Don’t Be Confused

You Are Made in God’s Image

I was about to facilitate a leadership workshop in Uganda but wasn’t feeling right about it.

I told Pastor Elijah, “I think I know what you want me to do, but I’m confused.”

He said, “No. Do not say such things. You are not confused. We do not serve a God of confusion. We serve a God of organization and clarity.”

“OK. So what am I experiencing right now if not confusion?”

“You are not confused. You need more information to be confident,” he answered.

This conversation took place a year ago when I was last in Uganda. As you can see, it stuck with me.

Then just recently…

I was talking to a friend who is an executive at an F100 company. We get together from time to time, and it is always a learning experience for me. He says things like, “I’m always thinking about what I’m thinking about.” Now that’s interesting!

Anyway, he told me he decided not to use some words and phrases. They are no longer part of any of his conversations.

“Like what?” I asked.

“When talking to someone, I no longer say words like frustrated, confused, or stuck,” he answered.

“What is wrong with those words?” I asked.

“When I say I’m frustrated, I’m a victim. I don’t want to be a victim, and God did not call me to be a victim,” he said.

That’s when I remembered the conversation a year ago with Pastor Elijah. I said, “I think there is a principle here.”

What principle?

Only use words to describe yourself which also describe God. We are made in the image and likeness of God. The Bible tells us this truth. Our God is never frustrated, confused, and stuck, so neither are we.

Pastor Elijah was right. I’m not confused.

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One thought on “Don’t Be Confused

  1. I like your executive friend’s perspective on frustration insofar as we as leaders set the table for future action with our decisions and need to have a high sense of ownership/responsibility about all the consequences that flow from our decisions.

    Expressing confusion is different. “I’m confused” may be another way of saying “I’m uncertain at this point.” It’s another way of being transparent about the fact that you are in the information gathering stage. We live in a world awash with information, only a small percentage of which we can access. So we live with constant ambiguity and we navigate to places not of complete information, but closure.

    To say “I’m confused” may just be to place yourself somewhere on the ambiguity continuum. It may be a way of saying, “I need more information to attain closure.” And those with a high need for closure in the world of religion may confuse lack of closure with lack of faith.

    A lot of entrepreneurs only need perhaps 10% of the information on that continuum to be able to make a decision. They have a high tolerance for ambiguity and are comfortable with risk.

    A lot of people who have embraced faith may be no less committed to navigating to reality than the most agnostic scientists, but perhaps they just recognize with humility how inevitable it is that we make peace with some level of ambiguity.