Melvyn Tan
October 19, 2013 — By tanmelvyn@gmail.com

Watch How You Live

[blockquote source=”1 Timothy 4:16 (NIV)“]Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.[/blockquote] I was advising a school on their benchmarking efforts on staff engagement. One of the best practices identified was to conduct a management walkabout during curriculum time. One of the […]

[blockquote source=”1 Timothy 4:16 (NIV)“]Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.[/blockquote]

I was advising a school on their benchmarking efforts on staff engagement. One of the best practices identified was to conduct a management walkabout during curriculum time.

One of the task force’s concerns was that teachers might view it as sneaking up on them. The task force was worried that their efforts might backfire.

It was a legitimate concern. After all, they have never implemented this before and naturally some folks would be skeptical about the practice.

Many a times, we strive to be a better person by changing some of our behaviors. However, at the start, others who have known us might tend to speculate why we have changed.

Sometimes our closest friends and even family members might even chastise us for doing so. Perhaps, some may even be angry that we have changed. Because now your behaviors have caused them to be uncomfortable.

For instance when I stopped smoking in 2013, initially people (other smokers) around me still offered me a cigarette. There was one or two even mentioned that it is very difficult to quit. But generally most were supportive.

After several months, they no longer offer me cigarettes. In fact, some even walked away when they needed to smoke.

The idea here is this:

  • Your behaviors need to be aligned to your beliefs (and even your identity): deciding not to smoke is just a behavior. But calling myself a quitter affirms the identity that I am a healthy person
  • Your behaviors (especially new ones) need to be demonstrated consistently over time for it to be deeply ingrained: besides being consistent in your behaviors over time also serve to convince others that you have transformed

Dear LORD, help me stay true to Your principles. Let me be consistent. And give me the strength to persevere. In Jesus name, Amen.