If not, where has the process broken down for you? What steps do you need to take to change your style?


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