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Surviving Stressful Storms – Who’s in Your Crew?

In this post, I examine a topic from my upcoming book, Surviving Stressful Storms

Even in the midst of a pandemic, we all have other people in our lives. Family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances – people with whom we interact in person, at home, on the job, and online. These people makeup the “Crew” of your “Lifeship” – and those you put “on deck” with you can greatly impact the way you navigate the stressful storms of life.

Who’s in your Crew? It’s a question we rarely take the time to analyze; and yet it’s a question that has great ramifications for how we handle stress.

There are three types of Crewmen you may have on your Lifeship – Comrades, Colleagues, and Confidants.

Comrades are those Crewmen who are against what you’re against. They are allies when it comes to standing against a common enemy, cause, or purpose. And as long as you remain in the “against” column, they are with you. They will stand beside you on your Lifeship and weather the stressful storms that assail you – as long as the rigging consists of conversation and activities that are against the shared purpose. But the moment you move away from the “against” column or need their assistance in some other pursuit beyond the shared “against,” they are hesitant or even resistant. Having a Crew made up of only Comrades will leave you struggling alone in stressful storms in every other area of life beyond what you stand against.

Colleagues are those Crewmen who are for what you’re for. They are associates when it comes to standing for a common ally, cause, or purpose. And as long as you remain in the “for” column, they are with you. They will stand beside you on your Lifeship and weather stressful storms that assail you – as long as the rigging consists of conversation and activities that are for the shared purpose. But the moment you move away from the “for” column or need their assistance in some other pursuit beyond the shared “for,” they are hesitant or even resistant. Having a Crew made up of only Colleagues will leave you struggling alone in stressful storms in every other area of life beyond what you stand for.

Confidants are those Crewmen who are with you through thick and thin. No matter if the “for” column or “against” column fully matches, they remain “all-in” friends. If the water in your sea of life is smooth or stormy, they will stand with you on your Lifeship and will labor alongside you in any way they can to see you through the stressful storms of life. Confidants can be trusted and you know they can be counted on no matter what the circumstance. If the Crew of your Lifeship is manned by Confidants, you will be much more likely to navigate the stressful storms of life than with any other type of Crew.

There are three characteristics of a true Confidant.

1. A true Confidant will look out for your best interests. They support you, love you, rejoice when you win, cry when you cry, love you enough to tell you when you’re wrong, look out for your best interests, and stand up for you when you need it.

2. A true Confidant will show appropriate affection. You don’t have to wonder how they feel about you for they’ll find a way to show it to you. Their love is expressive.

3. A true Confidant will point their friend to Jesus. Their highest priority is to point their friend to Christ. They have on their heart what’s on God’s heart and are concerned about what God’s concerned about. They recognize their responsibility to point others to Christ – especially their friends.

A key to surviving stressful storms is in having the right Crew on your Lifeship.

I deal with this subject in more depth in my upcoming book Surviving Stressful Storms. But for now, look around the deck of your Life Ship and identify “Who’s in your Crew?”

© 2020 by J. David Chrisman

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