Like professional athletes training for a sport, we have to train to build the skill, endurance, and habits to be successful in life. For my life coaching practice, I have built a system for my “athletes” to experience what it means to operate within the power of the Holy Spirit. We refer to it as The Fordriven System®.
Our best-laid plans won’t survive the first contact with reality. When life punches us in the gut, our actions will default to the level of our training. We need an action system to prevent us from freezing and to keep us moving when adversity strikes. Also, we need a helper, the ultimate Helper, in the Holy Spirit.
There are two fundamental skills we need for this system to be effective: patience and forgiveness.
On any given day, we may encounter frustrating people or situations. If our emotions get the better of us, we feel like lashing out. However, we need to stay in control of those emotions. We need to stay calm and patient. Why? Because we sow what we reap. If we respond with anger, then it will only serve to escalate the situation, especially if the other person reciprocates. Then a closed-loop cycle of retaliation continues until something explodes and destroys you and everyone around you.
The Holy Spirit urges us to be tolerant, kind, and bear each other’s burdens. We need to recognize how damaging impatience is. Responding calmly gives people room to confess wrongdoing, explain their attitude, and make changes. That includes ourselves. When we rely on the Holy Spirit, He empowers us to wade through moments of waiting and provocation without becoming agitated. A calm demeanor in times of delay or adversity can be a powerful witness to the transforming work of the Holy Spirit.
Those who have been forgiven much should also be ready to forgive freely. The fact of the matter is, whether we acknowledge it or not, we’ve all been forgiven by the Holy Spirit. In return, we must learn to refrain from attacking our opposition or decrying the injustice of their charges against us. Despite the injustice, we need to remain unprovoked and grow in the virtue of forgiveness. This is what fuels our zeal to love everybody.
Bitterness and anger are heavy weights to carry around every day. With the Holy Spirit as our Helper, He will show us how to move forward. This is also why we need patience. He’ll show us, but on His time, nor ours. He will move slower than we want to move. This is a daily tension with which we need to learn to be at peace. He will forgive you of your thoughts of taking revenge and getting even. He will show you how to channel that energy into work that will please Him. This is what it means to “die daily.”
We don’t want our old thoughts. We want to die daily to the old us who harbored anger and hatred. We want to take our anger to the Holy Spirit and forgive those who are doing the mistreating because we have been forgiven much.
We need to move 1% forward every day to be more patient, more forgiving, and more loving people. This is what happens as we train to be fordriven.