The operational definition of initiative is “recognizing and doing what needs to be done before I am asked to do it.” How can you recognize what needs to be done? First of all, remember what is expected of you and fully complete your assignments. Then, if you notice something that you should do, don’t wait to be told to do it! Can you discern what should be done and do it before Mom asks you to? When you are told to do a task and you do it, that is obedience. Doing what you should before you are told is initiative. After you promptly fulfill your responsibilities, look around and consider other ways God might want you to help or to offer a creative solution. The Lord may even use your cheerful willingness to rally others to action! When everyone takes initiative, the whole day goes better because schoolwork and chores can be accomplished more efficiently, and other practical needs can be met, such as refilling the toilet paper holder, folding laundry, or sharpening pencils.
The opposite of initiative is unresponsiveness. Unresponsiveness describes someone who is not communicating or taking action. Could you imagine the devastation that would result if firefighters did not respond to calls for help? Someone who is unresponsive ignores the needs around him and the promptings God gives him. He may be distracted, focused on something else, or selfishly ignoring people because he doesn’t feel like helping. Perhaps he is lazy and waits for someone else to act or lead. He may lack the desire, energy, and resolve needed to put helpful, good ideas into action. To overcome unresponsiveness, he can repent and ask God to bring needs to his attention and give him the motivation and commitment to follow His lead.
- Are seeking the Lord and prayer the first priorities of my day?
- In a strained relationship, do I take initiative to ask forgiveness and seek reconciliation?
- How have I allowed distractions, urgent matters, or entertainment to interfere with my responsibilities?
- When faced with difficulties, do I easily give up or promptly search for a solution?
- Have I taken initiative to invest in the lives of my younger brothers and sisters?
- Do I complete the daily chores assigned to me before being asked, or do I need to be reminded?
- Have I displayed initiative by creating a list of people and their needs and then praying for those people?
- When I take initiative, do I think ahead and consider the possible outcomes and impact on others?
- Can others rely on me to lead well when they don’t know what to do?
More About Initiative
God enables me to:
Seek His direction.
Be self-motivated to do what is right.
Look for ways to help others.
Prepare before I act.
Be part of His solution to a problem.
Ask, “How can I help?”
Contribute to the success of the whole team.
Make no excuses to delay my work.
Make the most of every opportunity.
Initiative in Scripture
Rebekah Swiftly Welcomes a Visitor
Revealed in Nature
Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum
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Free Resources for Initiative
Enjoy these selections from the Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum that are fun and memorable!