There is no getting around it; there will be a crisis in your life, my life, everyone’s life. With this said many years ago Dr. Hornell Hart wrote about the five possible ways of reacting to the crisis, and I think they are important to understanding as well as know where you fit.
Managing crisis with other people in your life, whether big or small, is critical to building character and living a life dedicated to serving God in joy and peace – so without further to do let’s get started.
Five Ways to Manage Crisis
- You may act shamefully – As the old saying goes, “to take it lying down.” If you are disappointed in your husband or wife, if your marriage is a failure, if your in-laws continue to interfere with your life, if your mate follows love outside of your marriage, or if any other catastrophe overtakes your home, you may give in to hopelessness and self-pity. You might be saying to yourself, “There’s nothing I can do about it. It’s just a cold world we live in. I always get the bad end of the stick. Maybe I shouldn’t care anymore. Poor me!”
With this said; is this the frame of mind that you think you should have? Absolutely not! The “poor me” victim mentality leads nowhere fast so stop it!
- You may run away like a coward – Many divorces fall into this category and are simply a blind and frenzied effort to escape from a bad relationship. Often the person seeking the divorce is trying to run away from themselves. They never learned to live and communicate with other people. Chances are if they marry again they will find themselves suffering again because they never dealt with the basic problems of their personalities. Running away doesn’t always need to be physical, it can be emotional too. Such as putting up barriers that are cold and keep people away.
Running away from anything never solves the problem. You should face it bravely while trying to understand it. That is the only way you are going to find a wise and best solution.
- You may attack vindictively – Most husbands and wives that are headed toward divorce have convinced themselves that their spouse is a villain, in my case I was a monster. “It’s your fault, you are a selfish, heartless, cruel, lazy, good for nothing partner and I am going to make you suffer as you did to me.”
Do you see the train wreck coming with this approach to dealing with a crisis? Remember vengeance is God’s not ours!
- You may act courageously – By looking the situation squarely in the face and thoroughly studying it with an open mind, you will overcome. Now we are getting somewhere! When we take the time to discover the root cause of the crisis and take an inventory of all the possible resources, and then deliberately and courageously choose the appropriate action that will lead to success, we will come out on top.
Many problems we face are completely outside of our control but how we react to them is a different story. Remember the “Serenity Prayer?”
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
The person that chooses to act courageously accepts the situation and sets out to correct the conditions which he/she have control over – especially his/her patterns of living.
- You may cooperate creatively – You might be wondering how you can react to a crisis in your life better than courageously, well I am going to tell you. You still approach the situation courageously, but you don’t do it as a lone wolf. Instead, you also seek to understand the other people that are involved. To understand means to be able to see the situation sympathetically through their eyes, but without losing perspective. This requires teamwork! Discovering what the best solution is for everyone involved, and then working wholeheartedly toward that solution. If at all possible this is where you want to be most of the time. Granted you may not always have the teamwork you desire, and number 4 is required but the more you apply your problem-solving skills, the better your life will be.
There you have it… makes sense doesn’t it?