Picture three people going to work at the same company or organization. Make them male or female, choose whatever job you like. They take the train to work, its London or New York, or your town.
Every day they take the same route and they all like their work. It’s Monday morning and one of them wakes up, gets ready and is sitting on the commuter train. Suddenly, he feels he’s had enough. He just doesn’t want to do this anymore. Whatever the consequences, he decides he is resigning this week with one week’s notice.
Nothing has changed about his job, nothing has changed about his journey to work or his home life, he just doesn’t want to do it anymore.
His boss says she wants him to stay because he is good at his job, but he is adamant and leaves that Friday.
The following Monday the boss calls the other two into her office and asks them to take over the workload left behind by their colleague who has resigned. She shares the load between them. They now have one and a half times as much work as they did before.
One of them hates this new load and is resentful; the other quite likes the thought of new tasks and the slight increase of pay that goes with it.
We are talking here about factors coming from inside or outside of you. The person who resigned felt something change inside of him. Nothing else had changed but his attitude to his work and life. He had had enough and all the desire for change came from inside his own soul. In stress jargon and this is called endogenous factors, things which come from inside of you which build up and can lead to stress in the end, but not automatically so.
His two coworkers experience the pressure from outside as their workload is increased. The change is nothing to do with them, their attitude, or their lives; it comes to them from outside. This is called exogenous factors.
Even so, one of them has no problem with it and the other does. They do not control what comes at them, but they can control how they react.
There is a deep-sea fish which lives under enormous pressure due to the water it inhabits. The pressure is so great that it would crush you or me. This fish survives by equalizing the pressure between the inside of its body and the outside. It cannot control the external pressure in its environment but allows pressure inside to build up in order to survive.
One of Jesus’ closest friends in his letter to be sent to many Christians, talks about the One who is in you being greater than the one who is in the world.
The One who is in you is the Spirit of God Himself. John is wanting his audience both to realize and experience the power of the Spirit of God working from the inside (endogenous). His initial meaning was related to being able to figure out true and false spiritual messages or wisdom but it also flags up the principle that in order to deal with outside forces you would do well to develop inner strength.
John, Paul and Jesus all advocate drinking in the Spirit of God to the point of being full. This habit of drinking in the Spirit creates an internal strength which will enable you to react to the external pressures which come your way (exogenous factors).
Christianity has always, and still does, work from the inside out.
Work well today,
© Geoff Shattock March 2019
1 John 4:4
4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
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