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fred and nehemiah on rebuilding

Here's Fred Smith with some lessons from Nehemiah on rebuilding walls (or, recovering from a loss).  

The best way to overcome the confusion that comes with loss is to organize it.  A plan dispels confusion.  When Nehemiah got the vision for rebuilding the wall in Jerusalem, he realized the people had lived depressed for 80 years, moping because the wall was down.  How long did it take to rebuild?  52 days!

We have fallen walls in our own life that need restoring.  The longer we grieve, the harder it is to begin the restoration process.  Start rebuilding before you make a heavy psychological investment in the loss.
Here are four points for rebuilding:

1. Stay constructively busy.  Too many people think they need to head for the islands for a vacation when experiencing loss.  A good friend, Dr. Howard Rome, formerly head of the World Psychiatric Society, once said to me when discussing a severe loss “Fred, stay busy.”  He knew that if I kept moving my training and habits would keep me constructively busy.  Now a word of warning….not just busy, but constructively busy.  One of my favorite poems says, “When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.”  That is NOT constructively busy.  Rebuild the wall after loss.

2. Live with the facts.  A friend asked me to assess his son’s executive capabilities.  I had to tell him I didn’t see great potential.  In a conversation with the young man he told me he wouldn’t have anyone around him who brought bad news because it depressed him.  You can’t run a business or a life like that.  A sound solution to any problem depends on a clear statement of the facts.  I must work with the facts as they are, not as I wish they were.

3. Don’t lose the good of a bad situation.  Kubler-Ross says the greatest things in her life have come from the “windstorms” of her life.  She talks about putting people into the tumbler of life to polish them.  I say, “don’t waste the experience.”Scripture is full of examples where crisis turned to blessing.  Joseph said, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.”  Paul tells us that in God’s economy all experiences work for the ultimate good of His people.

4. Be redemptive.  It is my Christian responsibility to bring redemption whatever my circumstances.  Revenge is not redemptive; fear of failure is not redemptive.  I am not to be conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of my mind.  I am not to be externally pressed, but internally impressed by the Holy Spirit to bring redemption----whether I am winning or losing.

From Breakfast with Fred, weekly email.


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