Have You Lost the Plot?

March 2, 2012

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In 20 years of leadership I have seen many times where situations or circumstances have clouded my judgment and ability to see clearly. In those times, warning signs appear, showing me that I am in danger of losing the plot, the big picture, or even my perspective.

I have recently seen a number of these things flare up in my own life that reminded me of the need to see the sky through the clouds.

I am going to share these perspectives through the grid of ministry, but they are true anywhere people are involved. Be that a family, a business, or even a marriage. We can lose sight of the what the greater story is.

Here are four signs that you may have lost the plot:

1.Impersonal Generalization
This occurs when our language shifts away from people to things as the culprit. Our frustration zeroes in on “the church”, “the leadership”, or “the management”. We say such things as, “If leadership could just get it right” or “Why doesn’t the church do this?” We focus outwardly, even forgetting that we are a part of the group in the crosshairs, such as the church.

What we actually are saying is we are frustrated with certain people. When the clouds roll in, it is easier to get upset with an impersonal entity rather than a specific person or people. We need to remember that there are real people with real emotions and frustrations of their own that we are dealing with.

2. Frustration outweighs the fruit
We get sidetracked through spending significant amounts of time stressing over the irritations, causing us to lose sight of all the fruit that our ministry is producing and the lives that are being changed. This is losing the plot.

3. Details overtake the bigger picture
When life brings us circumstances that overwhelm, seemingly small things evoke a larger than normal response. We may find ourselves up in arms over dirty dishes and forgetting there are people going without food altogether.

4.We start to see everything through our own personal grid
It becomes much more difficult to see what is good for the entire body when all we can see is our own frustration and concerns.

We could also add many other emotional responses to the list. Things such as being harsh, judgmental, or critical. Sometimes we become more confrontational, wanting to say things to make a point, but without having lasting value.

Whether in our marriages, ministries, or businesses, we can begin the slow drift off course, eventually finding ourselves far from the destination.

Upon realizing this or sensing the symptoms, we need a healthy dose of perspective. Break out from our own fog and frustrations. Get a good friend to share the bigger picture. Do something to get your eyes off our naval!

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” Anais Nin

What are some other symptoms of losing the plot?

Photo courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu

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Chris

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God