Impatience demands that a push is given to those lagging behind. Lack of confidence requires one to bolster the weak area with words of encouragement laced with reminders of one’s weaknesses and failures. Fear, especially when it strikes at the core of one’s identity or role as a provider, drives one to strike out with motivational darts full of negative images or spears of criticism.
You see the impact of push versus pull strategies in the workplace. A push strategy uses hard driving management techniques; focus on your job, make sure something specific is accomplished, explain the factual impact of what may and can happen if a specific outcome is not realized, and never accept the success of yesterday as being sufficient. Facts and data are key drivers of this approach. Individual accountability soars above group reflection. Tops down teaching is core, because obviously if an individual only saw things in the full picture they would be working harder, faster, and with more insight! If recent events are an indicator, I have clearly fallen into the management group using a push strategy.
God gives us a pattern that is totally different. God looks at us through eyes of unlimited patience, street-wise confidence, and anticipation of all that can be, knowing what is. His relationship to each is one as a friend, a father in love with his child, and wise counselor. God begins by giving us a mysterious gift that we cannot buy, is more valuable than anything we might imagine, and is only understood with experience. God follows by encouraging us towards the future, emphasizing our success, knowing but rarely commenting on our repeated failures.
Walking in God’s path can give one a sense of false confidence. The warning is stark and clear. “Living then, as everyone of you does, in pure grace it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you.” (Romans 12.3)
Today is a fresh opportunity for pulling. No more aiding the enemy with a push!