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Have you ever had a moment when you let your emotions overcome you? Or have you ever felt unsure of your emotions, like you didn’t know if you should laugh or cry?

We all have. Lots of times. It’s hard to figure out, much less manage, isn’t it. For me, there are times when I am fully in charge of my emotions and feeling cool as a cucumber. Then there are other times when I completely succumb to them.

For example, I tend to be very calm and patient in difficult situations, especially with other people. I keep my emotions in check without letting any heat-of-the-moment circumstances affect them. Having a career in PR is like having a PhD in managing difficult people and situations. In addition, I serve as a volunteer mediator and arbitrator to help disputing parties work through their emotions and get to the heart of their conflict in order to seek resolution. As a result, I get an insider’s glimpse into real, raw human emotions on a daily basis. Maybe that’s why I’m surprised when I succumb to my own emotions at times.

This very thing happened to me recently as I was backing out of my garage in my Toyota Tacoma. Since it’s a truck, I must pay close attention to my side mirrors so I don’t hit the garage door frame when backing out. What I failed to do, though, was pay attention to my daughter’s car, which was parked in the driveway behind me. Yep. I backed straight into it. Naturally I was upset for a few minutes. Not at the situation, but at myself because I should have caught it. I went in the house (maybe huffing and stomping a little like a child) and loudly announced how I was the first to wreck the Honda Accord. I had taken good care of it for the past 11 years before handing it down to my daughter when she turned 16. To be honest, I kind of thought my daughter would be the one to damage it first because she’s a new driver!

My wife and daughter went outside to survey the damage. Kim was calm and said it was okay because it was an older car. Madison was even calmer, despite it being her car. I was the one who was not calm. The thing that made me upset was I had just damaged not one but two cars I own.

But, here’s the deal: it was really no big deal. Emotions are controllable. I get to choose whether I was going to have a bad rest of the day or not. And I didn’t. I quickly got over my initial anger at myself, surveyed the situation, and did what we so often do at Southwestern Advantage when unexpected challenges things happen—look for three positives:

  1. No one was hurt.
  2. I backed into the oldest car we have and not my wife’s newer car.
  3. Other people have bigger problems.

What I did was intentionally reason my way through the facts to change my perspective, which, in turn, changed my attitude. It’s not our emotions that get us into trouble. It’s how we let those emotions control our behavior that gets us into trouble. 


God made us all capable, but are we all available?

We were made to be God’s ambassadors through service to His Kingdom and through communication of His message. As such, we are all capable. I wonder though… do we all answer when called?

To be capable is to have the ability to achieve. It’s the competency and proficiency of know-how. It’s possessing a skill set that allows one to triumph and to accomplish.

We were all born with the ability to become qualified. You may have heard before, “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” And this is very true. But just because you are capable, does not mean you are preferred. Or even desirable, for that matter. Why is this? It’s because the capable are not always the most ideal choice. Just like those who are called need to be qualified, those who are capable need to be available.

For I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

This well-known verse brings to light to both capability and availability. Through the strength of Christ, our capability arises out of our willingness and resolve to be present with him, in him, and through him. This resolve is what also strengthens us.

When Jesus chose his disciples, he didn’t seek out the educated, wealthy, or religious men of the day. He chose four fishermen, a tax collector, a zealot, and others of ordinary, non-specified means. Why? One reason is they were not tainted with legalism or self-righteousness. Another reason: they were available.

Capability in itself was not a prerequisite or qualification for God to work through the disciples. And it’s not for us either. Their availability allowed them to be at the disposal of Jesus. He told them to come and follow, and they did. When Jesus asked a man to follow as his disciple, the man procrastinated saying he had to bury his father. Jesus responded, “Let the dead bury the dead.” Rather than listening to his spiritual sensitivity, the man and his sense of availability became hindered by his worldly understanding.

When seeking opportunity in how to be of service to God, there are three aspects of availability to consider:

Accessibility: Being accessible means being easily reached and approachable. God wants for us to be accessible to the Holy Spirit and to others. In order to be used for good works, we have to recognize where we can best be used.

Coachability: If we are going to be available when called upon, then we must be teachable. There is another aspect to coachability: the obedience to listen.

Readiness: Those who find themselves in a stagnant cycle are most often not willing to move when movement becomes a requirement. We must be ready and willing to go at all times. You never know when you will be called.

Are you ready? More importantly, are you available?