A troubled heart is caused by at least two common human temptations: anxiety and discouragement. Left unchallenged, these twin troubles of the heart can be costly. They sap energy, steal away courage, interfere with compassion, and worst yet, they can destroy vision.
Sometimes the cure requires tenderness and sometimes toughness. Either way, anxiety and discouragement are not to be tolerated by those who believe in God. They must be fought. They must be brought under the submission of faith.
Anxiety = worry about what might or might not happen.
Discouragement = worry about what did or did not happen.
Organizations, like individuals, can succumb to anxiety and discouragement. Many a good ministry has been paralyzed by these heart attacks. Non-profit organizations, churches, and civic clubs often fail to “seize the day” because they let their collective heart be troubled by some discouraging news or anxious events.
These two trouble makers can be especially bothersome when organizations are making adaptive or transformational changes. These kinds of deep changes in an organization can threaten stake holders’ (trustees, staff, donors) beliefs, habits, and loyalties. It is during these times of change that people get stuck in their stomachs and their hearts, not so much in their heads. Why?
1. Adaptive changes, meant to cause growth in an organization, will ironically result in some loss and even casualties.
2. There is usually a shift in power and influence in the group.
3. Changes can result in many digressions, detours, mid-course corrections, and pettiness.
4. By its very nature adaptive change will cause incompetence throughout the organization. Those who were once proficient and even celebrated by the organization for their abilities often discover they are not particularly suited to the demands and requirements of the change.
All of these realities produce levels of anxiety or discouragement that lead to troubled hearts.
It is at these times of change that organizations, like individuals, must press through the negative emotions, act on faith, and move on toward the higher goal. Anxiety and discouragement must not be allowed to stand in the way of the mission. Unfortunately this is where many groups get stuck. They let their hearts be troubled rather than letting their hearts trust in God.
Please consider that anxiety and discouragement are just more “user friendly” forms of fear. And like any kind of fear, they should not be tolerated. Fight them. Rebuke them. Remind them that God is working. Be of courage. Be brave. Press on. Stand by faith. Never fall to their wicked temptations.